Fixing our broken Employment Insurance system

OTTAWA – Skeena—Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is lauding efforts by caucus colleagues Karine Trudel (Jonquiere, QC) and Niki Ashton (Churchill River—Keewatinook—Aski, MB) to hold the Liberal government to account on its promises to fix Canada’s broken Employment Insurance system.

"After twenty years of Conservative and Liberal changes, our Employment Insurance program is broken and isn’t providing the help Canadians need," said Cullen. "The government must act urgently to ensure benefits are there to help Canadians who have lost their job.”

The NDP motion demands that the government create a universal threshold of 360 hours, immediately repeal the harmful Conservative reforms and put a firewall around the EI account so it is never again raided by Liberal or Conservative governments.

"In the Northwest, weak commodity prices and struggling fishing stocks have taken a devastating toll on key mining operations and fisheries across our region. Despite mounting job losses across the country, Liberals have urgently moved to deliver tax breaks for wealthy Canadians but have failed to take urgent action to help those who are struggling," Cullen noted.

"The government must ensure help is getting to those who need it and take urgent action to protect the EI Account so that the premiums Canadians’ pay are never again used to boost the government’s bottom line."

In December, Cullen also called on the Canada Employment Insurance Commission to redraw its economic regions in northern BC to correspond to the economic realities of the Northwest. Cullen noted that the realities for fishermen on the North Coast are not at all the same as those facing the oil and gas industry in northeastern British Columbia, and the zones should reflect that.