Federal government changes way Islanders get paid EI; Casey upset

By James Ferguson
March 12, 2014

Sean Casey, MP, is angered and disappointed because the federal government announced they are going to change the way they pay employment insurance to Islanders.
The federal government has now established two zones with two different sets of rules about how long people have to work to qualify for employment insurance.
With this change, residents in Charlottetown will have to work more weeks before qualifying for employment insurance.
Those living outside this expanded Charlottetown region will only have to work five less weeks to qualify for benefits.
The idea behind this is residents of Charlottetown are much more likely to find work and most of the jobs in the city are not as seasonal as the ones in the country.
From farmers to fishers, many Islanders are limited in terms of how many weeks they can work without having to travel a great distance to find another job.
By reducing the number of weeks people need to work outside of Charlottetown, people are more likely to qualify for employment insurance.
Casey said not only does this alienate workers who live within the lines of the Charlottetown EI region, but it also does nothing to offer reassurance to seasonal employers within this same zone.
“A fisherman in Covehead who happens to live in Stratford, working alongside someone from Mount Stewart will be evaluated differently and receive decreased benefits from his crewmate in identical circumstances.”
Peter Fullerton who lives in Pownal said he thinks the change will be better in the long run.
“I live in an area that is more difficult to find work and even harder to provide money for my family. Now the EI is being changed, I think I’ll be able to pay for my family’s needs better and it will help me with find a new job.”