Ottawa rebuked, again, for massive EI surplus

By Jerry Langton
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/20/2004

Canada’s Employment Insurance program may have generated another $2 billion surplus in 2003, but Canadians shouldn’t expect the federal government to spend more on human resources initiatives soon — the money will be used for other things.

The government’s own financial watchdog, auditor general Sheila Fraser, has declared the surplus to be in violation of the Employment Insurance Act of 1996. In her annual report last month, Fraser noted that the current accumulated surplus of $46 billion is more than three times the $15 billion maximum advised by the Chief Actuary of Human Resources Development Canada in 2001 to ensure the stability of the EI program.

“We believe the government has not observed the intent of the Employment Insurance Act,” her report said in reference to the surplus.