Employment insurance: Groups fear further delays in serving Canada

Employment insurance: Groups fear further delays in serving Canada

Article from the hurry, Published last week, it reveals that nearly 750 ministry employees in Quebec have seen their week amputated by 7.5 hours per week, through March 31. Thus they move from working full time to a part time schedule i.e. from 37.5 hours to 30 hours per week.

Nadia Mongeon, coordinator of Mouvement Action Chômage Babok in Gaspésie, believes that these cuts in the timeline will increase delays in processing employment insurance applications. It was already quite big before these changesas you say.

In fact, according to Nadia Mongeon, Service Canada has processed nearly 75% of employment insurance claims within 28 days over the past year. She adds that the average wait time to speak to an employment insurance agent is between 30 minutes and one hour.

Therefore, Nadia Mongeon is concerned about the consequences of these cuts for the service providers she advocates for, particularly for vulnerable people.

We have people who still have two to six months to wait. So why do we suddenly decide to reduce the number of hours our employees work? We should instead increase the numbersays movement coordinator Shumag Babuk.

Nadia Mongeon is the coordinator of the Babouk Movement Against Unemployment. (file photo)

Photo: Radio Canada/Martin Tolgot

Line Sirois, Executive Director of Action Chômage Côte-Nord, agrees. When I tell the ministry [de l’emploi et Développement social Canada] That we have files waiting since August 2022, they always tell us that they are overwhelmedshe apologises.

The word “overflow”, I don’t understand it, because when we get overwhelmed, we are supposed to put proxies to terminate the files, which is not the case at the moment. »

Quote from Line Sirois, Executive Director of Action Chômage Côte-Nord

Service Canada explains these cuts by wanting to achieve a balanced budget, a reason Action Chômage Côte-Nord deplored. This is not a good reason. Unemployment insurance remains an essential service for citizens to pay out of their own pocketsLine Sirois, who proposes to balance the budget by simplifying the system, believes.

At the time of publication of this text, Radio Canada has not been able to obtain an interview with the Ministry to obtain answers on this file.

Various organizations helping the unemployed are also calling for a return to the rules that prevailed during the pandemic. These temporary measures, which included simplified rules that helped speed up processing, expired on September 25.

System reform is expected since 2015

Several groups advocating for the rights of the unemployed will meet with Federal Minister Carla Caltro on February 2 in Gatineau on the new Employment Insurance reform.

For Michel Doby, coordinator of the Rimouski-Negette Grassroots Action, we shouldn’t have too many expectations on this reform. We very much hope that the government will accept our requests to amend the Employment Insurance Program. But the reform may be strengthening the program rather than softening ithe says lightly.

Groups representing the unemployed ask for one eligibility limit of 420 hours or 15 weeks of work, while sometimes you have to have worked 700 hours to be eligible.

They also want an interest rate of at least 70% based on the best 12 business weeks.

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