OTTAWA – NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) has put forth a motion to expand the Employment Insurance Act to cover spouses of military and Foreign Service personnel who are relocated abroad. 

“This is a long-standing issue for military families,” stated Mathyssen. “In 1981, the Royal Commission on Conditions of Foreign Service urged the government to recognize the financial disruption that spouses face when relocating abroad. The government has yet to act on these recommendations.”

Though claimants outside of Canada are typically not entitled to benefits, there are a number of exceptions outlined in section 55 of the Employment Insurance Act. Currently, spouses of military members living outside of Canada are excluded. Mathyssen is moving to extend these benefits to military spouses.

“Military spouses who cannot legally work while relocated to a foreign country deserve to be compensated,” added Mathyssen. “By amending the act, we will honour the service and sacrifice of both military personnel and their families.”

M-141 — June 5, 2017 — Ms. Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) acknowledge the service and sacrifice of military personnel and their families who are stationed abroad; and (b) amend section 55 of the Employment Insurance Act to allow spouses of (i) Military personnel, (ii) Foreign Service personnel to qualify for Employment Insurance while posted outside of Canada.