EI reform bad labour strategy

For labor strategy EI reform is a bad idea, one reader says.

To the Editor,

The Conservative government claims that it is making fundamental changes to Employment Insurance to deal with “unprecedented” shortages in skilled labour, especially in the West.

However, these reforms do nothing to help the 154,000 unemployed British Columbians develop the skills and get the training they need to fill those shortages.

Instead, the government’s strategy appears to be to force seasonal workers from rural Canada to move, separating them from their families and emptying their communities.

The changes will also force the unemployed to accept work at up to a 30 per cent pay cut, or else they will lose their EI benefits. Under this system, employers will be stuck with employees who don’t want to be there and plan to leave as soon as they can. Hardly a recipe for positive workplace morale or productivity.

All of which is not to say that the current system is perfect—it does need improvements. In fact, some of the current changes are positive, like extending the “working while on claim” pilot and making the “best 14 weeks” program permanent.

Both of those pilot projects were created by Liberals over a half-decade ago, to test new, innovative reforms to the EI system.

Unfortunately, the current government has created policy on the fly, with no consultation, based on a belief that EI claimants – especially seasonal workers in Atlantic Canada – are lazy and need to be forced to work.

The government should be narrowing the rural-urban divide, not expanding it.

Rodger Cuzner,

MP and

Liberal critic for Human Resources and Skills Development

Just Posted

Steelhead, Huu-ay-aht submit plans for Kwispaa LNG Project

Total plan would cost $10 billion, last 25 years

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Mother passes SD70 trustee torch to daughter in Port Alberni

Jane Jones loses after one term, but proud of her daughter Connie Watts

ELECTION 2018: Sharie Minions named Port Alberni mayor

Haggard, Solda, Washington, Poon, Paulson and Corbeil named councillors

Four incumbents re-elected to School District 70 in Port Alberni

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board will have a new look

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read