EI Figures Cast Doubt on Regina’s Exclusion

 

July 21st, 2016

 

Today’s Statistics Canada figures indicate that Employment Insurance (EI) use has increased more in Regina than in other parts of Saskatchewan, casting doubt on the federal government’s continued exclusion of Regina from extended benefits.

“Of the eight EI regions across Alberta and Saskatchewan, our city is the only one left out of the benefit extension,” noted Regina–Lewvan MP Erin Weir. “But Statistics Canada confirms what I am hearing on the doorsteps: a growing number of laid-off workers need Regina to be included.”

Between April and May, EI use decreased in Saskatoon, smaller cities (“census agglomerations”) and rural areas, but increased in Regina. Over the past year, the number of workers receiving EI rose by 35 per cent in Regina compared to 30 per cent in Saskatoon, 22 per cent in smaller cities and 15 per cent in rural areas.

“The benefit extension was supposed to address sharp spikes in layoffs, and the number of workers turning to EI has jumped faster in Regina than in the rest of our province,” said Weir.

“It’s unfair that Regina workers have to shoulder the repercussions of the Liberal government’s omission. Constituents hurt by the economic downturn tell me that, after paying into EI, they expect benefits to last when times are tough.”

The federal budget introduced the benefit extension for twelve regions. The government later added the BC Southern Interior, Edmonton and Southern Saskatchewan, but left out Regina.

Today’s figures also indicate that, in the latest month alone, EI claims jumped by nearly 10 per cent across Saskatchewan. The only provinces with larger percentage increases between April and May were PEI and Alberta, where claims spiked due to the Fort McMurray fire.

 

EI recipients by census metropolitan category: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/160721/t003b-eng.htm

EI claims by province: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/160721/t002b-eng.htm