NDP promises fairness for women denied sickness benefits

Robert Chisholm, NDP candidate for Dartmouth – Cole Harbour, made the following statement regarding Employment Insurance today:

“Thousands of Canadian women have been unfairly denied Employment Insurance sickness benefits at one of the most challenging moments a new mom can face: being diagnosed with a serious illness.

Despite changes to the Employment Insurance Act in 2002, these women were refused EI sickness benefits by successive Liberal and Conservative governments due to a technicality. After the government was ordered by the EI Umpire to fix the law in 2011, the Conservatives finally introduced new legislation to clarify eligibility in 2013.

At that time, the Conservatives also chose to settle the claims of a small subset of women who had previously been discriminated against but they left thousands of women without a fair settlement.

As a result of this ongoing injustice, these women have filed a class action lawsuit, which was certified earlier this year.

The NDP believes that Canadians who have been denied benefits they paid for should not be forced into lengthy, expensive court battles with the government in order to obtain justice.

That’s why an NDP government will end the court battle and make it a priority to meet with these women in the hopes of negotiating a fair settlement.”