Malpeque MP Wayne Easter is not jumping for joy over the latest Parliamentary Budget Office report that suggests the federal financial situation is improving.
The fiscal improvement, Easter charges, is coming on the backs of Canada’s seasonal workers. The improvement, he notes from the report, primarily results from lower employment insurance benefits and that the lower EI payouts are driven by a lower expected number of regular beneficiaries to unemployed persons.
So, “in layman’s terms, fewer people are claiming benefits than there are people claiming to be unemployed,” he explains. “This means that many unemployed Islanders cannot access EI benefits—all while the EI fund enjoys a $3.2 billion surplus.”
The Liberal MP told of attending a meeting on Monday during which constituents shared their EI concerns. "Real people are facing economic hardships that they have never experienced, and it is because their finance minister has decided that workers should pay the cost for the government’s own economic failures,” he insisted.
“It is close to criminal that seasonal workers on PEI—and across the country—have been attacked just so Finance Minister Jim Flaherty can cover for his mismanagement of Canada's fiscal affairs. Since when do Canadians force the most vulnerable to carry this sort of burden in order to satisfy the ego of the Minster of Finance?”