OCASI Brief to the Standing Committee on Finance for 2011 Pre-Budget Consultations
Spending Priority: Support the effective economic, political and social integration of immigrants and refugees.
Recommendation 1: Ensure stable and adequate funding of settlement and integration services by continuing funding at the 2011-2012 levels.
Cost: $640 million per year (excluding Quebec) based on 2011-12 funding levels.
Recommendation 2: Adopt a tax credit strategy to encourage small and medium employers to hire immigrants in good quality employment.
Cost: Up to $350 million in years 1 & 2, and up to $500 million a year thereafter. These costs will be off-set in the short and long run through increased income taxes payments by the immigrant participants because of higher income levels.
Recommendation 3: Improving the Employment Insurance system by reducing the number of qualifying hours to 360 in all regions, calculating benefits on workers' 12 best weeks of earnings within the previous 52 week period, increasing benefits to at least 60 percent of workers' earnings, and eliminating the two-week waiting period before being able to apply.
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