Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Workers in Quebec, Atlantic Canada hold rallies against Ottawa’s EI reforms

A man looks through jobs at a Resource Canada offices in Montreal in this file photo.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Demonstrations are being held across Quebec and parts of the Maritimes today to denounce the federal government's Employment Insurance reforms.

One union head, Michel Arsenault, says seasonal workers in the province's rural areas will be particularly hard hit by the changes.

Last May Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announced major EI reforms that are being phased in.

Story continues below advertisement

The changes include an expectation that claimants accept any job for which they're qualified, within 100 kilometres of their home, as long as the pay is 70 per cent of their previous salary.

They must also prove they're actively seeking work.

Detractors of the plan say it unfairly targets Atlantic Canada and Quebec, where there are a number of seasonal industries such as forestry and fishing.

Finley issued a statement this week downplaying concerns, repeating that nobody will lose any benefits as long as they try to find a job and accept a reasonable offer of employment.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨