employment insurance rules must be relaxed

It’s time to re-examine employment insurance. In fact, it’s beyond time. Canada is circling the rim of a major economic crisis and will…

It’s time to re-examine employment insurance.

In fact, it’s beyond time.

Canada is circling the rim of a major economic crisis and will probably be pulled into its gravity well.

Businesses will collapse.

And Canadian workers are no longer well protected by the social safety net.

In the past, employment insurance shielded workers from catastrophic job losses. Almost 80 per cent of Canada’s workforce was covered.

Not so today.

Successive federal governments have ruthlessly tightened the program’s rules.

So today’s EI program isn’t the robust system that was available to workers in the 1990s, during the last recession.

Today, many laid-off employees are going to find themselves on welfare because they simply won’t qualify for EI.

Even those people who do qualify will only receive paycheques for a maximum of 36 weeks.

That’s scant time to adjust to a career-ending job loss.

And that social safety net protected more than workers and their families.

With employees guaranteed a percentage of their pre-job-loss income, the local business community wasn’t hit as badly.

Today, the situation is more dire for workers and local business owners.

And it’s unnecessary.

EI is paid for by workers and their employers.

It was supposed to protect the employee — that was the deal.

It generated its own pool of cash, and throughout the robust economy of the last decade posted huge surpluses — which were siphoned off by Ottawa even as they choked off the program’s coverage.

Now the nation is in a tight spot. And workers across the country are losing their jobs, often with little notice.

Employment insurance used to give an employee a few months to adjust to unemployment. That’s no longer the case.

The nation will soon feel the effects of this. Unless Ottawa moves quickly to widen the coverage of the EI fund.

It should do so quickly.

Just Posted

Lorraine Kuhn is seen with one of the many volleyball teams she coached. (Photo submitted by Sport Yukon)
The Yukon Sports Hall of Fame inducts the late Lorraine Kuhn

Lorraine Kuhn became the newest member of the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame for her work in growing volleyball amongst other sports

File Photo
A Yukon judge approved dangerous offender status for a man guilty of a string of assaults in 2020.
Yukon judge sentences dangerous offender to indefinite prison term

Herman Peter Thorn, 51, was given the sentence for 2020 assaults, history of violence

Crystal Schick/ Yukon News A former residential school in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post will be demolished on June 21. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News
Lower Post residential school demolition postponed

On June 21, the old residential school in Lower Post will be demolished and new ground on a multi-cultural centre will be broken

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced 29 new COVID-19 cases on June 19 and community transmission among unvaccinated individuals. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs record-high 29 new COVID-19 cases

F.H. Collins prom attendees and some Porter Creek Grade 9 students are instructed to self-isolate as community transmission sweeps through unvaccinated populations

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before using it on Nov. 24. The Yukon government is reopening the drive-thru option on June 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Drive-up COVID-19 testing opening June 18 in Whitehorse

The drive-up testing will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday and increase testing capacity by 33 spots

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its June 14 meeting

Murray Arsenault sits in the drivers seat of his 1975 Bricklin SV1 in Whitehorse on June 16. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bringing the 1975 Bricklin north

Murray Arsenault remembers his dad’s Bricklin, while now driving his own

A presumptive COVID case was found at Seabridge Gold’s 3 Aces project. (file photo)
Presumptive COVID-19 case reported at mine in southeast Yukon

A rapid antigen rest found a presumptive COVID case on an incoming individual arriving at the 3Aces project

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

Most Read