A Calgary Herald editorial criticizes labour policies from the federal government. It quotes AIMS’s Vice President of Research John Williamson, who fears that the government “is creating an EI trap.” Read the full editorial on the Calgary Herald website.
Canada has long relied on foreign workers to fill shortages in our labour force, but it’s worrisome that the Liberal government is rumoured to be preparing to do away with labour market impact assessments — a process that supposedly ensures there are no Canadian workers able to fill the positions.
The whole purpose of the program is to provide employers with staff they can’t otherwise source domestically. If there isn’t a test to determine Canadians aren’t available to take such positions, then the system is ripe for abuse, as the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour points out.
What’s more worrisome still is that the Liberals have reversed employment insurance reforms that encouraged people living in areas with high unemployment rates to commute slightly longer distances to their workplace or consider positions offering slightly lower pay rates. The Liberals have also reduced the number of hours a person must work to collect EI benefits.
John Williamson, vice-president of research at the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, fears the Liberals are creating an EI trap, where young people have no incentive to train themselves for stable, long-term employment.
“Reducing the work requirement to qualify for EI from 24 weeks of work to as few as 10 weeks could again entice young Atlantic Canadians away from school and the workforce,” says Williamson.