CTV.ca – Jan 15, 2012
EI broke, Drummond report says
I don’t want this to get lost in the hand-wringing over health care and education: Ontario’s Drummond report warns today that the Employment Insurance system in Canada doesn’t have what it takes in today’s labour market.
It’s something to which policy makers should pay attention in this post-crisis era of high unemployment, which in Ontario is running at 8.1 per cent, above the national average, with almost 600,000 people searching for work.
“A growing number of organizations have criticized the federal Employment Insurance (EI) program for not meeting the needs of the modern labour market,” the report by economist Don Drummond and his colleagues said.
“In 2010, Ontarians contributed about 40 per cent of EI premiums, yet received only 32 per cent of benefits and 31 per cent of funding allocated for training,” they said in the 532-page document.
“It is unclear to what extent reform of the EI system might reduce pressure on Ontario’s social assistance budget. However, it is clear that unemployed Ontarians do not now receive equitable income support and appropriate training opportunities to facilitate their return to the work force. In addition, an increasing proportion of people who are either new workers (new immigrants) or youth in non-standard employment (such as part-time, multiple jobs, temporary employment) do not quality for EI.”