OTTAWA, June 26, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of
Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced modifications
to the Employment Insurance Act that remove preferential access for convicted criminals to Employment
Insurance (EI) benefits. Bill C-316, introduced by Richard Harris,
Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George in British Columbia,
received royal assent today.
"Our Government is intent on making sure that the EI program remains
fair and consistent," said Minister Finley. "These changes will ensure
that all Canadians must satisfy the same criteria when applying for EI
Individuals who are incarcerated are not entitled to receive EI benefits
while detained. However, under the current legislation, claimants can
have their EI qualifying and/or benefit periods extended beyond the
usual 52 weeks for each week they are confined in a jail, penitentiary
or similar institution. The result is that prisoners have greater
access to EI benefits.
"It is unfair that convicted felons receive preferential treatment
compared to hard-working, law-abiding citizens when applying for EI
benefits," said Mr. Harris. "With this Bill now in effect, criminals
will no longer be able to exempt their jail time when determining
As of June 30, 2013, individuals who are incarcerated and found guilty
of an offence for which they are being detained will no longer be able
to benefit from these extensions. Individuals not found guilty of the
charges for which they were held will continue to benefit from the
extensions as provided under the current provisions. However, to prove
they were not found guilty, these individuals will have to wait for the
outcome of their judicial proceedings before requesting an extension of
their qualifying and/or benefit period.
For more information on EI benefits, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca/ei.
IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC
VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.
SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
For further information:
This news release is available in alternative formats on request.
For further information (media only):
Jan O'Driscoll Press Secretary Office of Minister Finley 819-994-2482
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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