Idea alert

Michael Ignatieff proposes new home care benefits.

At present, home-care providers in Canada can only obtain six weeks of EI benefits—and only then if they can prove that the person in their care is expected to die within 26 weeks. Liberals say that if they’re elected, those benefits will be expanded to six months and the terminally-ill condition will be removed … Liberals estimate that about 30,000 people in Canada will take advantage of their proposed improvements to EI benefits, compared to approximately 5,000 who are now using the six-week provision to stay at home with ailing relatives … The cost of expanding these EI benefits would be about $250-million a year, Liberals say.

At a cost to the federal treasury of about $750-million a year, Liberals are proposing to send monthly cheques, totaling up to a maximum of $1,350 a year, for people who are caring for sick or elderly relatives at home. As many as 600,000 people could be eligible for these cheques, Liberals estimate.

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