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Employment Insurance Changes 2016


The Government has made several changes to the Employment Insurance Act through Budget 2016, aimed at improving the coverage and services available to claimants.

Below we have outlined the changes that are most likely to affect your employees, including the reduction of waiting periods for EI and the ability to work during parental or compassion leave.

There are other changes to the act, and more details to the information below listed on the Service Canada website.  For further information, click here.


Reducing the two-week waiting period to one week

The Employment Insurance (EI) waiting period is a period of time that must be served before a claimant can begin to receive EI benefits.  It has been set at two weeks since 1971. Shortening the waiting period is expected to ease the financial strain for EI claimants at the front-end of a claim and will put an additional $650 million in the pockets of Canadians annually beginning next year. Read more

Coalition welcomes ICBA as 1st Associate Member

The Northeast BC Resource Municipalities Coalition today announced the Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC (ICBA) as its 1st Associate Member.  The announcement was made today at a Coalition Community Luncheon in Fort St John.   The Coalition’s Associate Membership program has several categories aimed at allowing companies, associations, institutions, organizations and individuals who support the Coalition’s goals and objectives to demonstrate their support by becoming an Associate Member. 


ICBA Vice President, Regional Initiatives Mike Davis states “ICBA is really pleased to become the 1st Associate Member of the Coalition.   We’ve seen the Coalition as a very proactive organization that brings together municipalities and rural communities in Northeast BC with industry, government and other organizations to support and enhance existing communities and to support responsible resource development and access to new markets.

Read more

Generous ICBA donation benefits Northern Lights College Carpentry students


Carpentry students from Northern Lights College (NLC) will be pleased to learn of a new $10,000 donation from the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA).

Dean of Trades and Apprenticeships, Mark Heartt, said the donation will directly benefit the College’s Carpentry program.

“The Trades Department was able to purchase audiovisual equipment worth about $5,000 to date that will enable better online training for our learning management system,” said Heartt, “the additional funds will go towards other much needed carpentry equipment.” Read more

Recent letter to the Globe and Mail: Housing shut-out


It’s pretty rich to read that Mayor Gregor Robertson is complaining about inaction on Vancouver’s housing affordability from every level of government but his own (Government To Blame For Middle Class Being Shut Out Of Vancouver Home Market, Mayor Says – Sept. 30).

Sure, senior governments have a role to play. But we see little to no concern on the city’s part with the bloated regulatory costs it unnecessarily tacks onto the price of housing. Those costs come in at more than $37,000 per housing unit in Vancouver – one of the highest levels anywhere in the region – and a typical residential project approval requires more than 15 months.

These are significant affordability barriers, and in our view responsibility for them lies squarely on Mr. Robertson’s shoulders. Instead, he seems to want to deflect. And while that’s a classic political strategy, it rarely brings us any closer to real solutions on difficult issues.

Philip Hochstein, president, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, Vancouver

How much do you pay for Financial Advice?

If you’ve been reading the Vancouver Sun, The Province, The Globe and Mail, the National Post or merely glimpsed at that little screen in the elevator, you may have seen a reference to a very significant change in the Financial Industry called the Client Relationship Model, Phase 2 or CRM2.   These upcoming changes do not increase what you are paying for advice, but you will now have a few more numbers on the statement showing investment performance and cost in actual dollar figures.


When you invest in a Mutual Fund, you pay a Management Expense Ratio (MER) based on the amount of money you have invested.  For instance, if you have $100,000 invested in a Mutual Fund with a 2.50% MER, you are paying $2,500 per year in overall fees.  In many cases, this Mutual Fund Company will pay the Investment Advisors Company 1% or $1,000 per year in annual revenue.   This $1,000 will be disclosed on your statement if you work with an Investment Advisor.  If you work with a Bank Sales Representative or any Advisor that is only able to offer their firms own products, this will not necessarily be disclosed. Read more