Statement from Minister Dwight Duncan on Finance Ministers' meeting

    TORONTO, May 22 /CNW/ -


    The federal-provincial-territorial Finance Ministers' meeting to be held
on Monday, May 25, 2009 in Meech Lake, Quebec is an opportunity for the
McGuinty government to bring forward Ontario's concerns. During these
challenging times, governments need to work together to help all of Canada
emerge stronger from this global economic crisis.
    At Monday's meeting, I will continue to press for reform on Employment
Insurance (EI). While the federal government's recent move to extend EI
payments is an important step forward to helping families now, we need
immediate changes to the EI system so that Ontario workers are provided with
their fair share of payments.
    The average unemployed Ontarian still receives $4,600 less in EI benefits
than unemployed Canadians in other provinces. Almost 70 per cent of unemployed
Ontarians do not receive EI total regular benefits, primarily because the
program is not designed to meet the changing needs of Ontario's labour force.
    Another concern that has been highlighted during this global recession is
whether the right policies are in place to help Canadians prepare for their
retirements in the future. Pension coverage is a complex issue that is not
only a question for Ontario, but also for the federal government and other
provinces and territories.
    There needs to be an immediate broader dialogue about pensions that
includes pension coverage and the adequacy of retirement incomes. Premier
McGuinty has called on Prime Minister Harper to begin a national discussion on
these issues, including a national summit on pensions. I look forward to
having a meaningful dialogue on pensions at Monday's meeting.
    During these challenging economic times, it is especially important that
Ontario's concerns are heard and addressed to achieve our common goals for

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Alicia Johnston, Minister's Office, (416)
325-3645; Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance, (416) 325-0324

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