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February 25th, 2021

NDP call on Liberal government to extend EI sickness benefit

OTTAWA - NDP Critic for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability, Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood-Transcona) is calling on the Liberals to extend the number of weeks Canadians are eligible to collect the Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefit. This comes after the Liberal government put forward a bill to amend the EI legislation.

“Thousands of Canadians have gotten sick or have died during this pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need a comprehensive sickness benefit to support Canadians who are unable to work,” said Blaikie. “The House has called for this benefit to be extended from 15 weeks to 50, so it can adequately help people who need it. However, the Liberal government continues to ignore these calls to help sick Canadians.”

Many Canadians have been struggling to stay afloat financially this past year. They need a government that will help them through their illness, not one that only helps them at the beginning.

“15 weeks is clearly not enough for a person who has a serious illness such as cancer or the emerging long-COVID condition,” added Blaikie. “If these people no longer have employment insurance, they can fall into poverty.”

The NDP are committed to fighting for Canadians who are struggling. We will continue to press for an increase in the sickness benefits of the Employment Insurance system and for the extension of sick leave to more workers. It is vital to make sure Canadians can make it through another wave of this virus