The following was issued by the Department of Finance Canada

Related Document: Employment Insurance Premium Rate Setting

On behalf of the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Parliamentary Secretaries Shelly Glover (Finance) and Dr. Kellie Leitch (Human Resources and Skills Development) today announced the launch of Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate-setting consultations.

The consultations will focus on how the EI rate-setting mechanism can be further improved to ensure more stable and predictable rates, while:

  • Ensuring the EI program breaks even over time;
  • Avoiding large cumulative surpluses or deficits; and
  • Maintaining a transparent rate-setting process.  

“Canadians want to be certain that EI premiums are only used to pay for the EI program, which we have already accomplished with the creation of the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board,” said Parliamentary Secretary Leitch. “Like the Government, they also want the program to break even over time, with no large surpluses or deficits.”

“With these consultations, we are aiming to ensure greater premium stability,” said Parliamentary Secretary Glover. “This is in keeping with the spirit of the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan and its measures to encourage business investment and growth, including tax reductions, cuts to red tape and a new one-time EI Hiring Credit for Small Business.”

As previously announced, a web-based consultation process will invite written recommendations. Individuals interested in participating in the consultations online are invited to do so through the following link:

In addition, a number of roundtable discussions between the Parliamentary Secretaries and invited key stakeholders and experts will take place in the coming months.

The Government committed to consulting on the EI rate-setting mechanism with last September’s announcement that it was limiting the potential increase in EI premiums to 5 cents per $100 of insurable earnings for 2011 and 10 cents for subsequent years.

Click here to read this release online.