New Democrats are again criticizing the Conservatives for gutting the employment insurance (EI) program, as the cuts wreak havoc in communities across Atlantic Canada, Quebec and all across the country.
“This summer, we have seen the real consequences of this EI reform,” said NDP Employment Insurance critic Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières). “Many of those who are out-of-work have now lost access to EI and are feeling discouraged, while others continue to face long wait times in order to receive their benefits. Times are tough, and these people deserve our support.”
Just last week, new figures released by Statistics Canada showed that unemployment is on the rise, while the number of people receiving EI benefits continues to drop. Conservative changes have pushed access to an all-time low, with less than 40% of unemployed Canadians currently able to access EI benefits.
“The reform has caused excessive wait times and all manner of problems for seasonal workers and unemployed individuals,” added NDP Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency critic Ryan Cleary (St. John’s South – Mount Pearl). “These people deserve to have access to the benefits to which they have contributed when they need them most.”
The NDP is the only party that has committed to protecting workers’ contributions to the EI program. NDP MP Robert Chisholm (Dartmouth-Cole Harbour) tabled a bill that would prevent the federal government from unduly dipping into the EI Account. New Democrats are also committed to undoing these harmful Conservative changes and ensuring that Employment Insurance is there when Canadians need it.