Employment insurance changes are unfair to Islanders

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Editor,  

The new rules that change how EI is administered in P.E.I. are both arbitrary and unfair. The federal government has created two EI regions, one for rural areas and one for Charlottetown.

However, the Charlottetown region encompasses rural communities as well. The regions create a two-tier EI system in Prince Edward Island and the rules that accompany the regions promote inequality.

Those living in the “rural” region will be entitled to higher benefits and benefits that last longer than those living in the Charlottetown region.

The government attempts to justify the inequities of the new system by pointing out that Charlottetown has a lower unemployment rate than the rural region – but why should this matter to such an extent?

All working Islanders pay into the EI system at the same rate and should be entitled to the same benefits. The people in the Charlottetown region should receive the same benefit and duration of benefit as the people in the rural region.

And what about people who live in one region but work in another? In this instance, those in the same workplace doing the same job and receiving the same pay will end up with a different set of EI benefits if they live in different regions. This hardly seems fair.

The federal government is micro-managing the EI system. When will the unnecessary tinkering stop?

And is it just a coincidence that the changes help members of Minister Shea’s riding?

The government should be helping all Islanders.        

  

Debbie Bovyer,

President Union of Public Sector Employees

Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • Lorne Cousins
    March 17, 2014 - 08:33

    Harper is doing this and cutting people off,so he will have more money to steal from fund to spend like A drunken sailor for next election.or fake lakes...

    • SomeSense
      March 18, 2014 - 10:16

      Exactly, EI was taking in more than it spent so years ago they took the millions out of the account. Now they are working to make it harder to get and hassling and investigating those that can get it to try and save as much as possible not so they can lower the premiums for employees and employers but so they will have all the more to spend. The money taken for EI should be placed in an account to be used ONLY for EI not into their general slush fund. The whole thing is a scam as is most of what gov is up to. I am not saying there is no abuse of the system but it was taking in more than it put out and will do more so now this was not an attempt to fix any real issue.