Regina Still Left Out of EI Extension

Goodale and Wall Drop the Ball

May 16th, 2016

Late Friday, the Prime Minister announced that three more regions will receive extended Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, but continued to exclude Regina.

In today’s Question Period (video clip), Regina–Lewvan MP Erin Weir asked:

Mr. Speaker, when the NDP asked about regions left out of extended Employment Insurance benefits, the government's response was “stay tuned”.

On Friday, the Prime Minister tuned out Regina. Our city is now the only part of Saskatchewan and Alberta excluded from extended Employment Insurance, even though Regina has been hit by recent layoffs and families are in urgent need of help.

Why is the Liberal government continuing to ignore Regina?

Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, responded:

Mr. Speaker, any increase in the number of unemployed workers in this country is of great concern to all Canadians and to this government in particular.

Recent results have shown that three additional regions have met the existing definition of a sharp and sustained economic downturn.

Therefore, just one short week after that new data was released our Prime Minister announced extended EI benefits to three further regions and we are proud of this.

“I am proud to have played a role in the successful push to include Southern Saskatchewan in the EI extension,” said Weir. “But Regina is a separate EI region and we must keep up the pressure until laid-off workers across our province have access to extended benefits.”

Regina’s continued exclusion is striking given Ralph Goodale’s position as the senior cabinet minister in Saskatchewan and Alberta. It is unclear whether he has advocated for the city he represents.

“Similarly, Premier Wall briefly argued that our whole province should receive the benefit extension, but did not even mention Regina’s exclusion in response to Friday’s announcement, observed Weir. “Why won’t he stand up for Regina workers and their families?”

Video of today’s question and answer:

Wall’s response to Friday’s announcement: