The government is making temporary changes to the employment insurance program through the 2016-2017 budget.
Canadians living in 12 regions of the country will get improved EI benefits. Long-tenured workers will be eligible for an additional 20 weeks of benefits to a maximum of 70 weeks. The government will also cut the two-week waiting period for benefits to one week.
The 12 regions that will receive increased benefits represent the areas with the highest unemployment in the country. They include Whitehorse, Nunavut, northern British Columbia, northern Manitoba, northern Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, northern Alberta, southern Alberta, northern Saskatchewan, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Sudbury, Ont.
Critics of the plan say the government should make the employment insurance fair for all Canadians. With the amount of deficit spending, the government should spend the additional funds to make the changes apply to all.
Another criticism of the plan is that the government isn’t taking in to account the reality of the modern workforce. This regionally focused plan doesn’t account for people who commute long distances for work.