Extend Special EI Measures, Support Laid-Off Workers!

Extend Special EI Measures, Support Laid-Off Workers!


The Employment Insurance (EI) program is of critical importance to working Canadians, particularly in the face of the current economic recession.


At present there are some very specific elements of EI in Canada that are either under consideration by Canadian Members of Parliament or facing elimination. These elements, listed under non-descript labels such as EI pilot projects 11 and 12, and Bill C-10, include:


  • A provision that allows workers to receive benefits under EI for an extra five weeks. This measure is included as part of the economic stimulus measures listed under Bill C-10. 
  • Project #11, that currently allows workers to use their best 14 weeks of employment on which to base their EI claim. This project, scheduled to end for new claims after Oct. 23, 2010, provides crucial support for workers in 25 different regions in Canada where unemployment is eight per cent or higher.
  • Project #12, which currently allows workers to earn 40 per cent of their rate while on an EI claim. This project is slated to end Dec. 4, 2010.
  • Additionally, there is a need for a longer tenure worker extension, to continue the pilot project using 840 hours for new or re-entrants, EI training benefits and EI work sharing flexibility.


The CAW and the FFAW are current campaigning for the federal government to act immediately to extend these budget measures and EI pilot projects to ensure vital EI support for laid-off workers remains intact across the country.


You can help with this vital campaign!


Take Action Now! Send a message to your local Member of Parliament below.

*Please note: you will be redirected to the FFAW EI Campaign Fight Back page where you can find more ways to get involved!

Privacy Policy: The contact information on this form or comments you make will be private and confidential and will not be passed on to any individual or organization other than representatives of this campaign. If you wish to give further support, please check the boxes below.

The Message:

Dear MP,

I am writing regarding EI pilot projects #11 and #12, along with Bill C-10, requesting that your government maintain these critical features of the EI program. They are scheduled to end this fall and are extremely important to the industry I work in.

These pilot projects, especially the one that bases EI benefits on the best 14 weeks worked in the previous year, ensure I am not penalized by working for lower than normal earnings or working a shift or two a week. This is tremendously important given the current global economic situation, which continues to have a detrimental effect on working Canadians and their families.

Mark Carney, the Governor for the bank of Canada recently noted in a speech to the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association (NOIA) that Canada has been experiencing a “short, sharp recession.”

He further stated that: “The recession had a considerable impact on employment. Some 400,000 Canadians lost their jobs, and our unemployment rate spiked by almost 3 percentage points to its highest level in more than a decade. Although the labour market is clearly improving, with three-quarters of the jobs lost now recovered, too many Canadians who want to work are still out of a job, and many of those still employed are working fewer hours than they would like.”

In addition, Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently told that media that “we are still in a fragile time” pointing out that although Canada's economy has bounced back strongly from recession, with a 6.2 per cent growth rate in the first quarter, the country still needed the $19 billion in stimulus spending proposed in the budget.

It should be noted that seasonal industries like the fishery are particularly vulnerable, given the fact that many of the weeks during the season can be short because of irregular landings dictated by weather and open and closing dates as determined by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Also this calculation formula does not penalize me for seeking out and taking low or short weeks during the off-season of the fishery. In addition being able to earn up to 40% of my EI benefits (pilot project #12) means I can work more hours before having my benefits clawed back.

Finally, it is crucial for workers, especially those like myself in seasonal industries that have been affected greatly by the global economic situation, that they continue to be able to access EI benefits for at least 50 weeks. This five-week extension is one of the elements of the economic stimulus measures listed under Bill C-10.

I strongly encourage your government to support, at the very least, an extension of these measures, which have proven to be extremely successful in recent challenging times as working Canadians like myself cope with an ongoing recession.

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter as soon as possible.


This message will be emailed to:
  • cc: Earle McCurdy