Workers Will Suffer Under New Employment Insurance Restrictions

New rules announced today mean that fewer workers will be eligible for EI even if they have paid into the program

Val-d’Or – The restrictions on employment insurance announced today are bad news for all workers. The Conservatives hid these measures and a number of other detrimental changes in the budget bill, which is truly a Trojan Horse, says NDP MP Romeo Saganash.

“The government’s new tune confirms that it is playing this issue by ear, with the utmost contempt for the rights of workers in Quebec and Canada. This decision sounds like it was improvised,” commented Saganash.

The changes announced today by the Conservatives will reduce the number of Canadians eligible for employment insurance, force many beneficiaries to accept lower-paying jobs and shift others onto provincial social programs. Worse still, the minister refuses to justify the changes, particularly the new definition of “suitable employment.”

“The government is forgetting that employment insurance belongs to the workers who pay into the system, not the Conservatives,” argued NDP Employment Insurance Critic Anne-Marie Day (Charlesbourg‒Haute-Saint-Charles). “The minister has already accused people of not wanting to go back to work because the employment insurance program is too ‘lucrative.’ Now she is asking people to trust her. We simply cannot trust the Conservatives to manage this program.”

“Remember that these new measures will force workers to take lower-paying jobs located far from their homes or face reduced benefits. This is totally ridiculous,” said Saganash.