Order Fixing September 26, 2021 as the Day on Which Section 328 of that Act Comes into Force: SI/2021-57
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 155, Number 18
SI/2021-57 September 1, 2021
BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION ACT, 2021, NO. 1
Order Fixing September 26, 2021 as the Day on Which Section 328 of that Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2021-883 August 11, 2021
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Employment and Social Development, pursuant to subsection 339(5) of the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1, chapter 23 of the Statutes of Canada, 2021, fixes September 26, 2021 as the day on which section 328 of that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order fixes September 26, 2021, as the day on which section 328 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 comes into force amending the Employment Insurance Act.
This Order brings into force provisions amending the Employment Insurance Act that modify the method of calculating the weekly insurable earnings and introduce a minimum benefit rate for employment insurance (EI) benefits for claimants whose benefit period begins between September 26, 2021, and November 20, 2021.
The EI program provides temporary income support to unemployed workers while they look for employment. The EI program also provides special benefits to workers who take time off work due to specific life events (illness; pregnancy; or caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, a critically ill or injured person, or a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death). Self-employed workers may also register with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission to obtain access to EI special benefits.
In most cases, the weekly EI benefit rate is determined as 55% of average weekly insurable earnings, up to a maximum amount ($595 per week in 2021).
Effective September 27, 2020, a set of temporary measures were introduced to the EI program, including a minimum benefit rate of $500 per week.
Concurrently, the Government of Canada also introduced a suite of three new recovery benefits, including the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), to support economic recovery and workers who are unable to work due to COVID-19. The CRB provides eligible workers with up to 50 weeks of income support. The first 42 weeks are paid at $500 per week, and the remaining 8 weeks are paid at $300 per week. All new CRB recipients making their first claim for a period beginning on or after July 18, 2021, also receive a benefit of $300 per week.
The eligibility periods for these temporary EI measures, and the recovery benefits, were originally due to end on September 25, 2021. However, the Governor in Council may, by regulation, extend the end date for the recovery benefits eligibility period from September 25, 2021, to any date no later than November 20, 2021.
To ensure that EI claimants receive similar treatment to recovery benefits claimants, the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 contains provisions amending the Employment Insurance Act to establish a minimum benefit rate of $300 for EI claimants whose benefit period begins during the period beginning on September 26, 2021, and ending on November 20, 2021.
These legislative provisions may be brought into force on a day to be fixed by the Governor in Council.
Bringing into force section 328 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 will ensure that all eligible EI regular benefit claimants starting a claim after September 25, 2021, and no later than November 20, 2021, will receive a benefit rate that is not less than the CRB benefit rate for the duration of their claim.
Additional consultations on the implementation of these measures are not possible given the timelines.
Members of Parliament and senators have examined the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 as part of the legislative process and asked witnesses to provide their views on aspects of the EI program contained in the legislation, including the benefit rate calculation. Generally, organizations representing workers advocated for a high EI benefit rate following the end of the EI temporary measure on September 25, 2021. Although these organizations would have preferred that EI benefit rates be higher, they were supportive of the modifications to the method of calculating the weekly insurable earnings of a claimant and the resulting minimum benefit rate of $300 per week.
Employment Insurance Policy
Employment and Social Development Canada