Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

November 25, 2007 09:30 ET

New Urgency for Adoption of Bill C-269 to Modernize Employment Insurance

New study show two-thirds of jobless women can't get employment insurance

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2007) - New research by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives brings new urgency to the Canadian Labour Congress' calls on the government of Canada to give "royal recommendation" to Bill C-269 in order to move its adoption. The new report demonstrates how most unemployed women are shut out of Employment Insurance. Bill C-269 already has the support of all the other parties in the House of Commons.

Bill C-269 is languishing in the order papers of the House of Commons waiting for third reading. It would bring justice and a measure of economic security to Canada's unemployed workers. It essentially brings forward the recommendations supported by all parties in the 2005 Report of the parliamentary committee on Human Resources. These proposals broadly match the Canadian Labour Congress' own call for modernization of EI, and have unfortunately been ignored to date by the current and previous governments.

"These are proposals that were championed then by the Conservative members of the committee including the Honourable Monte Solberg who is now in charge of the Employment Insurance program in his capacity as Minister of Human Resources and Social Development," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

The new report by the CCPA, "Women and The Employment Insurance Program" by Monica Towson and Kevin Hayes, found that as few as 32% of unemployed women qualify for EI compared to 40% of unemployed men. Access to the EI is not only too restrictive overall, it also discriminates against women because the program doesn't recognize that women have different patterns of paid work than men - because of their family responsibilities. Bill C-269 would go a long way to help address this.

"Bill C-269 offers a vision of an Employment Insurance program that works for workers and for the long-term economic interests of the country," concludes Georgetti.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 136 district labour councils. Web site:

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