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CME applauds government action on employment insurance

Published by CME Webmaster on November 08, 2011

The following statement was issued by CME President & CEO Jayson Myers:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced today employment insurance premiums will not increase as much as planned, and that the federal government's workshare program is set to be extended – very good news for manufacturers and exporters across Canada feeling the brunt of weakened demand in foreign markets and falling levels of confidence as a result of uncertainties roiling financial markets.

The move falls directly in-line with recommendations put forth by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the country's largest trade and industry association.

Throughout the recent economic recovery, businesses have been the primary drivers of job creation in Canada. However, businesses cannot create jobs, invest in people, or invest in productive and innovative technologies if customer demand suddenly turns downward or if it becomes more difficult to raise credit.

By reducing EI premium increases, the government will make it less expensive for businesses to retain and hire employees. Workshare is a valuable contingency measure that allows businesses to retain employees even in the face of a dramatic downturn in production.

Last month's job numbers were clearly disappointing – but also a signal for the government that action was necessary to support faltering levels of job growth, particularly in our hardpressed manufacturing industries.

While today's announcement is a very positive measure for Canadian industry, the Minister has also made it clear that Canada's economy has many hurdles remaining and that economic growth will remain tepid for the forseeable future.

Under these very serious economic conditions, the government also needs to consider additional measures to backstop bank lending by extending the domestic financing power of EDC, and encourage business investments in technology, innovation, and skills development by making the two-year write off for investments on production equipment permanent, strengthening the tax credit system for scientific research and experimental development, providing a tax credit for workpace training, and ensuring that Canadian companies benefit from government procurement.


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