In January we had the opportunity to participate in the Employment Insurance (EI) Reform Alberta Roundtable with federal Minister of Tourism, Randy Boissonnault. Along with other industry association and employer representatives, we discussed the Government of Canada’s plan to modernize EI. The AHLA was pleased to advocate on behalf of our members to ensure a fair EI program that considers the needs and concerns of industry.

We followed up with a letter to the Minister’s office that outlines our position on EI reform. Highlighted are the challenges that our members have faced throughout the pandemic, the state of the tourism industry in Alberta, and the road to recovery that lies ahead.

The AHLA believes the following principles should guide any discussions about changes to EI:

  • EI should not create a disincentive for workers to return to employment.
  • The EI system must remain sustainable and financially viable.
  • Access to EI should be consistent amongst all regions of the country.

Our members support any measures that will make it easier to issue Records of Employment (ROE):

  • Separation monies currently have multiple (118) earning-types and confusing requirements for reporting on the ROE.
  • Earnings paid due to severance should not be deducted from EI benefits.

We also encouraged the Government of Canada to:

  • create an immigration stream for the tourism industry, and ensure that foreign workers are treated fairly under the EI system.
  • consider increasing the earnings threshold for individuals who wish to return to work, at their own pace, while on maternity or parental leave.

EI is an important program for workers and supported by our members. We look forward to working with the government, civil servants, and all stakeholders on ways to improve the EI system in Canada.

Read the full letter here.