Proposed changes to employment insurance by the federal Conservatives are a step in the right direction, but a bigger overhaul of the system is needed to ensure the next generation of workers can benefit from the program if they lose their jobs, Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday.
“The Harper government is proposing some things which I think will help, in an immediate way, but I think we have to bring a major re-think to the program,” McGuinty said.
“We need to reform the employment insurance system in a more fundamental way.”
McGuinty says the new plan — which extends benefits for workers who have been employed for seven of the past ten years — doesn’t take into account the modern economy and the fact that an increasing number of young people are working on contract or are self-employed.
He also noted the changes don’t address one of Ontario’s biggest issues with EI — the fact that people in the province receive less support than those in other parts of country.
McGuinty has long decried what he calls a lack of fairness in a program that gives unemployed Ontario residents about $4,000 less than jobless workers in other provinces, and has called for a single national standard.