Building an Income Security System that Protects All Workers

Income security means that all Canadians’ basic needs are met at all times but that is not happening. In response to this crisis, the government has shown that income security and poverty reduction are largely acts of political will. The Canadian government has the means to achieve income security for all and took bold action to protect as many as possible from financial ruin. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was a direct response to the inadequacy of Employment Insurance (EI) and other measures to support millions of workers. The pandemic has exposed the fact that our social safety net was inadequate long before this crisis.

Unifor has seven recommendations to improve the income security system. 

They include: 

  • a minimum wage of at least $15 and tied to 60% of the median hourly wage for full-time workers; 
  • stronger employment standards and labour legislation to provide stability for workers to ensure everyone is covered;
  • permanent changes to the EI program to expand eligibility, access and benefits;
  • facilitating more leisure time and work life balance in the lives of workers; 
  • rolling out the Canada Housing Benefit across the country; 
  • promoting retirement security; and 
  • designing an income security system, using the CERB as the new income floor, that ensures no individual or family lives with an income under this benchmark. 

It’s time to build back better and create an income security system that protects Canada’s workers.

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