Labour Minister Filomena Tassi says basic income under review

News Sep 11, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Canada’s Labour Minister Filomena Tassi says the federal government is considering establishing a universal basic income as a way to help people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ends in September and merges with a revamped employment insurance benefit program, anti-poverty activists have called on the Liberals to establish a basic income program after seeing how effective it can be for citizens who have lost their jobs.

“This is a progressive policy,” said Tassi, Liberal MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas. “Everything is on the table for us as we move forward. We are taking a look at the impact COVID has had on Canadians and really working on how to come up with solutions to getting Canadians working and providing them with the supports they need during this very challenging time.”

In late August, the CERB was extended to the end of September, as part of a $37-billion plan for workers impacted by the pandemic announced. A new benefit that pays $400 a week for up to 26 weeks will replace CERB for those ineligible for employment insurance.

CERB was announced in March to provide applicants with $2,000 a month over a four-month span.

Anyone eligible for employment insurance will get the same minimum $400 for at least 26 weeks and will need to have worked 120 hours to qualify, far below current employment insurance requirements.

Tassi said three other benefits were announced in August, including a Canadian recovery benefit, sickness benefit and a caregiver benefit that provides up to $500 weekly for up to two weeks for those who don’t have paid sick leave, become sick or must self-isolate due to issues related to COVID-19.

Most of the employment insurance changes and the three new benefits will start Sept. 27 and remain for one year. The expected cost is about $7 billion for the planned modifications to the employment insurance program and $22 billion for the new benefit programs.

Tassi said at its height CERB assisted 8 million Canadians. There are currently about 4 million people still receiving the benefit, with about three million expected to transition to employment insurance and one million to the other benefits.

Hamilton East-Stoney Creek Liberal MP Bob Bratina said recently that transitioning CERB into a revamped employment insurance program could provide a “stepping stone” to a universal basic income program.

Meanwhile, Tassi in a virtual announcement Sept. 10 said the government will provide $2.5 million to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety over a two-year period.

She said a majority of Canadian employers stated in a survey they will require new or upgraded health and safety policies to accommodate their employees when they return to work.

“Restarting (the economy) largely depends on the success of safe workplaces,” Tassi said. “We want to ensure that workers have the ability to go back to work in a safe environment.”

The Hamilton-based organization, established in 1978, provides vital information to Canadians about training, education, management systems and guidelines for health, safety and wellness programs.

Anne Tennier, president and chief executive officer for the organization, said the funding will allow staff to develop and produce its workplace information in alternative modes for employers and workers, including creating online courses, design fact sheets, craft resource guidelines and posters, produce podcast and videos and develop an app.

“Employers must have a clearly documented and well-executive plan for a safe transition for both work and extended absences from the workplaces (by employees),” said Tennier.

Canada's Labour Minister Filomena Tassi says basic income 'on the table'

News Sep 11, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Canada’s Labour Minister Filomena Tassi says the federal government is considering establishing a universal basic income as a way to help people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ends in September and merges with a revamped employment insurance benefit program, anti-poverty activists have called on the Liberals to establish a basic income program after seeing how effective it can be for citizens who have lost their jobs.

“This is a progressive policy,” said Tassi, Liberal MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas. “Everything is on the table for us as we move forward. We are taking a look at the impact COVID has had on Canadians and really working on how to come up with solutions to getting Canadians working and providing them with the supports they need during this very challenging time.”

In late August, the CERB was extended to the end of September, as part of a $37-billion plan for workers impacted by the pandemic announced. A new benefit that pays $400 a week for up to 26 weeks will replace CERB for those ineligible for employment insurance.

CERB was announced in March to provide applicants with $2,000 a month over a four-month span.

Anyone eligible for employment insurance will get the same minimum $400 for at least 26 weeks and will need to have worked 120 hours to qualify, far below current employment insurance requirements.

Tassi said three other benefits were announced in August, including a Canadian recovery benefit, sickness benefit and a caregiver benefit that provides up to $500 weekly for up to two weeks for those who don’t have paid sick leave, become sick or must self-isolate due to issues related to COVID-19.

Most of the employment insurance changes and the three new benefits will start Sept. 27 and remain for one year. The expected cost is about $7 billion for the planned modifications to the employment insurance program and $22 billion for the new benefit programs.

Tassi said at its height CERB assisted 8 million Canadians. There are currently about 4 million people still receiving the benefit, with about three million expected to transition to employment insurance and one million to the other benefits.

Hamilton East-Stoney Creek Liberal MP Bob Bratina said recently that transitioning CERB into a revamped employment insurance program could provide a “stepping stone” to a universal basic income program.

Meanwhile, Tassi in a virtual announcement Sept. 10 said the government will provide $2.5 million to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety over a two-year period.

She said a majority of Canadian employers stated in a survey they will require new or upgraded health and safety policies to accommodate their employees when they return to work.

“Restarting (the economy) largely depends on the success of safe workplaces,” Tassi said. “We want to ensure that workers have the ability to go back to work in a safe environment.”

The Hamilton-based organization, established in 1978, provides vital information to Canadians about training, education, management systems and guidelines for health, safety and wellness programs.

Anne Tennier, president and chief executive officer for the organization, said the funding will allow staff to develop and produce its workplace information in alternative modes for employers and workers, including creating online courses, design fact sheets, craft resource guidelines and posters, produce podcast and videos and develop an app.

“Employers must have a clearly documented and well-executive plan for a safe transition for both work and extended absences from the workplaces (by employees),” said Tennier.

Canada's Labour Minister Filomena Tassi says basic income 'on the table'

News Sep 11, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Canada’s Labour Minister Filomena Tassi says the federal government is considering establishing a universal basic income as a way to help people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ends in September and merges with a revamped employment insurance benefit program, anti-poverty activists have called on the Liberals to establish a basic income program after seeing how effective it can be for citizens who have lost their jobs.

“This is a progressive policy,” said Tassi, Liberal MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas. “Everything is on the table for us as we move forward. We are taking a look at the impact COVID has had on Canadians and really working on how to come up with solutions to getting Canadians working and providing them with the supports they need during this very challenging time.”

In late August, the CERB was extended to the end of September, as part of a $37-billion plan for workers impacted by the pandemic announced. A new benefit that pays $400 a week for up to 26 weeks will replace CERB for those ineligible for employment insurance.

CERB was announced in March to provide applicants with $2,000 a month over a four-month span.

Anyone eligible for employment insurance will get the same minimum $400 for at least 26 weeks and will need to have worked 120 hours to qualify, far below current employment insurance requirements.

Tassi said three other benefits were announced in August, including a Canadian recovery benefit, sickness benefit and a caregiver benefit that provides up to $500 weekly for up to two weeks for those who don’t have paid sick leave, become sick or must self-isolate due to issues related to COVID-19.

Most of the employment insurance changes and the three new benefits will start Sept. 27 and remain for one year. The expected cost is about $7 billion for the planned modifications to the employment insurance program and $22 billion for the new benefit programs.

Tassi said at its height CERB assisted 8 million Canadians. There are currently about 4 million people still receiving the benefit, with about three million expected to transition to employment insurance and one million to the other benefits.

Hamilton East-Stoney Creek Liberal MP Bob Bratina said recently that transitioning CERB into a revamped employment insurance program could provide a “stepping stone” to a universal basic income program.

Meanwhile, Tassi in a virtual announcement Sept. 10 said the government will provide $2.5 million to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety over a two-year period.

She said a majority of Canadian employers stated in a survey they will require new or upgraded health and safety policies to accommodate their employees when they return to work.

“Restarting (the economy) largely depends on the success of safe workplaces,” Tassi said. “We want to ensure that workers have the ability to go back to work in a safe environment.”

The Hamilton-based organization, established in 1978, provides vital information to Canadians about training, education, management systems and guidelines for health, safety and wellness programs.

Anne Tennier, president and chief executive officer for the organization, said the funding will allow staff to develop and produce its workplace information in alternative modes for employers and workers, including creating online courses, design fact sheets, craft resource guidelines and posters, produce podcast and videos and develop an app.

“Employers must have a clearly documented and well-executive plan for a safe transition for both work and extended absences from the workplaces (by employees),” said Tennier.