Weir Calls on Sask. MPs to Fix EI

March 4th, 2016

Erin Weir, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Regina–Lewvan, is challenging Ralph Goodale and Saskatchewan’s Conservative MPs to join the NDP in voting this Monday to fix the broken Employment Insurance (EI) system.

The slump in resource prices has forced many Saskatchewan workers to turn to an EI system that often fails them. As Weir noted in Parliament, “Regina is near the epicentre of the downturn in the oil and gas sector, yet the entrance requirement for EI in our community remains at the national maximum of 700 hours.”

Last week, the NDP introduced an opposition day motion to create a universal threshold of 360 insurable hours to qualify for EI benefits across Canada. “This motion would help unemployed workers who have paid into the system, but currently do not qualify for benefits because of where they live,” said Weir.

The motion also calls for the federal government to immediately reverse the harmful Conservative cuts and put a firewall around the EI account so it is never again raided by Liberal or Conservative governments. The vote on this motion is set for Monday, March 7.

“The Liberals campaigned to improve EI and had previously advocated a national entrance threshold of 360 hours, but are now objecting to this proposal,” observed Weir. “The Conservatives have tried to present themselves as champions of the hard-hit oil and gas sector, but seem unwilling to support better access to EI for laid-off energy workers.”

Videos

1.) MP Weir Pushes for Better EI for Resource Workers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2nKTBHfOIM

2.) MP Weir Makes the Case for a 360-Hour Threshold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4dus3PdQ0c&feature=youtu.be&t=10m

Entrance Requirements for EI (as of March 4, 2016)

Regina – 700 Hours  

Saskatoon – 665 Hours 

South Saskatchewan – 630 Hours 

North Saskatchewan – 420 Hours 

NDP Proposal – 360 Hours in all areas