The Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council says Atlantic Provinces need to drop their opposition to the federal government’s Employment Insurance reforms.
Richard Alexander, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council, spoke to the Council of Atlantic Premiers advisory council Thursday in St. John’s, and said the reforms have helped the economy in the region.
“Before the panel even started, the Atlantic premiers had already come out and said that these EI reforms were going to have a devastating impact, particularly on seasonal workers,” he said. “We have a full year of experience with the reforms, and the reality is that that has not happened. What we’ve seen is that these reforms have helped facilitate people move off employment insurance and go into full employment. The unemployment rate in the province has dropped.”
Since the reforms — which increased the distance workers are expected to travel for new work as well as clarified what’s considered suitable work and a reasonable job search — came into place, said Alexander, fewer than one per cent of disqualified EI claims can be attributed to the EI changes.
“There hasn’t been a devastating impact, particularly in seasonal areas. That’s not what the reforms were designed to do,” he said.