Number of EI Beneficiaries Jumps in July due to Changes For Hard Hit Areas

Statistics Canada says the number of people receiving employment insurance payments climbed 4.4 per cent from June to July as changes to extend benefits for those in hard-hit areas kicked in.

The agency said Thursday there were 575,200 people receiving regular EI benefits that month.

The federal government changed the rules to extend benefits in 15 regions that saw significant increases in unemployment.

EI claims totalled 307,600 in July, up 33.4 per cent from the same month a year ago due to the changes.

According to Employment and Social Development Canada, the July claims included about 87,000 one-time automatic renewals related to the EI program changes.

Statistics Canada said the changes accounted for almost a quarter of the total volume of claims in July and more than half of the renewal claims.

The total number of initial claims for the 12 months to July was down 2.1 per cent at 239,600.

The spring federal budget reduced EI waiting periods and added weeks of coverage in 12 parts of the country hurt by the prolonged downturn in commodity prices.

Ottawa later added three more regions in Western Canada that were left out when the changes were first made.

Unemployed workers are able to claim an extra five weeks of regular benefits up to a maximum of 50 weeks. Long-tenured workers are able to receive an additional 20 weeks up to a maximum of 70 weeks.


Federal Government Says it Will Penalize Quebec for Incidental Health Fees

Quebec will be penalized for violating Canadian health care law after its doctors charged patients fees for services covered by the public system, Health Minister Jane Philpott recently told her provincial counterpart.

In a letter dated Sept. 6, Philpott told Gaetan Barrette the incidental fees will be deducted from Ottawa’s annual health transfer to the province.

“Deductions in transfer payments will be the immediate step taken by the federal government,” she wrote, adding “my primary concern is to see that all overcharging (of patients) is eliminated.”

Quebec doctors have been charging patients incidental fees for various services covered by the provincial health insurance plan, including pap smears, stitches and injections.

The minister’s letter indicated only the fees charged in 2014-15 will be deducted.

Philpott told reporters in Ottawa she didn’t want to go into details regarding how much money will be taken from Quebec or why the federal government isn’t trying to recoup funds for fees charged before 2014.

Barrette announced last week that by January 2017 Quebec will no longer permit doctors to charge patients incidental fees associated with medical services covered by the provincial health insurance plan.

He says doctors charged patients roughly $83 million a year in incidental fees.


Eligible educators: you can now claim your school supplies!

Eligible educators: you can now claim your school supplies!

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is reminding teachers that they can now claim a refundable tax credit to offset the cost of supplies they purchase for their classrooms.

In a message posted to its website yesterday, the CRA noted that teachers may start claiming the new Eligible Educator School Supply Tax Credit this year. This 15% refundable tax credit is available on up to $1,000 of educational supplies purchased per year.

Who is eligible?

You can only claim this tax credit if you are a teacher or early childhood educator employed at an elementary or secondary school or a regulated child care facility:

  • You must have a teacher’s certificate that is valid in the province or territory where you are employed; or
  • You must have a certificate or diploma in early childhood education that is recognized in the province or territory where you are employed.

What kinds of teaching supplies are eligible?

For your supplies to be eligible for this credit, they must be:

  • purchased in the taxation year by an eligible educator;
  • used in a school or in a regulated child care facility for teaching or helping students learn;
  • not reimbursable and not subject to an allowance or other form of assistance (unless the reimbursement, allowance or assistance is included in the income of the teacher or educator and not deductible); and
  • not deducted or used in calculating a deduction from any person’s income for any taxation year.

Some examples of eligible supplies include:

  • construction paper;
  • flashcards;
  • items for science experiments;
  • art supplies;
  • various writing materials
  • games and puzzles;
  • books for the classroom; and
  • educational support software.

If you claim this tax credit, the CRA may ask you to provide a certification from your employer attesting to the eligible supplies expense. You should request the certification from your employer in a timely manner and keep it in your files, along with your receipts, in case the CRA requests.

Source; Canada Revenue Agency


Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s new passport requirements coming into effect.

Read more

CUPW issues strike notice after it says Canada Post refused special mediator

OTTAWA _ The union representing a majority of workers at Canada Post has issued a 72-hour notice of job action as it tries to bargain a collective agreement with the Crown corporation.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the notice spells out what actions it is planning, but stops short of a full-blown walkout.

CUPW national president Mike Palecek says Canada Post forced the labour disruption by refusing to accept a request from the federal labour minister to continue negotiations with the help of a special mediator.

But a spokesman for the agency says that’s not the case.

The union’s strike mandate was set to expire at midnight.

The two sides have been in negotiations for more than nine months but are far apart on key issues including pay equity for rural carriers and proposed changes to the Canada Post pension plan.


ILScorp customers: 

At ILScorp we are committed to providing you with the best customer experience – and that begins with keeping you informed. Important message about potential Canada Post. Read More Here

Pot, policing hot topics at 2016 AMO Conference

The 2016 Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s Conference delivered  key presentations on policing costs and marijuana legalization today.

Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, an independent inspector of police services, spoke to delegates about theUnited Kingdom’s efforts to reduce policing costs while maintaining safety and protecting community policing and frontline policing. Rising policing costs continue to be a concern for many municipal governments.

Delegates also heard from Ashley Rea Kilroy, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy, City and County of Denver. Ms. Kilroy discussed Denver’s experience with the legalization of marijuana, noting that it required significant coordination between public services.

“Municipal governments deliver many of the services that will be impacted by the legalization of marijuana,” said Gary McNamara, AMO President. “Policing, licensing, public health and local economies will all be affected. We need to work with the provincial and federal governments as legalization moves forward.”

Conference presentations are being posted to

Ontario Government Ministers took questions from Conference delegates in an open session. Key issues include interest arbitration, municipal insurance costs and energy. More information on these and other key municipal matters is available at

The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth announced the launch of the Investment Ready: Certified Site Program aimed at helping projects get off the ground faster by marketing sites to international investors.

Program highlights for Wednesday, August 17, the final day of the Conference, will include:

  • 9:05 a.m. – Incoming AMO President Lynn Dollin, Deputy Mayor, Town of Innisfil
  • 9:15 a.m. – The AMO Gas Tax Awards are presented by Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs and MP, Spadina-Fort York
  • 9:45 a.m. – Special session on Climate Change Going Forward

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component ofOntario and Canada’s political system.

Follow AMO on Twitter: @AMOPolicy, #AMOCONF16

SOURCE Association of Municipalities of Ontario

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