NDP wants Employment Insurance extensions for workers running out of benefits

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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OTTAWA - A New Democrat MP is urging the federal government to extend employment insurance for workers who are running out of benefits.
Yvon Godin says more than 500,000 workers have yet to find work, but are close to exhausting their EI entitlements.
The government has a responsibility to take care of workers left jobless in the economic crisis, he said Tuesday. People shouldn't be forced onto welfare because they've run out of EI time, he added.
The New Brunswick MP says the government has spent billions to help corporations through economic hard times and it should be prepared to do the same for workers.
Bolstering EI might cost a few billion, Godin said, but "we're going to have a deficit anyway."
Since the government has not produced a job-creation plan, it has a responsibility to the jobless, he told a news conference.
"The government cannot simply offload the problem onto the provinces,' he said. "Until jobs become available, it is our duty as MPs to help these unemployed workers."
Ryan Sparrow, spokesman for Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, said the NDP lost its credibility on the unemployment front when it voted against the government's economic plan last year.
"We will not be taking lessons from the NDP when it comes to our economy," he said. ""At a time when Canadians are watching their own pocketbooks, the NDP has joined with the Liberals to propose billions more in irresponsible spending."
Sparrow said the government has already extended EI benefits by five weeks for hundreds of thousands of recipients, with some long-term workers eligible for an extra 20 weeks.

Organizations: Employment Insurance, NDP

Geographic location: OTTAWA

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