Take Stock – June 30

A new report argues that Canada’s social safety net, particularly the employment insurance system, is failing Canadians when they need it most.

Canada’s income safety net less than advertised: report

A new report argues that Canada’s social safety net, particularly the employment insurance system, is failing Canadians when they need it most. A study by Dalhousie University economist Lars Osberg finds that Canada ranks near the bottom of industrialized countries in income support available to the unemployed.

Canada fares better when all social safety net measures are included, although it still falls in the bottom quarter of about 22 countries studied.

The report written for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is to be released Tuesday. The study shows that EI provided only 12 per cent in replacement gross income for workers who had lost their jobs in 1995, the latest year where data was available for all countries. That ranks it near the bottom of 29 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, ahead of only the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Poland, Turkey, South Korea and Japan.

Western Forest Products CO leaving ‘immediately’

Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX:WEF) said its senior vice-president and chief operating officer, Duncan Kerr, is leaving the company, effective immediately. Kerr joined the company in August 2005. No reason was given for his departure.

“I would like to thank Duncan for his efforts while at Western and wish him every success in the future,” stated the company’s new president and CEO, Stephen Frasher.

Frasher, a veteran of the transportation industry, was appointed president and CEO last week. He replaced interim CEO Dominic Gammiero, who will continue as chairman.

Western describes itself as the largest coastal British Columbia woodland operator and lumber producer.

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