EI is the most important income security program for workers faced with unemployment, but current eligibility criteria allow only 40% of male workers to qualify for benefits in the face of unemployment. This number decreases to 32% for unemployed women.
Having access to EI ensures that families can avoid falling into poverty while they seek employment that matches their skills or have the opportunity to receive valuable training which will improve their employment opportunities.
It is time for the federal government to use the accumulated surplus in the EI fund which reaches over $50 billion on the workers who need it the most, particularly as we head into a period of economic insecurity.
Eligibility requirements should be restored to 360 hours, with benefit levels based on the best 12 weeks of earnings at 60% of earnings as a minimum.
Join us in urging our elected representatives to support the Poverty Elimination Act and pass Bill C-233. This is a joint initiative by Make Poverty History and Dignity for All, endorsed and supported by Campaign 2000.
November 24th is a special day in the fight against poverty.
On November 24, 1989, Canada’s House of Commons passed a unanimous all-party resolution to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000.
On November 24, 2009, the House passed another unanimous motion to, “develop an immediate plan to eliminate poverty in Canada for all”.
And last November the House’s Human Resources Committee called for a federal poverty reduction plan with measurable targets and timelines. The sad part is nothing’s been implemented to date. Twenty-two years, two unanimous House resolutions, and several reports calling for action, yet nearly 3,200,000 Canadians continue to live in poverty.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a law that required the federal government to take action? Well there is just such a law now before Parliament. It’s called the Act to Eliminate Poverty in Canada (Bill C-233) [link to http://parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=5100295&file=4].
A private members bill introduced by NDP MP Jean Crowder, Bill C-233 would require the federal government to consult with anti-poverty groups and people living in poverty, and then draw up a plan that includes targets and timelines for reducing poverty. This bill would lay the groundwork for real action.
In October, many of you sent a message to the Prime Minister about this very bill. This November 24, send the message to your MP. Ask him or her to support Bill C-233. Private members bills rarely become law. But if enough MPs hear a strong message from their constituents, we can build a momentum that can’t be stopped.
To make the message even louder, we have a paper petition for you to download and print. Once you get 25 friends to sign the Bill C-233 Petition you can ask your Member of Parliament to present it to the House of Commons. If they refuse, let us know so we can get another MP to present the petition.
More details on how to take action to end poverty with this petition can be found when you download the Bill C-233 Petition. Let’s get behind this proposed Poverty Elimination Act. Let’s insist the Federal Government make poverty history in Canada.
Thank you for your support!
Simon Lewchuk For the Make Poverty History/The Dignity for All campaign team
Here is a letter sample that you could use to email your MP:
On November 24th, 1989, the House of Commons passed a unanimous all-party resolution to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. Twenty years later, the House passed another unanimous motion to, “develop an immediate plan to eliminate poverty in Canada for all”. Most recently, in November 2010, the Human Resources (HUMA) Committee called for a federal poverty reduction plan with measurable targets and timelines.
Despite these good intentions, nearly 3,200,000 Canadians continue to live in poverty. We need action. I urge you to support Bill C-233, An Act to Eliminate Poverty in Canada. The Bill would mandate a federal plan for poverty elimination that complements provincial and territorial plans by setting clear, measurable standards, and provides coordination, support, and adequate funding. Poverty is unacceptable and can be eliminated. Please support Bill C-233.
Do find your MP go to the Parliament of Canada website.
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Our e-bulletin provides regular updates on the activities of Campaign 2000 and partner organizations working to end child and family poverty in Canada. With political analysis, commentary on party platforms and government action (or inaction) and links to the latest research reports, this bulletin will keep you up-to-date with what’s going on across Canada.