A few days ago, Chantal Hébert wrote in Le Devoir:
The political risk Stephen Harper is exposed to is almost nil. The idea that EI is a burning subject in Canada is an optical illusion due to the relative proximity of those regions particularly affected by the reform. (freely translated by the author)
Beyond political considerations, many economists believe that EI hardly plays its role by transferring money in a recurring manner from long-term contributors to the frequently unemployed for more than 40 years. In addition, sectors and regions where economic activity is subject to seasonal fluctuations have incorporated these transfers in their functioning and lifestyle, which makes adaptation to change even more painful.
Minister of Labour, Social Solidarity and Labour of Quebec, Agnès Maltais, is meeting today the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Diane Finley. She will ask again to suspend the EI ‘reform’.
For political and economic reasons, no need to be clever to predict that the answer will be no. The affected sectors and regions will be proud of Mrs. Maltais’ effort and everything will stops there.
Seasonal workers deserve better. They deserve that Mrs. Maltais, who has all the elements, supports and facilitates the adaptation to new rules.
How? We have already said it: she should use active measures and employment services funded by EI to help workers. Not need any ‘contre-réforme’ to do this: the Canada-Quebec Aggreement gives all the leeway.
By participating in measures and services, the seasonally unemployed would improve their employability and, as a bonus, would not be subject to the new rules for their participation…
Instead of supporting the of regions and sectors adaptation, the Government of Quebec position on this issue, although very nice, is equivalent to choosing not to act while it has sufficient means at its disposal. Choosing so, that makes the adaptation simply more painful. Mrs. Maltais will only lose face.
Job Market Monitor’s Editor
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Voilà quelques jours, Chantal Hébert écrivait dans Le Devoir : Les risques politiques auxquels s’expose Stephen Harper sont presque nuls. L’idée que l’assurance-emploi est un sujet fédéral brûlant au Canada est une illusion d’optique imputable à la proximité relative de régions particulièrement touchées par la réforme. Ajoutons qu’au-delà des considérations politiques, plusieurs économistes considèrent que le … Lire la suite »