June 30th, 2015

Conservative EI mismanagement hurts poorest families

The Conservative government’s serious mismanagement of the Employment Insurance system has hurt Canada’s poorest families, the NDP said today. Since 2007, hundreds of low income families have not received the millions in EI benefits they were entitled to because of problems with the government’s processing system.

“You receive a letter saying that an error was committed eight years ago and that, consequently, you are owed money. This would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic for the families who have faced and still face financial difficulty,” said Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières), NDP critic for Employment Insurance. “The minister, who repeatedly claimed that Employment Insurance was there for those who need it most, must not only apologize, but also make every effort to put his words into action.”

Under the Conservative regime, EI wait times have increased significantly, with record high numbers of Canadians waiting over 28 days just to receive their benefits. Those appealing their claim to the Social Security Tribunal are forced to wait even longer.

“These wait times are simply unacceptable. The problem must be addressed immediately,” added Robert Chisholm (Dartmouth – Cole Harbour), deputy NDP critic for Employment Insurance. “These families deserve to be paid the money they are owed right away. This latest fiasco is yet further proof that the Harper government does not consider Employment Insurance and those who need it a priority.”