The Government of Canada
continues Employment Insurance pilot projects and expands their scope
Mr. Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, responded to the
announcement from the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and
Social Development, that the Government is continuing three Employment Insurance
(EI) pilot projects to further assess their effects. Minister Solberg also
announced that the current EI regional boundaries will remain in place following
the conclusion of the boundaries review process.
"Our government recognizes that not all regions are seeing the same growth,"
said Mr. Dykstra. "That is why the scope of these pilot projects has been
modified to ensure that they better align with the current economic conditions
and the labour market situation. I am particularly pleased that we are
continuing to test the Best 14 Weeks pilot project and that it includes the
region of Niagara."
The Best 14 Weeks pilot project will continue to test a method to make EI
benefit levels more reflective of full-time work earnings for those with
sporadic work patterns, and to encourage claimants to accept all available work
by calculating EI benefits based on the "best 14 weeks" of earnings over the 52
weeks preceding a claim.
The New Entrant/Re-entrant EI pilot project will continue to test whether
enabling individuals new to the labour market or returning after an extended
absence to gain access to EI benefits after 840 hours of work rather than 910
hours, and informing them of EI employment programs, will improve their
employability and help reduce future reliance on EI benefits.
Four new EI economic regions in Ontario will participate in these pilot
projects: Huron, Niagara, Oshawa and Windsor. The Best 14 Weeks and New
Entrant/Re-entrant pilot projects will not continue in Sudbury, where economic
conditions have strengthened significantly over the last three years.
The Working While on Claim EI pilot project will continue to test whether
an increased earnings threshold will provide a greater incentive for individuals
to accept all available work while receiving EI benefits. This pilot project
will be expanded nationally to all EI regions.
"The continuation of these pilots will allow the Government to fully assess the
effectiveness of these approaches," added Mr. Dykstra.