Friday, August 17, 2012


Federal Gov't News

Financial Relief for Parents

Parents of sick kids  eligible for 35 weeks of EI benefits

Released by Robert Pearsall, PA to MP Mark Strahl/Voice file photo


hilliwack-Fraser Canyon Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack Fraser-Canyon announced the Government's intention to move forward with a new Employment Insurance (EI) special benefit for parents to take time off work to care for their critically ill or injured children.

"It's a recognition of both the emotional and financial burdens faced by parents in dealing with a sick child and will help them cope with one of the most difficult challenges any parent will face," said Strahl.

Parents who must take time off work to care for a child who has a life-threatening illness or injury would be able to apply for up to 35 weeks of this new EI special benefit.

The special benefit is part of the Government of Canada's continued action to help parents balance work and family responsibilities. Other EI measures include: expanding eligibility for compassionate care benefits; allowing self-employed workers to opt into the EI program to receive maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits, as well as this new special benefit; and improving access to EI parental benefits for military and foster families.

The new EI special benefit for parents of critically ill children is expected to be available in June 2013 and will help an estimated 6 000 families per year.


'Working While on Claim' Pilot Project

Claimants can now keep up to 50 per cent


hilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP, Mark Strahl announced individuals receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits will now be able to keep more of what they earn working while on claim under an EI pilot project.

"We know Canadians want to get back to work. By removing disincentives to work we are encouraging people to remain active in the labour market and find permanent employment," said Strahl.

The Conservative Government's top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Through Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada is providing $74 million over two years to introduce a new, national EI Working While on Claim pilot project.

Starting on August 5, 2012 until August 1, 2015, claimants will be able to keep more of what they earn as benefits are only reduced by 50 per cent of total earnings from working while on claim.

Under the previous pilot project that ran from December 7, 2008 through to August 4, 2012, claimants could only earn up to $75 or 40 per cent of their weekly benefit amount, whichever was greater. Any earnings above that threshold were deducted from the benefit payment dollar-for-dollar.

Statistics show that people who stay active in and remain connected to the labour market find employment faster.


'Working While on Claim' Pilot Project

Claimants can now keep up to 50 per cent


ligible family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who work in rural communities will have a portion of their Canada Student Loan forgiven starting in spring 2013, announced Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP, Mark Strahl.

"This program will help strengthen primary health care in underserviced communities by encouraging health professionals to practice in rural and remote areas," said Strahl.

In Economic Action Plan 2011, the Government announced that family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who began working in a designated community on, or after, April 1, 2012 will be eligible to apply for partial student loan forgiveness. This applies to most communities with a population of 50,000 or less, including communities that provide health services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations. Economic Action Plan 2012 further clarified that the measure will also include residents in family medicine.

Family doctors and residents in family medicine will be eligible to receive up to $8,000 per year in Canada Student Loan forgiveness to a maximum of $40,000 over five years; nurses and nurse practitioners will be eligible to receive up to $4,000 per year to a maximum of $20,000 over five years.

More information is available at


Connect with Mark Strahl via his website



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