The pandemic has changed the way many of us work. Overnight, millions of jobs were lost. People who could work struggled to balance work and family responsibilities.
The growth of precarious and poorly paid work is the result of decades of decisions made by Liberal and Conservative governments. From the abandonment of the federal minimum wage in the 1990s to the fact that they are now asking Canadians to “get used to” short-term precarious work.
It’s time for EI to work for everyone, for good.
To help people make ends meet while collecting EI benefits, we will create a low income supplement so that no one who depends solely on regular or special EI benefits to survive gets less than $ 2,000 a month.
In addition, parental leave should be available to all Canadian families, however they want. Eighteen months of leave is an attractive option for many parents, but few can afford to live on just 33% of their salary. New Democrats will introduce new special leave that will allow parents to take shorter parental leave at a higher replacement rate. We will also allow self-employed workers to join the program at any time before taking parental leave, and we will move to double leave for parents who have had multiple children.
Finally, we will also protect the EI trading account in law, so that future governments cannot plunder it. Contributions, which are currently at an all-time low, will be frozen until the economy recovers.