Extend EI and Recovery Benefits Now

Image credit: Workers' Action Centre

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, the federal government has created new income supports and temporary improvements to the Employment Insurance system, to ensure workers could survive. 

But now workers are facing new benefit cliffs starting on March 27. With few opportunities to return to work and continuing uncertainty, hundreds of thousands of workers face not being able to pay their rent and put food on the table. Women and low wage, racialized workers have been hit hardest by job loss and reduced hours. Running out of benefits will further entrench inequality and stall economic recovery. 

That’s why over 35 community, legal, and labour organizations have come together to call on the federal government to:

  • Extend COVID-19 Income Supports until the end of 2021 or the official end of the pandemic and increase number of benefit weeks 
  • Ensure all migrant workers have access to benefits
  • Provide debt forgiveness of Canada Emergency Response Benefit for all low-income worker and ensure a fair appeals process
  • Undertake real EI reforms to improve access for all workers and ensure that benefits are adequate through a $500 per week floor

Atkinson is a signatory, along with partners including ACORN Canada, Chinese Canadian National Council – Toronto, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, and Workers’ Action Centre.

Read the recommendations and learn how to get involved here.