August 16th, 2016
Regina–Lewvan MP Erin Weir is calling on federal finance minister Bill Morneau to finally include Regina in the extended Employment Insurance (EI) benefits for laid-off workers introduced in Budget 2016.
Provincial finance minister Kevin Doherty should press this issue when they meet today in Saskatoon.
“Of the eight EI regions across Alberta and Saskatchewan, Regina is the only one still left out of the benefit extension. Perhaps that’s why they are not meeting here,” said Weir. “The Sask. Party government has been silent in recent months on Regina’s exclusion, but Doherty is a Regina MLA and I hope he will advocate for our city today.”
Last week, Statistics Canada reported a 35 per cent drop in the number of vacant jobs in Saskatchewan. The lack of available jobs is forcing more Saskatchewan workers to rely on EI. Indeed, Statistics Canada reported last month that EI use has increased more in Regina than in other parts of Saskatchewan, bolstering the case for including the whole province in the benefit extension.
Weir has repeatedly raised this concern in Parliament since budget day. On June 3, he questioned Morneau directly about his budget leaving Regina out of extended EI (video of that exchange
“The Sask. Party also seems to have abandoned laid-off workers in Regina,” said Weir. “Premier Wall has been keen to attack other provincial governments and comment on federal issues, but has been conspicuously quiet about Regina’s continued exclusion from extended EI benefits.”
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Weir is available for comment in Regina at (306) 790-4747.