Posted: Tuesday, 22 September 2009
On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), we want to thank you for affording us the opportunity to present our views. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils whose members work in virtually all sectors of the Canadian economy, in all occupations, in all parts of Canada.
The CLC calls on the federal government to address three key issues in the next Budget—Pensions, Employment Insurance, and Jobs. Our priorities are to:
- Overhaul our national pension system through a package of measures, including a doubling of the Canada Pension Plan and the introduction of a national system of pension insurance. As a first step, the Budget should increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement to a level sufficient to eliminate poverty among the elderly in Canada. The federal government should convene a summit on pensions, including provincial and territorial governments, employers, labour, and others to develop a concrete national action plan for pension reform.
- Improve income security for unemployed workers, and help hard-hit communities by introducing a uniform national entrance requirement of 360 hours for Employment Insurance; raising benefits from 55% to 60% of previous earnings; and extending benefits to at least 50 weeks in all regions.
- Launch a major, multi-year public investment program to save and create jobs, including support for public infrastructure development, expanded public services, energy conservation and renewable energy projects, and support for industrial restructuring.
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