Sean Fraser, Central Nova (NS)

1. Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits

The Liberal plan will reduce Employment Insurance premiums paid by employers beginning in 2017. We will reduce the waiting period for benefits from 2 weeks to 1. We will reduce wait times for claims processing. We will put an end to higher hours needed by new workers and those re-entering the workforce. We will improve parental leave and compassionate care benefits.

Under a Liberal government the Employment Insurance program will ensure that
more Canadian workers can get access the benefits that they need. We will introduce an improved Compassionate Care Benefit so that 6 months of benefits are available to those providing care for a seriously ill family member. This will no longer just be available to those caring for a loved one at risk of death.

If elected, we will repeal the 2012 changes to Employment Insurance that have caused hardship for so many.

2. Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits

A Liberal government will introduce measures to strengthen the role of parliamentary committee chairs and allow for a more robust system of oversight and legislation. We will have a government that is open and transparent – an effective government that gets things done.

We will create a central, no-fee portal for personal information requests. If the information is not disclosed within 30 days the reasons will have to be disclosed, in writing, to the applicant and the Privy Commissioner’s Office.

We will make changes that will let Members of Parliament do what they are supposed to do – represent their constituents. Your elected MP will be able to find the people who can get answers for you when you run into roadblocks with issues such as disability benefits.

We are aware of the CPP Disability backlog and feel that it is a symptom of government that is not working as well as it could. A Liberal government will sincerely try to change for the better the way things happen in Ottawa and endeavor to serve the Canadian people fairly and efficiently.

3. National Pharmacare

A survey of Canadian attitudes towards developing a national pharmacare program was commissioned by the Canadian Pharmacists Association in
July 2015. Overall, a strong majority (79%) of Canadians support the idea of a national pharmacare program, with support consistently high across demographic and political subgroups.

A Liberal government will meet with the provinces and territories on issues of shared concern. There is much good work being done by these partners in areas such as the environment, education and healthcare reform. A national pharmacy program is something that we expect to be on the agenda.

In February, 2014 Liberal party passed Policy Resolution 153 in Montreal. Policy resolutions are not necessarily part of election platforms but they can give an indication of how a party views an issue.

4. National Healthcare Leadership

The following quote sums up nicely the situation with federal health transfers:

“The Canada Health Transfer (CHT) is the primary federal contribution to health care in Canada. Between 2013-14 and 2014-15, aggregate cash transfers to the provinces and territories will increase by 6 per cent, as per the legislated escalator. However, 2014-15 is the first year in which CHT cash is distributed on an equal per capita basis to all provinces, even though that program design change had been announced in Budget 2007. As a result, Alberta and Northwest Territories experience substantial growth in their CHT entitlements (37.8 per cent and 45.2 per cent respectively), while most other provinces and territories experience increases of less than 4 per cent.”
Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) June 19, 2014.

Policy Resolution 38 addresses federal leadership on healthcare.

Thank you for inviting us to complete the questionnaire. We will bring it to the attention of our policy makers.


Team Sean