Cuts to EI ‘a real concern,’ says Trudeau

Wayne Thibodeau
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

MEADOW BANK — The lack of understanding that Stephen Harper’s government has shown over cuts to the employment insurance program is ‘a real concern’ for Justin Trudeau.

The Liberal leadership candidate from Papineau in Montreal describes the cuts to a program commonly referred to as EI as an attack on seasonal workers.

“The suggestion that someone should drive hours to find a job that may be more or less suited to them demonstrates the extent to which this current government is simply out of step with the lives of hardworking people in Atlantic Canada,” Trudeau said Monday.

Trudeau will spend two days in Prince Edward Island hoping to win over the hearts and votes of Liberals as they get set to elect a new leader next April.

Trudeau has already secured the support of Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay and Malpeque MP Wayne Easter. Charlottetown MP Sean Casey is expected to throw his support behind Trudeau while the Quebec MP is on the Island.

MacAulay believes Trudeau can put the Liberal party back in power.

“We’ve had great leaders,” said MacAulay.

“But we need a man with vision, youth, who cares about the environment and somebody who is not going to polarize one part of the country against another part of the country.”

Easter said he was one of the MPs who were lobbying Trudeau to run for his party’s top job.

“I do think we need generational change in the party,” said Easter. “And I think Justin is just the man to lead the party with that generational change and kind of be more all encompassing for all Canadians.”

Trudeau spent Monday afternoon touring Jewell’s Dairy Farm in Meadow Bank. There he met with about 100 supporters and P.E.I. farmers before attending a meet and greet at the Vanier Centre in Wellington.

Standing in the middle of a dairy barn in Meadow Bank, surrounded by cows, Trudeau acknowledged the challenges facing the Liberal party.

“Over the past few years in places elsewhere than P.E.I., the Liberal party has been in trouble,” said Trudeau.

“We’ve lost an awful lot of the connection with Canadians, the level of trust. We’ve gone from the election in 2000 where we had 170 seats, the following election we were down to 135, the election after that we were down to 100, the election after that we were down to 75, the election after that down to 35.

“Mr. Harper has demonstrated time and time again that he is not open to the needs and even hopes and dreams of Atlantic Canadians,” Justin Trudeau, Liberal leadership candidate

“I’m sorry guys that’s a straight line that ends up with one seat, because I’m not losing Papineau ... one seat and all of P.E.I.”

During an interview with The Guardian, Trudeau also raised concerns about what he described as “monkey business” and patronage at ACOA, fleet separation policies which he said was influenced by Stephen Harper’s big business friends, as well as his attacks on EI.

“Which demonstrates that neither he nor his minister actually understands the way EI works and is supposed to work,” he said.

“Mr. Harper has demonstrated time and time again that he is not open to the needs and even hopes and dreams of Atlantic Canadians.”


... More on this story in the print-edition of The Guardian on Tuesday.



Organizations: MEADOW BANK, Vanier Centre

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Montreal, Atlantic Canada Wellington.Standing

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • concernedislander
    November 13, 2012 - 14:07

    I just gotta say i enjoy reading the posts on here quite entertaining ,its kinda funny the mentality is always the same no matter what government is in on the island there the ones people figure ruined our island lol, it started many years ago people and too many are scared off change and for that some well to do companys that would have put more islands too work year round got turned away,and then there is the EI cry from the heros off our fair land that work year round mostly because off there family involvement takeing over from ah dad or mom or ah relative trying too degrade our fellow islanders for being seasonal workers and drawing there EI you intellagent folks should solve the puzzle instead off being part off it if it bothers you so much lets have you folks bring some big companys too our island so everyone can have year around work. its like one lady has said its not that nice being ah mom and ah dad while your spouce is away trying too pay there way in life,it puzzles me how many islanders spend there time looking down at others when ya get your noises out off the clouds perhaps you will releaze how stupid your remarks tend too be im just glad ive had the chance too be able too get through life and raised ah family long before things got as they are today wake up people become part off the solutions not the problem everyones situation in life are different

    • Allison
      November 13, 2012 - 22:30

      Thank you! I couldn't of said that better myself!

    • Sam
      November 23, 2012 - 17:45

      Not much has really changed on PEI in the last 100+ years...Its still a class system where the "chosen" families live high on the Hog while the tenants struggle for a basic existence. I think a true conservative approach is needed to clean up PEI and give everyone a fair chance. The last thing anyone needs is anymore Left of Liberal thinking that enshrines political royalty under the guise of the common man's best interest. The Left wants absolute state power and individuals be damned and that has not changed....PEI needs to think before they vote

  • peirandy
    November 13, 2012 - 12:16

    I wish Justin Trudeau all the very best in the future of becoming the next leader of the Federal Liberal party but, since the late pierre trudeau's time justins comment that the liberal party has lost alot of trust and connection with the people will be a difficult connection to have with the people on the federal level, not that it can happen. the late Pierre Trudeau was known as the champion of the people in his time, and times were much different. but he believed in representing all walks of canadians not what we have today. now we have a Goverment that gives big tax cuts to wealthy corporations and those in our region who depend on seasonal work as well as the seasonal industry are being cut , making it more difficult to survive over the winter months. recently seeing the discontent among those in our province over plan B and the HST, money has become an ever increasing burden on the people and provincial Goverments, something we did'nt see in the long days ago when prosperity was much different. i'm no political scientist but, if there should be anyway at all to change things back to a better time than maybe Mr. Justin Trudeau may have the answer in the future. that is to ensure all is fair for everyone.

  • Lonely on PEI
    November 13, 2012 - 12:14

    I will love to see what PEI will be doing when all the skilled workers have left and are working in other Provinces (Alberta),as of now a big project at Cavendish farms was not awarded to a Island firm ( small portion was) as they can not find the amount of skilled workers they need,so Black and Mac and another from Nova Scotia and New Bruswick have the majority of the contract. Also no one is thinking about all the families that are separated for work purposes how many wifes are left alone to work,look after the kids and do everything around the house without their Husbands due to them having to leave the Island for work as I'am among this group it is hard and lonely,but we spend all our money on PEI and still get slammed with 47% taxes on money earned in another province as we shpuld be able to claim separated because that is what it is. The men should be able to claim in Alberta or Labador, the work is there but it comes at a very high emotional price and no EI. I know all my husband has bought in 1 year in Alberta is a tube of toothpaste and body wash as I make sure I have everything for him in the short periods he is home. Thinking of packing my Nursing career in and heading west... Good-Bye PEI will miss you but the Goverment is forcing its hand !

  • Recent History
    November 13, 2012 - 11:33

    Yes but the people of Prince Edward Island just got a clear look at what Robert Ghiz has done to us. Why would we follow the icon worship principle to an even bigger screw up by supporting the less than outstanding son of Pierre Trudeau . " Son of" means nothing..... except what opportunists will try to do with it for marketing purposes...... Lawrence, Wayne, you guys know that this is just as wrong as the Robert thing....whatever... shameful and dishonest behaviour...very sad. Good bye and good riddance. Hello NDP!!!!

  • John Malone
    November 13, 2012 - 10:40

    Well Justin has not read his fathers remarks when he said Canadians should be willing to go where the work is. But maybe someone will bring him up todate so his remarks will be like the man whos coat taills he is riding on.

  • Corey Wood
    November 13, 2012 - 09:38

    Well Justin Can't be any worse than what we got in Ottawa now. 80 million spent on ads telling us how great their action plan is.The liberal ad scandal was around 50 million, tell me Harpos friends never got those contracts!

  • Carver
    November 13, 2012 - 09:34

    I will vote NDP for a real and professional alternative (Tom Mulcair) to the Harper Conservatives. I can be patient with the Trudeau love affair. For those of us who are watching this guy closely it is a waiting game. Here is a good one for all of these PEI farmers esp. former farmers like Wayne Easter and Lawrence MacAulay. Justin backs opening up the supply management system and ipso facto could end up sacrificing it at international trade talks. Or this guy just does not know what he is talking about. Either way he is a disaster just waitng to happen. From iPolitics June 26, 2012----- " Martha Hall Findlay made a brave move when she defied Liberal Party custom and urged that special protected status be removed from the milk and egg industries." This statement with the phrase- special protected status- from Justin's mouth puts him to the right of the Harper Conservatives. This dairy farm and cow nose touching photo op is meant to cover up that boo boo. He is a very limited fellow. He will not get in the way of the NDP. It is only a matter of time before he face plants. I just hope he gets to win the Liberal leadership first. This is the fate - of Greek tragedy proportions- that these Liberal MPs and back roomers deserve. For sure.

    • Sam
      November 13, 2012 - 17:48

      Sorry but Mulcair is no Obama lol...the NDP is as close to the PM office as they will ever get and that was due to Liberal infighting. If an empty suit like Justin gets the Lib leadership that lost left-Lib vote will gravitate back to the Libs and sink the NDP ship next Fed election. Like it or not, Harper is the only credible leader on the National stage....nothing fancy but Canada is doing quite well compared to the rest to the world under his Party so why gamble on newbie's addicted to big government. Remember that old saying " the only problem with Socialism is eventually they run out of other peoples money" true and the Americans are in for a shock when they see their new taxes to pay for the Pierre Trudeau like pipe dreams we used to have, and Chretchen took away.

    • carver
      November 14, 2012 - 07:58

      Thanks Sam for that taste of " Conservative thinking", the ultimate contradiction in terms. A package of lies, prejudices, and labels. The usual right wing stuff. Whatever. The international tide has turned back against you guys and it will here in Canada in three years time. And the change will have substance. And that is why it will be Mulcair and the NDP and not this young Liberal prince, and whatever it is that he is supposed to be talking about. I cannot tell what that is yet.

    • Sam
      November 23, 2012 - 17:36

      Thanks Carver for that taste of "Liberal thinking", the ultimate contradiction in terms lol how clever lol.....Mulcair is toast and the NDP moves to #3 next election. Once the Liberal Party reclaims its kook fringe supporters the NDP rants will deflate. Mulcair has nothing new to offer and greedy , spend addicted, leftists will not impress the majority of Canadians so an NDP Czar and a Central Politburo Standing Committee is a pipe dream.....Ditto for Trudeau who makes Obama look like a Conservative.

  • Corey Wood
    November 13, 2012 - 09:29

    Well Justin Can't be any worse than what we got in Ottawa now. 80 million spent on ads telling us how great their action plan is.The liberal ad scandal was around 50 million, tell me Harpos friends never got those contracts!

  • don
    November 13, 2012 - 09:09

    you see he does only certain areas wellington,ch'town and a few little places just another pill of liberal crap he fits good on the farm with the bulls.

    • Eddy
      November 13, 2012 - 18:29

      Where would you like to see him go,downtown Baltic. How about North Milton, must be at least 3 people living there. Think of the parade they could have, then again, that would be a big undertaking for them.

  • divergence theorem revisited
    November 13, 2012 - 09:04

    Divergence Theorem Revisited: The closer Mr. Ghiz is to Mr. Trudeau, the further Mr. Trudeau is from me.

  • angus
    November 13, 2012 - 09:03

    Standing in a field with some cows, b!tching about the government like every other member of the federal Liberal party. Now there's political gravitas for you and a new way to do politics. Like Obama - hope and change! ( And more time at the trough for the libs as in sponsorship scandals). Oh please - choose the Dauphin. This is the 'new' Liberal Party? hahahaha!

  • SG
    November 13, 2012 - 08:15

    (If Justin is like his father we need him here on PEI)? Just because someone is the son of a former Leader should that infer he has Leadership Qualities? Why do the majority of Islanders feel we only have TWO PARTIES on PEI and in Ottawa? Are Islanders going to continue to Vote Liberal Conservative Conservative Liberal for the rest of their lives? What has either Party achieved on PEI over the last decade or more? The Headlines re: our present Liberal Gov. has focused on the PNP for the past four years! What did the previous PC Government do for PEI? Can any Islander name one achievement by either party that was positive for Islanders? Our PEI Election Ballots only need two Party Names...Liberal and Conservative as very few Islanders if any would Vote for any other Party. Hence the reason nothing ever Changes.

  • mary
    November 13, 2012 - 08:00

    i don't think any of this makes one bit of difference...the maritime provinces have really no say in who is elected. we are stuck with Harper , because the praries ,ontario, and b.c voted him in. we just don't have enough votes to get him out ....

  • Pierre
    November 13, 2012 - 07:32

    Like Father, Like Son....Here we go again.....another Trudeau using fear mongering to win Liberal votes from the Maritime peasants. I voted for his father in the 70's until I found out I was being lied to and he treated Canadians like his children. Every election a Liberal would chant "They will cut you're Pokie" to scare us Fed welfare dependant Maritimers into voting Liberal. Pierre had been proud to have been a Communist Party member and Justin is still selling the same garbage. Its a shame, I thought (Hoped) I'd never hear a Trudeau beating the same drum again....but he should be leading the NDP rather than dragging the Liberals to the left just to find a job as Party leader.

  • tide
    November 13, 2012 - 07:29

    Perhaps the old warhorses, Easter and McAuley should be satisfied in their role in saddling us with boy Ghiz, - and leave it agt that, - as for Trudeau not getting to Kings County, - the middle class there is not big enough to bother with, ---keep that in mind when the time comes,

  • mary
    November 13, 2012 - 07:26

    This Trudeau kid oozes phoniness, ---- and he is going to help the middle class ?? Never heard a politician profess to want to help the rich? It used to be "help the poor", but that group is not large enough now, - therefore the interest goes to 'the middle class', ----- once the HST hit the Island we will experience 'poor'--- Funny the Ghiz is not the rear end of this brother 'in wealth'.

  • He Should Read
    November 13, 2012 - 07:19

    He should do some history reading and really find out what EI was orignally started FOR . That is before the Liberal goverment highjacked the program to buy votes . Its a long way from intended purpose today . It was never ment as a way of life . His rant is just another attemp to buy votes .

  • Garth Staples
    November 13, 2012 - 06:33

    The Guardian's new 'prince of peace'.

  • Justine Thyme
    November 13, 2012 - 03:04

    Although Justin appears to be a great speaker and generally a seemingly down to earth kinda guy, having the old back room regime come forth, pounding their chests saying "I lobbied Trudeau to run." wont win him my vote. You want to win, show and prove to me you are different and not some career politician looking for my tax dollars to fill out your pension.

  • In Name only
    November 12, 2012 - 23:15

    MacAuley,Easter and Casey have not other choice but to support Trudeau...he is their saviour,..well guess what he's 30 years to late.....the Liberals are on life support and they are betting the house on someone's last name...Justin would'nt have a clue about UI,pogey, or any other support system in our social network.let alone cows or farming.....he was born wealthy and represents awealthy riding.......a photo op with some cows and some Liberal supporters, a walk downtown in the am and then he 's off to the next photo BS..The liberals are a spent party with to many oldtimers and party hacks hanging in there and running the show time for some new blood ..not old names............Justin is not his father ....and never will be...........times have changed.

  • SG
    November 12, 2012 - 23:08

    I won't be voting for any Liberal or Conservative in the next Election and may be Never Again! The Liberals seem to think they need a Big or Familiar Name for a Leadership Candidate! IGGY was the last one a Professor in the US no less not even working in Canada! No Thanks. I'd prefer a Leader with NO conncections via Family Members. A Leader who is a normal every day citizen and tax payer who knows what it is like to try to make ends meet. So Long Justin!

  • Blake Molyneaux
    November 12, 2012 - 22:29

    It is so refreshing to have a young liberal looking to lead the party. The LP can form a government next election, they just need to form a solid platform and define how they are different from the other parties. If Justin does all this, he will have my vote.

  • The big concern in PEI is PNP corruption
    November 12, 2012 - 18:32

    Mr. Trudeau should study up the PEI PNP story and explain to Islanders why they should ever consider voting in these crooks. Read it and weep. The party has looted immigrants and Canada. Much like Montreal stealing is the order of the day in PEI and all the lawyers and accountants are in it.......................thanks?

    • hollinm
      November 12, 2012 - 20:45

      Yes while we are at it let's once again introduce the 9 weeks to qualify for EI that the NDP and Liberals wanted in the last parliament. I know why Trudeau is suggesting this but the fact is everybody should be expected to work 12 mos. a year like most people. If people decide to do seasonal work that is their choice but they should not expect the system to support them when they are capable of actually working. EI was meant as a stop gap measure not a life style choice. Don't give me the malarky they paid into it so they are entitle to collect.

  • All the haters.
    November 12, 2012 - 18:28

    I don't understand why everyone is hating on Justin. Sure he is the son of the former Prime Minister, but are all of you the same as your parents? Why not let him run a campaign for leadership and then decide. it can't be any worse then Harper. When is the next election? Today on the radio I heard an attack ad about Mulclair approved by the Conservatives.why do we need a leader doing that stuff way before an election? We don't.

    • SAP
      November 12, 2012 - 21:19

      He is using the name for his own agenda, therefore he opens himself up to the comparisons. No one with his limited experience would get so much hype. If he takes the pros the name brings, he has to be prepared for the cons.

    • because
      November 13, 2012 - 07:33

      Because Trudeau isn't running for leadership he is doing the 'show' of as he will be crowned, just as the Liberals previously crowned Ignatieff. Trudeau should have waited for a few years. He is not ready.

    • mej
      November 13, 2012 - 09:12

      Why do you assume he is "using" his name. I never understood why people think that because your parents were a political figure you can't be one. Does that mean if my father was a doctor, then I sould go into teaching because people will judge my abilities to heal patients by what my father did? Why can't Justin Trudeau be a great leader on his own? Its not Pierre that's running, its Justin. I guess he should have changed his name when his father was Prime MInister.

    • SAP
      November 13, 2012 - 17:09

      MEJ-Does that mean if my father was a doctor, then I sould go into teaching because people will judge my abilities to heal patients by what my father did? No, you are more than welcome to be a doctor, but you will have to go to medical school, not just parade around the country acting as if you are the head of the medical society.

  • perhaps
    November 12, 2012 - 18:28

    Cuts to EI ‘a real concern. Hm. Perhaps the biographer should now start collecting these words of wisdom for future reference.

  • Timmy Carter
    November 12, 2012 - 18:15

    Did I miss Justin's visit to Eastern PEI? Not sure if he knows it or not but we have a vote too..

    • To Bad Tim
      November 12, 2012 - 22:32

      To bad people still vote that old clown Lawerance in....maybe you'd have a voice if people would realize the Liberal party now sits in the nose bleed section in Ottawa now

  • alfredd
    November 12, 2012 - 18:03

    yah we need Justin like we need a hole in the head, have we learned nothing from this Ghiz- rich-kid experience? Funny how they think it makes us feel good if they profess to be "friends of the Island" - we can't count the friends we have when they want something from us, - money or votes---bah Humbug for instance.

  • SG
    November 12, 2012 - 17:44

    Of course Trudeau has the support of MP's MacAulay, Easter, Casey. He will not have my support.

    • statler
      November 13, 2012 - 04:54

      What i read in the story was that trudeau hoped to win the support of liberals not torries, but thanks for your input

  • John W.A. Curtis
    November 12, 2012 - 17:22

    P.E.I. will remain a have not province if people listen to Justin Trudeau. there was no onus to make seasonal industries employ people longer. Now there is an onus now that people can only qualify for 23 weeks if they only work 14 weeks.

  • dianne
    November 12, 2012 - 17:01

    If Justin is any like his father we need him here on PEI

  • peiman
    November 12, 2012 - 16:39

    More electioneering? Just proves that Justin is the same old style polotician...jumpon the bandwagon of whatever he thinks is popular!!