Islander without transportation denied EI benefits

Steve Sharratt
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MONTAGUE — Like most Islanders, Marlene Giersdorf wants to be gainfully employed and take care of her nine-year-old son.

But the humble pride of the single mom exploded into tears here Friday when she took to the streets with a one woman protest and handmade signs.

The 30-year-old resident of Lower Montague is the first visible victim of the federal government’s Employment Insurance cutbacks. After finally getting her first EI check at the end of November, she’s now being cut off because she won’t go to Charlottetown to work.

Not because she won’t work, rather because she has no way to get there.

“I have no car because I can’t afford it and there’s no public transportation,’’ she said, fighting back tears while protesting in front of the Services Canada building here.

“Are they going to pay my taxi fare?”

Services Canada denied her benefits on those grounds and said her only option was to apply to the provincial government for welfare.

“I don’t want to go on income support,’’ she said, standing in freezing winds while cars drove by straining to read her signs. “I’ve always worked but I’ve just hit a bad spot right now.”

She’s knocked on the doors of the federal MP, taken her plight to the premier and even gone to the Human Rights Commission without success. She has less than $100 in her pocket.

Geirsdorf quit a job in the fall at a community care facility over the stress accompanying a 60-hour work week. Her old boss even provided a good, solid reference.

After living two months without an income, she got her first EI cheque in late November. Now, after barely cashing a few cheques and trying to catch up on the bills, she’s out in the cold with the federal changes.

She’s done supervisory work and management, worked in gas stations and coffee shops, and even taken upgrading and career management courses to better her chances. She’s applied to almost every business in Montague but few jobs are available.

“Of course I would take the job, but I don’t have a car and there is no public transit….are they going to pay my taxi fare?” Marlene Geirsdorf

“When I said I can’t get to town for a job, they cut me off and said go on welfare.”

Geirsdorf said if she had a car she would gladly accept a job in the capital city.

“I don’t go partying and drinking…I stay with my son,’’ she said sobbing. “I paid EI benefits with every job I worked and now I can’t get any help.”

She says her one person protest is to bring attention to the issue and she’s not the only Islander who will feel the effects of the federal changes.

“The worst part is high school kids driving by and yelling and laughing at me….they don’t realize it might be them one day.”

Organizations: Employment Insurance, Services Canada, Human Rights Commission

Geographic location: MONTAGUE, Charlottetown, Canada

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Recent comments

  • gerry sutherland
    October 12, 2015 - 20:26

    Ei is a crutch so that a person falls he has a chance to get healed and back on their feet. The way good honest people are made too feel like the crooks in ottawa who bilk the system out of millions, is absolutely disgusting. Not everyone has a friend like the prime minister and told to sign my friend over 90,000 dollars and then will deny it, in case we get caught wink wink.

  • Eliza
    April 09, 2015 - 14:49

    Just remember this at election time this year. The unemployed are treated like they can't make decisions as to what job they take and where. These changes are intrusive and poorly thought out. ABC.

  • Rod
    July 04, 2014 - 16:03

    I am 32 and have been paying into EI since I have been working, so about 14 years. I currently make 100 k a year, so believe you me I pay more then my fair share of EI. After being laid off for 2 months I decided to claim it for the first time. So a month in a half later I have received 2 checks, one for $450 and one for $940. I was puzzeled that my third check has not been deposited into my account yet. After a week I decided to call and wait on hold for 2 hours, just to have a lady tell me that my last claim is being reevaluated and it can take up to a month. Awesome! I'm leaving for Alaska in a couple of days on a trip I booked well before I was laid off. Now I am almost completely broke for the trip lol. And still have no idea if or when I will receive another EI check. EI that each person pays should be added up over time and paid out to that person no questions asked!! That way people who really only need to use it a couple of times in their lives can benefit from it.

  • Jon
    May 22, 2014 - 21:53

    I was recently laid off after working a decade for a company. I went on EI. I ended up finding another job but was diagnosed with a hernia one week into my employment. I was given the OK to go on medical EI, and told I wouldn't be able to return to work for 8 weeks (physically unable) I went on a waiting period (2 weeks) received one half check ($400) and one full check ($800) and then money stopped coming. I called to ask what the deal is, and I was told I am healed. They said that it had been the 6 weeks the doctor said (it has been 4) and that my claim has been terminated. I am still healing, unable to work and now... apparently unable to pay rent in 8 days. I will also be off pay roll because I had an ROE issued when I had to leave for medical EI. Which means, when I do get back to work I won't be paid for 4 weeks or so. Which means no income for an entire month, and the inability to pay my rent, and bills. Thank you government of Canada, you have a new homeless person coming to your streets. And all I had to do for it to happen was be diagnosed with an illness.

  • Peggy Kirkpatrick
    January 23, 2013 - 12:21

    For those of you not knowing where the 50 billion went......the Liberal Finance Minister at the time-Paul Martin took it from the fund into general revenue...and said "Presto...we balanced the books!!" And people bought it...thought he was God!!! Well there you go!!

  • harperisterrible
    January 23, 2013 - 01:38

    i am on marlene's side. oh have i heard that before 3 sides to every story. their are 2 sides to every story. i would not work with 30 some resident's by myself. open your eyes some one could be hurt. i heard about where marlene worked, and she is not afraid to speak. she was treated unfairly. other employe's late for work and getting paid for their late time. marlene has never walked off her job. very dependable worker. they need a union. i don't know that boss, but i certainly wouldn't work for them. marlene u were great @ your job. if u get u'r e.i. back go work in the field u were in. move on to a better facility. you will be treated fair, and get paid the money u'r worth. u go girl all the best my prayer's are with you. God Bless. God will take care of those kind of people.

  • MacMeekin
    January 22, 2013 - 09:36

    I am shocked at the hostility toward this woman when the anger should be directed at a federal government that collects funds under the auspices of Employment Insurance, denies it to the citizens who contributed, and then spends the surplus on other things that benefit themselves. Expecting her to move for a low wage job is absurd. Most lower income earners rely on family members to care for their dependent children while they work or look for work. She should move? Where will she get the money to move? It is so easy for Canadians to hate the down-trodden instead of hating the rich and powerful who put citizens into these precarious employment situations so that they can line their own pockets and make huge contributions to the political party that creates rules that contribute to the viscious circle. For those of you who have successfully avoided needing EI, we celebrate your good fortune and fortitude, but they shouldn't replace your empathy and insight. Almost all of us are just a few misfortunes and/or mistakes away from homeless.

  • Get real
    January 21, 2013 - 01:23

    It is abuse to the system like this woman that has caused the problem. Yah someone should buy you a car. Get real. It's called work for a reason. WORK - activity involving mental or physical effort in order to achieve a purpose or result. I'm sorry I don't agree with this woman. Not having a vehicle is not a good enough reason to me. Along with this picture there is also one with her holding an iPhone while protesting. Maybe she should've set se money towards a vehicle instead of a top of the line phone that comes with a monthly bill. Her poor decisions do not i title her to ei.

    • get real
      January 21, 2013 - 09:06

      She QUIT her job!

    • Bill MacEachern
      January 23, 2013 - 14:21

      Get Real this is directed towards your comment, she quit her job so? What's your point oh let me guess you don't believe stress is a valid reason, she is not abusing the system, she is using it for what it was used for, sometimes you need to consider your health over a job

    • kat
      May 30, 2014 - 14:08

      I just wanted to say that no matter hat the reason is...The fact remains the same that's her money...welfare is mine and your money going mostly to people who don't want to work. But ei is money we pay into every pay check so that no matter what it is there for us. If we are not allowed to use it when we need it then maybe ei should become a option and we should all take our chances.

  • Lola
    January 21, 2013 - 00:58

    I've been working to support myself since I was 15 years old. I drew unemployment for 3 months (making $451 a month) when I was 17. that was 21 years ago. last winter was the first time since then that I drew unemployment. I work a seasonal job in Montreal. I've always had a winter job but last year I couldn't find one. the thing is what people don't seem to understand is that there are MANY jobs that only last a few months and there aren't enough positions to cover all those people who are out of work once the season ends. you want a world where no one works the summer jobs? no road work? no golf clubs? no ice cream shops? no clean washrooms at Brackley and Cavendish? no seafood? lobster? we are all vital to the society we live in. if we weren't we wouldn't have seasonal jobs at all. I've held down 4 jobs at one time while living here... juggling that many schedules is difficult and you want to know the worst part? I haven't made a dime over $12,000 since I moved to Quebec from PEI 10 years ago. how about we stop giving fisherman ei seeing as they are in reality self employed and make thousands upon thousands of dollars from ei alone. my brother in law harvests a product himself and sometimes hires people to help him, sells his product to someone else who then processes the product and prepares it for sale... sounds similar to fishing doesn't it? yet my brother in law, who clears trees, doesn't qualify for ei because he's "self employed" what a joke.

  • citizen
    January 19, 2013 - 10:22

    Why cant she move to Charlottetown ? People change provinces, countries and even continents for work.. And if people have a problem with the transport why not use the taxpayer money to improve the transport system instead of giving it to someone else who wants all the facilities in hand...Islanders, its time to start thinking about economy as well instead of just people.

  • JM Marsden
    January 18, 2013 - 19:50

    I think the key concept here is "social consciousness" - being aware of the different issues and problems that people face in society on a day-to-day basis and being conscious of the difficulties and hardships that they present. I don't live in a cave - I realize that there is widespread abuse in society... I am just not ready to brand everyone as abusers. Hence, the idea of social consciousness...

    January 18, 2013 - 16:08

    A story in The Guardian says that a Montague woman is "the first visible victim of the federal government’s Employment Insurance cutbacks. After finally getting her first EI check at the end of November, she’s now being cut off ...." So we want to know what is being done for this courageous mother who is honest enough to "tell it like it is." What is the RESPONSE to her NEED? This is supposed to be the Canada we always knew? Where are our country's GREAT LEADERS like we used to have? What is happening? Wake up, Canada!

  • Illalwaysbebarbie
    January 17, 2013 - 19:29

    This whole ruling is totally unfair. I am a senior citizen, still working part time and by law I still have to pay EI premiums even tho I am not eligible to ever collect a penny in EI.... So the gov gets to keep my payment plus the 1.4% the company that I work for has to pay......... soooooooooo to the GREAT (NOT) GOV... you have my permission to give my portion of EI eligibliity to this lady and her child, and if any is left over to others like her. If you don't do this, then where does my money go???? In the BIG POT or SOMEONE'S POCKET!!!

  • Tax payer
    January 17, 2013 - 15:44

    I don't know where you morons got this 52 billion figure but that is way off. Every worker in Canada is not paying $100+ a week in EI deductions.

  • The right thing
    January 17, 2013 - 10:00

    It is not just abount Marlene, it is about the system. If you do not wish to support Marlene but are still against the changes, how about signing an online petition tions/petition-on-the-recent-c hanges-to-unemployment-insuran c.html

    • A hard worker
      January 17, 2013 - 13:00


  • jilski
    January 16, 2013 - 01:51

    We pay into this fund, and it pays for itself. The EI books are balanced, if not running a surplus. Think twice before you demand the government rob this account, which is, in effect, robbing yourselves.

    • lcw
      January 16, 2013 - 13:39

      The government took the 52 billion meant for those unemployed and looking for work. 52 billion dollars that came off employed persons paychecks, each week, for this purpose. That money was collected with the sole intent of helping unemployed people in between jobs. It is money that was taken and never put back. It should be spent for the purpose it was collected for, as should all other money that gets deducted. It's not a bank account for the government to use at their whim. 52 Billion just like that!!

    • SAP
      January 16, 2013 - 15:54

      LCW, you are correct, this money should not be used for anything else, and the program should be sustainable. Allowing people to take out more than they put in repeatedly, or use it as income because their job is not to their liking is also not the purpose of the fund.

      January 17, 2013 - 13:27

      Ok where is the 52 billion that the fed gov took i want to know where it went you tell me do THAY have the right to take it out of the EI 52 billion .I work and pay into it they don't.It should be run by US not the feds. I WANT THE FED GOV TO PUT THAT 52 BILLION BACK IN TO EI RIGHT NOW IF THEY TOOK IT . LOOK AT N.B AND N.S . THERE WAS 300 PEOPLE PROTESTING IN N.B ON FRIDAY OVER THIS .THAY WERE EVEN BURNING THERE SIGNS .THERE SHOULD BE MORE PEOPLE PROTESTING THIS THEN ONE GIRL ON P.E.I . WE SHOULD ALL ASK FOR THE 52 BILLION BACK ITS NOT THE FED GOV TO TAKE !!! THANK YOU

    January 15, 2013 - 17:17

    Appears that the majority of the people on EI in this province seem to be under the impression that the EI program is set up for them like a bank account. Put in the minimum and draw out the maximum yearly. Time to turn this Seasonal part time Province into a part of Canada. I could not understand what was meant when I heard the saying permanent part time used in job ads. Now I know that it is another term for that's the way we do it on PEI.

    • yer
      January 15, 2013 - 21:20

      EI is insurance, so yeah, she did pay into it like a bank account. That's what insurance is. Also people pay insurance as well in case their house burns down. If your house burns down, they pay you. Do you get it now? D'uh. Google is your friend if you find terms that are somewhat confusing

    • Taxpayer
      January 16, 2013 - 09:33

      You don't know what you are talking about YER. She probably paid in $600 in EI from her job and will collect well over $10,000 over the winter collecting EI. That is whats wrong with the system, people are collecting 20 times in EI then they pay in. They are also targeting frequent collectors so I will bet she has done this scam before.

      January 16, 2013 - 10:43

      ok, so we will cut them off of EI and send them to welfare, maybe they need to look at the welfare system, this is being abused more so than EI. make welfare people work or cut them off.

    • SAP
      January 16, 2013 - 11:03

      YER, using the comparison to home insurance, if you burned your own house down because you didn't like it, you would not receive a dime.

    • Taxpayer
      January 16, 2013 - 14:35

      EI and Welfare are some of the reason why every government is in debt. BC will cut you off of welfare after 5 years now if they want. I am no supporter of government but the EI changes are targeting frequent collectors so I am in favor of some of the changes. Its tough love but changes are needed. Its that simple.

  • what to do
    January 15, 2013 - 15:57

    everyone who is getting hard times with ei well stand up with marlene its our money not harpers .soon he will keep all our income taxes.harder times will come we have to do something about this fast

  • we pay into EI give us out money when we need it
    January 15, 2013 - 14:24

    we should have a right to not have decductions for EI if we are going to be denied i myself dont drive i do have work and over the years have struggled im not sure if others are finding it getting ruff over last few years seems like the goverment is punishing us to make up for there debt i would love to see harper get laid off and denied EI and struggle with what single moms are handed some work 2 to 3 jobs to provide and after all the deductions seems like your working to hand half your pay check to the goverment give this girl a break giove her back her EI is our goverment really that pathetic to send a single mom and her child to the street

    • Rustee
      January 15, 2013 - 16:17

      @WE PAY said "we should have a right to not have decductions for EI if we are going to be denied it" Trust me sunshine, pretty much everybody in Canada west of Quebec is saying that exact same thing, because *WE* rarely get approved claims because *YOU* are taking all of *OUR* money. Don't for one minute think that the rest of Canada doesn't know where OUR money is being spent, and it is NOT to our benefit.

  • John
    January 15, 2013 - 13:59

    This pisses me off... To hell with the government I am not even voting ever again. They do what they want anyway and don't do what they said the would do in the beginning anyways. They are ruining good ppl's lives. If she earned her ei benefits then give them to her. I hate our government. That is all.

  • Frank Mosey
    January 15, 2013 - 11:50

    We are trying to raise some funds to get Marlene a cheap functional car, if the government won't step in and help then it is up to the people. Donate here we are not looking for big donations only little ones and together we can come up with a solution that works.

    • debby shaw
      January 15, 2013 - 13:52

      While I applaud your efforts to help her ,a car is another expense (big time) she doesn't need at the moment.Her UIC reinstated or another job should be priority .But God bless you for the offer to help!

  • Sharon
    January 15, 2013 - 11:12

    I cant believe how uncaring some ppl are. Everyone who works pays into EI .. it is insurance that is granted when you cant find a job. I too have no transportation and was refused work simply because of that.. I didn't refuse to work they refused to hirt me. Even though I said I would move if I had to.. I am heading for 60 yrs old.. I am blind in my right eye and deaf in my left ear since birth... I have 2 ruptured disks in my back and a busted up leg.. but I still try to work. Kudos to those out there who have great jobs with benefits .. you are very lucky.. most of us Cape Bretoners are not that fortunate. I have 2 yrs of college .. I cannot find a job in my field .. there are no jobs anywhere. I did fish lobsters yrs ago with my Dad.. I got up at 3 am and went out and fished .. and didn't get home till 5 pm. I don't know how anybody gets off saying it is easy peasy work and only lasts for 2 months.. do you realize how much preparation there is and how much money is spent on gas/diesel, bait .. and gear.. I never once sat home while Da was out fishing.. I was right out there with him.. and some one from Human Resources arrived on the wharf one day to check up on the "helpers'"...they were incognito of course.. pretending at first to want to buy lobsters. I didn't care who they were .. I had nothing to hide.. and they jumped aboard the boat and all they did was get in my way while I was trying to get my work done. I am so sick of the stereotyping.. most want to work.. but there are obstacles that will get in the way.. some of which cant be remedied.. if the transit system in Cape Breton didn't suck as bad as it does it would make things a lot better for ppl without cars. I had resumés in all the call centers last yr but they said because I didn't have reliable transportation they couldn't hire me. Some ppl fall through the cracks.. like someone above commented that if you are an alcoholic or a drug addict you get lots of help. This government had better take a long hard look at the situations in areas that have no work..They are so willing to help immigrants and say to hell with their own ppl. I bet the gov't will step in and fork out the money needed for those immigrants on that boat in Halifax to get back to El Salvador.. got forbid they don't have transportation. Or even better Harper will probably find jobs for them all and allow them to stay..

  • Bonita Slevin
    January 15, 2013 - 10:41

    That is terrible. I am a senior citizen but I still feel for these people who are getting a raw deal. You pay into this so in case you need it, but now harper is making you look like a thief. How many thieves are in the government I wonder and with all the money they make. You give to the natives all this money and they don't even work. They do not pay taxes or anything. It is the working people who pay for them to not work and get the money. Nothing is fair in Canada now. Harper needs to go before people starve to death here and the others who don't plan to work and are getting all this money live high on the hog. sickening.

  • jldr
    January 15, 2013 - 10:37

    When I lost My job this fall due to the business closing I started to work for myself doing the same trade I always have worked in.Its a tough start - I was denied my EI claim because I worked for myself, and wasn't actively seeking other work, or a second job.Of course as a single mother, if I had a second job I wouldn't need the EI. I have subsidized daycare approved for part time work. Ive been denied a full time spot.So where would my child care be?-I pay for my son to attend pre-school but that only covers 7.5 hours a week.I am a working single mother,working on getting away from the system and yes- the government tells you to go on welfare.(what?) And I can tell you- the system fails every wheres for most everyone involved .EI,Social services,MEP,even the courts and Tenancy board have failed me .The list goes on for everyone.What disheartens me most about this article- is some of the comments fueled by ignorance and stupidity.Until you walk in someones dont know what they deal with.Until you try to deal with the systems and all the pitfalls it contains-you just dont even know. Rant- over.

  • Concerned Taxpayer
    January 15, 2013 - 10:36

    I'm not sticking up for PM Harper, but you are all missing one critical point - she quit her job! "Geirsdorf quit a job in the fall at a community care facility over the stress accompanying a 60-hour work week. Her old boss even provided a good, solid reference." She should have found another position before she quit.

    • Erica
      January 15, 2013 - 11:16

      Have you ever tried to get child care for a 60 hour work week? Maybe try to walk in this lady's shoes before you criticize her...working a 40 hour week and being a single parent is hard enough, add another 20 hours to that and it becomes life crushing!

    • Avid union worker
      January 15, 2013 - 11:34

      I think you are also missing the point when people pay for EI we are paying for everyone who works there incl the stamps they use the fed government doesn't pay a single penny in this program so the government shouldn't be putting their nose in it. That's like you investing in a REER and the government taking it away from you because you make too much money. Oh and btw who pays for income security? That would also be you concern taxpayer

    • Thank You
      January 16, 2013 - 11:20

      Thank you for saying this. I am from the maritime, from NS, and live in PEI. I came to PEI for work. I find it very funny that people cannot find job, if you want a certain type of job, or career you have to make the changes for that to happen. I hate when people complain about not finding a job in their chosen field. MOVE, go somewhere that you can do what you want, or get over yourself and put on a visor, and start handing out double doubles, or Big Macs. I also do not believe that single parents have more of a case for people to feel sorry or help them. You had the kid, deal with it. I choose not to have children, that is my choice, having one was yours. There was never a conversation between myself you and the government about how you were going to care for said child. I should not have to pay for an insurance that I don't plan on using. There should be an opt out section for EI, for those who decide working is more important than what kind of work it is.

    • concerned about the concerned tax payer
      January 16, 2013 - 15:15

      you must work for the goverment !Not hard to tell you dont any compassion for others!

  • Rod Fraser
    January 15, 2013 - 10:23

    Good job, Steven Harper! Another ruined life. And if she can't get income support for herself and her son? What then? I think you and your minions had better sit down and rethink this, because this may come back to bite you badly!

  • Elsie
    January 15, 2013 - 09:25

    It's not making sense....her Doctor put her off on stress leave...therefore, her ROE should have been completed as "D Illness or Injury". Stress leave IS an illness....I'm confused why she quit when she would not have been denied EI benefits due to her illness??? I am not saying she did right or wrong, I feel she should be cut some slack on here with the negative comments, some people just don't know what it's like to struggle, and have to make tough decisions. Until you walk in someone's shoes, you should perhaps keep your comments to yourself. All she is really asking something that she has actually paid into. It IS an insurance that SHE paid into.

    • True
      January 16, 2013 - 11:24

      This is all true, but if she quit, and didn't go on stress leave she would be denied, Interesting to know if she actually went the proper route to this issue, or quit, and is now back peddling

  • Westprince
    January 15, 2013 - 09:23

    I no what she feels like haven no transportation ant easy most of us single moms or dads can't afford to pay are morgage insurence and light food all that stuff and if we coulded feed are kids because of this the system would take them maybe they should help her get a drive to work instead of leaven her with shit and welfare I went there cause I was short a few hours in jan of last year they told me they could help me for a month but I had no money and kids to feed they make you look like a fool on are island there are 65 percent of people with no car

  • Fisherwife
    January 15, 2013 - 08:31

    I think it real ignorant for one to go on about what a fisherman gets from EI and how much he doesn't work! My husband is a fisherman and he get's EI 4 months out of the year and trust me, he has already paid for it..EI takes a huge chunk out of his earnings. The goverment takes out a big % of his earnings so don't sit there and presume to know what any of the families are going through. We cannot live off those 4 months income that he already paid for and then some, in the first 6 months and that is why I work 2 jobs. He risk his life every day he is on the ocean so YOU can eat your lobsters, at a punch in the face price, so please be respectful of an industry you may very well know nothing about and repeat what you have heard from others. Unless you live it, you have no idea. OHH, and let's not forget all the other years he worked through out his life working full time, paying very well into EI and never collecting. 25 years to be exact . So I am pretty sure if he needs his money he already paid into for 4 months until he is back to work then it should be given with no hassle, from the goverment or anyone else .

    • Rustee
      January 15, 2013 - 15:01

      I thought your maritimers were supposed to rugged individuals, not whiny little babies. Coming from a province were it is almost impossible to get EI because all the money goes to you lazy lot, reading these comments is the funniest thing I have ever seen. Talk about over-entitled! You wouldn't last 2 minutes in the real world.

    • Grinder
      January 15, 2013 - 16:45

      @ RUSTEE: Let me guess, You're from Alberta, right? I can tell by your winning personality (arrogance). In case you don't remember, it wasn't that long ago that you were sucking on Ontario's teet, and now that you're in the money you have the balls to spout off at other provinces like you know a thing or two? Well listen up, Son... you don't. I'm sure this woman could probably get a job cleaning or working at McDonalds and I think she should. I think she hasn't really explored those options yet. But don't go waving your schlong around talking about the real world. I've seen things that would probably make a manchild such as yourself go running for your mommy.

    • bubbah
      January 15, 2013 - 23:44

      Ok, let's do the math. I pay the max and draw nothing from EI $787 per YEAR as of 2011 tax return. Do other occupations pay more, I don't know. Max drawing benifits per 2 week period are around $750.00, correct me if wrong.So if drawing EI for 4 months, 16 weeks, make that 7 X 2 week periods less waiting period. That's 7 X $750.00 = $5250.00 Paying Max as I do it takes me 6.67 yrs of working for each fisherman or anyone else who is employed for 8 months and EI for 4 months ( 14 weeks ) So if your hubby worked full time at some other occupation for 25 yrs and paid max EI premiums he coverd 4 yrs of drawing fishing EI payments. If I smashed my car or burned my house every 8 months, I'd be thinking it would be hard to get INSURANCE for the next year. If you can't find gainfull employment in the Maritimes then move. Your government doesn't owe you a living, get off your ass and find employment as our ancestors did. d paid max EI h

    • LINDA
      January 16, 2013 - 10:52


    • Jason
      January 18, 2013 - 09:32

      Good points...and there are lots more like you, those who are contributing more than they are taking. It's too bad your efforts are overshadowed by lazy people who really just want to work 4 months out of the year, and then sit around for 8 months. There are seasonal winter jobs and seasonal summer jobs...I've done both, so I think those working out west for the winter could find a summer job as well, with minimal down time.

  • Politician
    January 15, 2013 - 07:39

    Good, it's working. We have you all fighting among yourselves while we steal your pensions and pay ourselves hundreds of thousands of dollars. We don't work for You the people. We are the crooks making all the rules and You Will pay and You Will like it. Now go attack your brother for being sick and collecting benefits that mooch! And go get that single parent who is trying to collect the EI she PAID for Now .. what about those old leaches that are no use to anyone anymore, come on they don't need that old age, that money could go toward sending ghiz on a trip to china You have been Herded into attacking your brothers, sisters, co-workers, peers. You have been distracted from the REAL THIEVES among you > Politicians on almost every level. tsk tsk tsk .. baa baa baa Shame on all of you

    • Wade Gallant
      January 15, 2013 - 18:03

      Thanks Politician. For your words of clarity. If there is one thing that politicians can and will rely on is division of society. And if there isn't enough of it the media will surely be there to drive the wedge deeper. Lets wake up folks and apply some critical thinking to our issues and not get caught up throwing people under the bus when we likely know only the convenient facts the media provides. They are major players in the smoke and mirrors of daily government and they must be challenged and questioned.

  • disgusted
    January 15, 2013 - 05:46

    Well I am happy to see some people in this Province have something in their heart other then judgements and how they are so smart and what they have done and would do if in this situation.Give the rest of us a break! Your Pockets??? You by far are not the only person or persons who have worked year round or seasonal on P.E.I. or across the Country and paid into EI. You are making judgements none of us even know,perhaps this girl just wanted her Ei. to carry her over until she was able to get another job after all she only received one check! Pulling 60 hours a week she paid into it she didnt get a free ride.What a witch hunt some of you go on ,so pompous! It is so easy to sit in your comfort zone and say what you would do and wouldnt do.Yes there are abusers of the system always have been and no doubt always will be,but why are you making this girl to hold the sins of the world ?! It looks to me she has been trying .Oh yes and the comment about the phone perhaps she bought it when she was pulling 60 hrs,perhaps she got her for Christmas,how do you know its a $600. phone? Some of you have a heart and compassion I commend you as for the judgemental may you walk a mile in her shoes before you condem her if you havent anything good to say keep it to yourself.

  • Karma
    January 15, 2013 - 04:54

    Where do I begin ? A single mother so stressed by working 60 hours a week at an emotionally and physically demanding job was put off on stress leave by her doctor. While she waits for her EI to kick in she gets behind in every bill, scrimps to put food on the table and make Christmas for her child. She gets her EI, gets a couple of cheques..first one being a one week - which will cover food - maybe and begins the process of paying up her bills and surviving on the big 55% of her wage and BOOM - the bottom falls out. Now she is still behind in her bills, the EI program tells her she has to essentially move from her family and support system to take a job - which by the way holds no guarantee she won't be laid off from because lets face it - the economy is in dire straights. Now what ? Welfare ? You get a cheque once a month which once you pay your rent,heat, lights and basic amenities lasts approximately 1 week, now you struggle until the baby bonus comes and saints be praised you are flush again for another week or so until the welfare cheque comes again. That life is not plush or leisurely in any way shape or form. That sick feeling in the pit of your stomach of not being able to make ends meet and having a child depending on you is not how any Canadian should have to live. I was a single mother who lived that system not because I didn't want to work but because I was laid off from every job I worked...I spent many a nights crying - more stressed than I care to admit - the overwhelming sense of responsibility coupled with the absolute feeling of failure can take it's toll. The people telling her to take a min wage job that she has to travel to get to have not factored in the hidden things that no one thinks off until they are faced with it. Child care for a job that be guaranteed will not be 9-5, no vehicle means relying on others to get you there...will their shifts coincide with yours ? Will your new employer who took a chance and hired you make concessions about working your hours around transportation when there are 100 other people who will take your job in a second and come without baggage ? If you are working an hour away relying on someone else to get you back and forth and your child gets ill at school, or God forbid is rushed to the hospital in an emergency - how does she get home ? I lived the life you are all condemning this woman for - I have the battle scars, the wrinkles and the bitterness to prove it. It is a hard life not always of your own making. You swallow a lot of pride, cry a lot of tears, worry every day and always feel anxious and unsettled.If the doctor put this woman on stress leave it was because the professional she turned to felt it was warranted. How dare you negative people presume to think you understand her position and worst of all judge her ? Do you naysayers realize that you are one lay off away from her position - the difference between you resting on your job ethic laurels and this woman is - downsizing - and /or a mental breakdown...and now you are forced to rely on EI because despite all your education and job experience you are now among the unemployed throng fighting for a job at Tim Hortons. If, or when that happens to you, that lofty seat you hold, looking down at this woman, just became pretty precarious. At this point I hope Karma kicks in and that you remember the words you wrote here today and see how you hold up when you cant find a job, your car breaks down and you can't afford to fix it, Kraft dinner and hotdogs instead of steak and salad is on your menu and that your stress is so overwhelming that the hounds at your door are howling louder than your sobs of desperation. The hounds at the door are the bill collectors, the oilman, the power company and the landlord - all of whom will holler loudly (howl) and have no compassion for your plight. Don't forget the look in your childrens eyes as they watch you spiral down into a depression over your situation that at times seems like there is no solution for. For those of you upset by my post - I could care less about your opinion of me, I faced the system, fought the system and I beat it - I'm gainfully employed, my children survived but didn't get the best of their mother or enjoy a carefree child hood like they deserved - and they are all educated and employed. We survived but it was harder than it needed to be. Our job systems, and social programs need a serious overhaul. Perhaps the ones in power should live on minimum wage without a vehicle or be forced to make ends meet on welfare. I give it a month and there would be reform. This woman will survive and so will her son but the words written here will scar her soul. She is trying the best she can facing things that many of you have no idea about - what she needs is support, suggestions, helpful hints, encouragement and compassion. If holding up her sign paves the way for others to not face her challenges - or gives her a feeling of controlling something in her life then let her be. Cheer her on, or keep your judgement to yourself. Marlene, I know it seems tough and overwhelming right now but a solution will come, there are people who understand what you are going through, been through it, and came out fine on the other side. You will too. Take only the positive from these messages - ignore the rest.

    • ML
      January 15, 2013 - 08:46

      Well said Karma!

    • Compassion
      January 15, 2013 - 11:08

      Wow Karma! This was worded perfectly...! Some people have no idea what it is to struggle.

    • scared
      January 15, 2013 - 12:30

      Very well said . These new rules certainly scare me. There are so many ppl I know who will be affected by the same rules and have no means of transportation. Harper needs to rethink his choice on this before the next election but by then it will be too late and too many other Canadians will stuck on provincal welfare and cost the each province more while federal government wastes more money on foreign aid before helping its own ppl .. this is Sad and heartbreaking that a government we trusted ( first mistake ) laps in the revenue they save at lower class and poor pay for !!!

    • cheryl whilt
      January 15, 2013 - 22:07

      God Bless And always hold your head high. Well said Karma

    • betty
      January 16, 2013 - 01:05

      I would like to say something but Karma you have said it better than i could have. god bless!

    • Leelee
      January 17, 2013 - 15:36

      God Bless Karma- I too survived the system. It is, in my opinion, designed solely to devoid the single mother who worked their entire lives of the last shreds of santity and human decency. I was nearly 40 when my life went south I had paid into the system my whole life. If she does not recieve EI; Social services is worse. Even if she does manage to obtain a vehicle Social services will tell her it's not an acceptable expenditure and take funds away from her or cut her off or call it an overpayment when she does finally find gainful employment and get off the social assistance. The whole thing is designed to continuously kick you while you are down. Head held high Marlene good things will come to you. Now my question for all you folks that support the changes. Where I live that's pretty much all there is. Golf courses and ski hill and adventure park with a multitude of seniors complexes thrown in there. With thousands of graduates all vieing for the same jobs in those complexes. So you take away the golf courses, the ski hill, the adventure parks and the 400 people who were at least employed for one season or other are now all on social assistance. Hows that for an expense to the system. There is no public transportation in rural areas which is where most of these golf courses, ski hills, adventure parks are. So now you have 400 folks on social services who don't even have a way to get to the nearest hub which for some is thirty kms away, like a grocery store, pharmacy, doctors office, or even the food bank when all else is taken away. I am discusted by our government. Canada is one of the richest countries in the world that has made itself look so good to the rest of the world by sending millions and millions to other places and we treat our own citzens like criminals when their lives go to hell, and after they have worked their entire lives and paid into the system that is now refusing them. And God help you if the government makes a mistake!!! Regardless of the circumstances the recipient is on the hook for it and there is no statute of limitations. And there is always the idiotic excuses, "The system was in flux at the time and the policy wasn't clear so we sent you the money anyway" Send an impovrished person money and it gets spent. And yes the recipient checked, checked and checked again to make sure that the funds were what they were supposed to be.....

    • Eliza
      April 09, 2015 - 14:59

      Karma can make people eat their words, that's for sure. I never understood why people can be so mean spirited. Maybe they really think that they can never find themselves in a situation like this, like someone they are special.

  • one of those lazy pei'ers
    January 15, 2013 - 01:44

    I would like to Challange Any MP's to leave their Fat bank Accounts ,fancy cars . and spouses behind and come to Roural PEI And live on EI earned from minimum wages for 6 months I dare you ! come and walk in our shoes especially the MPs that come up with the changes.

  • Donald Chisholm
    January 15, 2013 - 00:02

    As I read this story I can't help but be totally appalled by some of the comments . I have a great job but I have had many crappy ones that it wasn't possible to make ends meet. Or on payday it was like a lotto threw the bills in a pile and picked a couple. To anyone that has made somewhat rude comments perhaps it is time for you to face the fact you are probably only 2 to 3 pays away from an unemployment line or a welfare line. Have any of you been able to save 20% of your income for a rainy day ......These new changes are designed to punish those that need the help the most . I currently live in Nova Scotia and pass signs along the highway that claim that they have created good paying jobs with the highway twinning projects????????These jobs are seasonal are they not they don't build highways during the winter months and when the project is complete the extra workers hired for them are laid off and on EI . As far as I am concerned the have to make work for there department of community services if you can't get EI then it will have to be a welfare line .......

  • Blake
    January 14, 2013 - 23:59

    Everyone of you who is going on about this girl in a bad manner I hope some day you are down and out and you need help and are denied it. Things can change your health your child's health and u may need to leave your job. Then what..... You goin to sing the same song and dance when its your child cold or hungry? All these new changes have me personally scared. The maritimes needs ei benefits to survive sorry but we do.being the majority of our work is seasonal.i myself leave my family at home for 8 months of the year to go Outwest to work in the bitter cold long hours hard work and very dangerous. So by saying that when the oil patch slows down for the season an I am on my way home if by chance I might need to draw ei for a few months so I can spend some of my time with my family I won't be able to or not deserving of it? I still see my taxes and ei taken I my checks.really people we have to start voicing ourselves we no longer live in democracy. We are force feed the fat cats crap and we are asking for seconds for some reason. This is all just the tip of the iceberg. We are going to see hard times and don't think ahhh I got a good job won't I don't have to worry the maritimes especially the economy is getting worse and it's not goin to get better unless we do something about it. If I do have to draw ei and I am told to apply at 5 places a week good old Gail shay will have tons of resumes from me and lots of follow up calls to see if I got the job. IT'S TIME TO GROW A SET PEOPLE.

    • Shirley
      January 15, 2013 - 19:20

      Well said! Telling Maritimers that we cannot recieve EI is like telling us that our culture is not important. the maritimes have two major resources of income which are logging and fishing. What happens when everyone decides that those feilds just won't pay the bills anymore for fear of not getting the benefits that they've paid into while they're working. We can't keep letting them serve it up to us on a silver platter, and as you said "Asking for seconds." Where would America be right now if the protests hadn't happened back in the 70's. We need to do something now, and waiting for the next election might just be too late. The government is only as good as the people supporting it. We need to stand up and take the lead on issues such as this. We've been so scared to stand up for ourselves while they sit back and collect OUR hard earned money, while we argue with the person down the street about ethnicity/where our income comes from, as well as judge our neighbor for how their money is earned. We Canadians as a whole need to stop knit-picking over trivial issues such as what I mentioned above and really get down to what matters and that's basically that our government isn't working for us anymore. Saying we're giving up on voting for parliment is like giving Stephen Harper a written invitation to get comfy because he's not going anywhere. Come on people!

  • Lori
    January 14, 2013 - 22:06

    This EI policy is discriminatory. A job seeker who lived 71 kms or more from Charlottetown would not lose their benefits because they did not have a car. If the job seeker was able to move 11 kms further from the city, she would be allowed her claim. In other words, if you live in Souris, you qualify, if you live in Montague you don't. A mileage requirement like this requires corresponding availability of transportation, either public or employer-supplied. Anything else discriminates against both rural populations and lower income populations.

    • J. Devereaux
      January 15, 2013 - 11:08

      The EI policy is discriminatory. While you lazy easterners collect EI and welfare, we in the west pay for it.

  • Murray Daley
    January 14, 2013 - 20:13

    Shows people what a big heart the government has.You can be sure they don't wait to take taxes and UI payments out of your earning from the start of your job but when a person has a problem with the new rulings where is the help apparently some need in order to comply with the government's new rules.Like always all the government cares about is to add injury to insult.

  • sick and tired
    January 14, 2013 - 19:39

    Maybe she should have planned better BEFORE quitting her last job...that's what you do as an adult, especially when you have a child to care for. I am sick and tired of people expecting the government to pay their way through life, take some responsibility for the choices you have made in life. EI was never intended to pay you to live 6 months of the year or more. It was intended for emergency situations only, until you could find work. People need to stop abusing the system, we can't afford it anymore.

      January 14, 2013 - 21:10

      How could she possibly take care of her son working 60 hours a week? there is not even a daycare that would be open 60 hours a week.... If you ask me she was the one being taken advantage of.... maybe wherever it is she was working before should've hired another person to lighten the load of one.... thus giivng another the opportunity to find gainful employment.... she was doing the job of 2 people, obviously being taken advantage of because her previous employer was to cheap or whatever the reason may be to hire another person, even a part time person would have been better than this.... so you tell me Mr. or Ms. sick and tired how could she have possibly given her child what he so much needs if she was always working?

    • robin
      January 14, 2013 - 21:22

      Actually I am sick and tired of the welfare system!! What in hell is the government doing to get people off of it???? Nothing , not a darn thing...In fact if your a drunk or a drug addict they give you more F'ing money...How terrible sad is that??? UIC ( at least the person drawing it is paying into by working) There are alot of Seasonal workers in NB ....People who work in the woods , People who fish , People who do job sharing...Alot of these men who may work in the woods or fish have no education because they worked there intire lives to support there families...People head west to work and they are there for months at a time without even seeing there families...Im one of the lucky ones , I have a good paying job with full benifits but even I know im still nothing more then a number when it comes right down to it. IM SICK AND TIRED of paying taxes out my ass for the damn government to decied how it should be spent and where.

    • Rheal Goguen
      January 14, 2013 - 21:23

      dear,sick and tired,i hope you never find yourself sick or tired,not everyone is in your position,be greatfull of what you have,it might not always be there,like you health,things can and do change

      January 14, 2013 - 21:38

      How exactly was this woman supposed to plan for stress leave? Chances are she had been looking for an alternative job to escape to. When she finally realized there were none available she applied for EI to help her through her emergency situation. This type of circumstance is exactly what the insurance system should be used for. Not one dollar of the insurance program is provided by the government. It is provided by employees and their employers. I am proud to pay the 780$ a year it takes to run this program. It is what this country was built on. The fortunate helping those less so. This is one of the few programs that wasnt broken. Leave it alone. It is self sustaining. You will find abusers in any system but these new rule changes will not cull the real culprits. We should all remember how quickly our own circumstances can change. Be blessed if you are on the giving end, you could all too easily find yourself on the receiving end.

    • Gary Schoenfeldt
      January 14, 2013 - 22:02

      "Sick and Tired" of being a good citizen? That's too bad. I paid in quite a bit every month over the past quarter century without drawing a cent so there should be enough in the account to give her my share.

    • bill gallan
      January 14, 2013 - 22:18

      Hey Sick and Tired, do you pay EI deductions? do you pay car insurance? Same thing idiot, if you had a accident tomorrow did u plan for it? what if u took sick then your ei , hmm let me think what does that stand for, hmm oh I know Employment Insurance. Think about it. it is something we pay into that we do not have a choice we are forced too pay into it and now you tell her to plan, i cant wait to hear you lose your job cause Harper opened up free trade further and ur job goes south. I hope you plan on it as you too yes you too idiot will be stuck out in the cold protesting to try to save yourself and maybe family. And on a side note, Stephen Harper i retract my vote for you and your political party will never get another vote from me.

      January 14, 2013 - 22:25

      BREAKING NEWS: Shawn Atleo taking “brief” medical leave as national chief of Assembly of First Nations, under doctor’s orders #PEIGuardian.... bet ya there isn't half as much fuss over this....

    • Debbie
      January 15, 2013 - 01:47

      Not everyone expects the government to take care of them. Marlene is not able to get a job close to home within walking distance. She needs assistance EI. The government hasn't thought this through all the way. If all the seasonal workers went back to school or found year round jobs, who would work in the construction industry. Who would do snow removal? Seasonal companies may as well just close their doors. Next time you drive ask yourself: Do I prefer to drive on asphalt or in cow paths? When you see a snowplow be thankful for seasonal workers. We are sick & tired of being labeled & treated like we are beneath others & don't want to work. It's actually the Welfare Programs that need to be revamped. Give them the same rules as EI or get cut off. Nobody can plan for any kind of stress. Marlene left her job because of it. Possibly what she should have done is file for medical leave under the EI.

    • Karine benoit
      January 15, 2013 - 07:45

      I have too give my opinion here ... Being on El is a proof that a person have kick there ass and have work like another person would not be able to do like you who say that is abusing the system ... I do not agree at all with your saying sorry but i invite you to go work in a lobster shop for exemple to earn your El and when your day of 16 hours is finish that you don't even feel any part of your body because you have work like a machine well tell them (the shop workers ) that they are abusing the system see what there opinions will be... A couple of month is not even enough to take a break for them . So keep your opinion for you with your abusing the system !

    • Sleuth
      January 15, 2013 - 20:29

      Canadian taxpayers should worry more about gov't's wasteful spending such as exorbitant pensions for MP's & politicians, who poor performance would result in job dismissal in the private sector rather than a fat pension paying more than most of what middle income earners make, than what the average EI recipient receives, including all the abuses of the system thrown in. Easy to sit back and judge the small income earners on EI when you're not the one who has challenges getting or maintaining jobs. If the country wants to benefit from a labour force's ability to pay taxes that ultimately support our spending for universal programs across the country then it should re-think promoting welfare and aid it's labour force in time of need --- there are plenty of govt excess spending that could be instead curbed.

  • Cull the herd
    January 14, 2013 - 19:37

    Blame all the abusers of E.I. for the measures that needed to be taken. It would also be helpful to know the background of Ms. Giersdorf case. Perhaps she should do another interview and let us all know how many times she has received E.I. and why she changes jobs so often.

      January 14, 2013 - 20:55

      The biggest abusers of the EI system are the lobster fishermen. They fish for 2 months, hire their wives and children-and make thousands and thousands of dollars for 2 months of work-pay their wives top salary. When they are done fishing-both of them draw EI and work "under-the table" They draw top EI benefits and work for a measly 2 months- who else gets away with this crap?? It's time EI started an investigation-instead of bugging someone making min. wage. THERE IS NO FAIRNESS IN THIS!!!

    • Dawn
      January 15, 2013 - 06:53

      Well Kay parks I don't know what lobster fishery you are talking about because here in ns they start in November and end in may they work their butts off in crappy weather and the wives can not get stamps

  • Ozzy Stillbourne
    January 14, 2013 - 19:31

    Well, Ms. Geirsdorf is busy over at The Eastern Graphic's comments section. She's acting very immature, and generally showing a poor attitude. If she displayed this attitude towards her EI caseworker, it's not much wonder she got cut off. I did have sympathy for her, but after reading what she's written there, I'm not so sure.

  • Island Trucker
    January 14, 2013 - 19:07

    If she has no trasportation to go to work......hiw she travel to Charlottetown to protest?

  • jay
    January 14, 2013 - 19:06

    The fishermen used to work before the Canadian government started to subsidize the St Lawrence seaway and keep the canals open to the great lakes ..many fishermen took winter jobs in the ports ,Saintjohn was known as the winter port of Canada ...but those jobs are long gone and the government didnt have to pay them back then now how much do they pump into the Stlawrence seaway and the canals connecting the graet lakes to it !!!

  • kayla
    January 14, 2013 - 19:03

    Okay first of all I live in the Saint John area. There are literally no jobs here making more then minimum wage. I have been applying for jobs since I was pregnant my daughter is now 10 months old. My fiance is a seasonal worker he has been trying to find work since he has gotten laid off this year because he doesn't want to be seasonal. Not everyone is scamming he wants to work all year round there are no jobs is the problem. People can't live off of minimum wage. People that are on EI making top rate are making more then they would on minimum wage anyways thats rediculous. And nobody should have to move outwest nobody should have to leave there family behind and leave there home to find work. Also why has nobody mentioned the fact that Harper STOLE 56 BILLION $$$ out of the EI Funds. He steals the peoples money then tells us to go get a job when there are none.... I find it disturbing that some people think that that is okay. And even if there were jobs if companies want decent worker they should pay them what they are worth.

  • jason hickey
    January 14, 2013 - 18:44

    this is classic Canadian government B.S We as Canadians have become way too tolerant, and let way too much go. This is not only unfare, it makes absolutely no sense. Anyone else long for days when WE actually did something about crao like this? Get your heads out of the sand people! Should be ashamed of yourselves, just as our government should be.

  • Art MacKay
    January 14, 2013 - 18:40

    So if someone makes a vehicle available to her (must be one around Montague somewhere) she will then qualify for EI? Then she only needs to make contact with 5 potential employers a week ... like her MP, her MLA, her pastor or priest, her previous employers, the Provincial government, local and Charlottetown businesses. Am I not correct. They must all record her requests and document them, including the offices of the politicians. Don't forget the major parties ... they might hire someone to stuff envelopes in the hopes they will get elected again???

  • Chris
    January 14, 2013 - 18:13

    There are a lot of people who have taken advantage of E.I benefits in the past, only working as many hours as they needed to collect their next claim. Not saying this women used stress leave to get off work and get paid but it happens so much that its what most people are thinking he was up to. Why is she crying that she dosent know what to do now? That she may not be able to afford her kid. I say BS! If she wanted a job in Montague she could get one. May not be the pick of the crop job but enough to pay her rent and buy food. I could go on the job bank right now and find a bunch. If a 16 year old kid with no job experience or a Japaneses people who can hardly speak English can find work then this women should not have a problem. Anyone can go into there doctor and say there extremely stressed, ask for a note for time off work and the doctor will hand it over no problem. I don't like working and I get stressed all the time, but uniformity I have a family to take care of and I need to suck it up and just enjoy the time i'm not working.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 14, 2013 - 17:55

    Hey folks, this is just another example of the failed economic policies of our wonderful provincial and federal governments. There are no jobs and people will be forced to move or starve to death. Once you are forced to move then the other part of this deliberate attack on the middle and lower classes, you know, work more for less pay. Over the last 40 to 50 years the failed policies of all political parties during that time need to take responsibility for their failed policies. It started with the attack on the family unit in the seventies and continues to today. The price of oil was deliberately artificially inflated and this forced the women of the house to get out to work in order just to pay the bills. Then they pushed the anti marriage, you know, marriage isn't necessary. Their next big push was homosexuality is ok when it is not ok. So they kept the parents busy while they pushed their anti Christian agenda on us. And it just keeps going on and on. Because it is done incrementally no one seems to get upset about it but I am telling you now ... IT IS TIME TO GET UPSET ABOUT OUR GOVERNANCE. Kyle Bass recently revealed a fact about our government leaders: “They’re not going to tell you that a collapse is coming. You’re going to have to see it for yourself. The government’s never going to tell you that it’s going to happen. These guys are never going to tell you the truth, because they can’t tell you the truth. Their job is to promote confidence, not to tell you the truth.” We need more people to respond to Roger Waters’ question, “Mother, should I trust the government?” with this answer before we can begin to tear down the wall that seemed too high. “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” - George Orwell

    • lynn
      January 14, 2013 - 21:54

      I totally agree with Bill Kays .

  • Walk a day in her shoes
    January 14, 2013 - 17:43

    Wow, I cannot believe the ignorance of some of the people commenting on here!! Oh sure, it would be SOOO easy for a single mom to get a job in a place where there is few jobs available..yep, just go about town and get hired anywhere right?? I guess she's supposed to pull a job out of thin air? I'm sure it's easy for you guys to sit back and judge, but most of you have probably never walked in her shoes!! Being a single mom with ALL the responsibility resting on her shoulders is TOUGH!!! You guys should try doing it just for a month or two, and see how your opinion might change! To those of you who say "She shouldn't have quit her job, there's no sympathy here". Did you not read she was working 60 HOURS a WEEK and her doctor put her on stress leave?? That's 60 hours away from her a crucial time in his development, 60 hours a week just isn't the responsible thing to do as a parent..think of how much of his life she is missing! Her DOCTOR PUT HER ON STRESS LEAVE..don't you get it?? You try working 60 hours a week in a demanding job, and then trying to raise a child on top of that, as well as paying all the bills...see how your tune will soon change! She said she would work in Charlottetown if she had a way to get there, but she has no transportation since there's no bus that goes there, and she can't afford a car. Oh right, you expect her to get a loan to get a do you get a loan without a job? Do you see what's happening here, she's spinning in circles.!! Oh right, so she should move to Charlottetown right? WITH WHAT MONEY?!? She has less than $100 to her do you expect her to be able to pay for moving expenses, rent, security deposit and all the other expenses included in a move, with NO MONEY?!? I guess she's supposed to pull that money out of thin air too, just like she did with her imaginary job that's just waiting to be taken!! In another story I read about her, she said it would be difficult to move for another reason as well, her childcare is in Montague and she has to rely on extended family to help with her son to get him back and forth to school and extracurricular activities. She obviously is better off staying in Montague at this point! To the person who said she made her bed, now she has to lie in it: the last time I checked it takes two people to make a baby, and therefore two people should be responsible for it...but like in so many other situations, the responsibility falls on the mom's shoulders.and she's expected to be superwoman..the fathers in these situations should be made to pay child support and help out with childcare, etc. In any case, she has paid for EI through her whole working career, and now that she needs it, it should be there for her!! Stephen Harper has no right to take away someone's accessibility of employment assistance, when that person has paid a crapload of $$$ into the plan...that's the issue here, not whether or not she was justified in quitting her job!! Get your facts straight and try to put yourself in her shoes (and anyone else who's in the same situation) before you judge what you don't understand!!

  • Frank
    January 14, 2013 - 16:53

    WOW,You People jumped on this one Ever hear of car pooling?? Bet someone living in Montague works in Charlottetown !

  • Regardless
    January 14, 2013 - 16:40

    It doesn't matter how stressful her job was, her first concern should always be her son. He needs food, a roof over his head, and countless other things that cost money. Her well-being should come second to her son's. That's part of the responsibility of having a child. The bottom line is that she should NOT have quit her job. Suck it up. You're working for your child. Look for another job but definitely do NOT quit before you have another guaranteed source of income. My mother raised us working multiple jobs with the help of welfare twice while in between jobs. My mother sacrificed a lot for us to make sure we had a happy and secure childhood. I've seen her go through extremely stressful times and some possible depression but you know what she did? She did what was necessary to provide for us. She would never have quit because she didn't like her job or it was too stressful. Now add to that multiple university and college degrees that she somehow managed to earn while working and raising us so it's definitely possible to raise a child as a single parent. That's the life of a single parent. To those that seem to think it's more important to spend time with the child than to work, who do you expect to feed the child? That's the unfortunate fact of being a single parent. Whether or not she finds a job in Montague, this should be a wake up call for her. What will she do if she cannot find a job close to her? What if she does and loses it again? She will be back in the same position. Like others have said, you go where the work is. If that means Charlottetown, then she should start planning the move.

  • People think she is right?
    January 14, 2013 - 16:39

    Why is it okay for other people to pay the way for people to collect ei ? These people send their kids to school for free which they contribute next to nothing. These people go to the doctor and get treated for free yet they pay next to nothing. The work force (myself included) are paying for these people to have all these free things yet they still complain. People have to realize no government will please everyone, the people that help themselves will be fine.

    • ann cousins
      January 14, 2013 - 20:58

      excuse me but these people you are talking about on ei in my province dont get anything for free my husband works 7 to 8 months out of the year and collects ei for the rest we had to pay for everything plus we didnt get family allounce,hst/gst or any free doctor service.Without help for these 4 month or so we couldnt make husband paid in this insurance so he could collect if he needed help.

  • Captain Canuck
    January 14, 2013 - 16:32

    Slow down folks. Be reasonable. There are people in Charlottetown looking for jobs. Only if there were not people in town looking for work, then it would make sense to tell her she must go to Charlottetown for a job. It is obvious that the government is trying to screw everyone they can with new rules. She quit her last job? Well if I quit my job and had no other to go to then that should tell even the dumbest of you that I MUST get out of my job. She deserves my tax dollars and I deserve to have my tax dollars help her. We pay our taxes and insurances expecting the monies to go to the functions we pay into. Now we're being raped for our tax dollars by a money-horny government that will not offer the services for which we pay..

  • Susan W.
    January 14, 2013 - 16:25

    Why would anyone in their right mind vote Conservative, they are sooooooooooo corrupt ????Harper is hardly ever in Canada anyway he is in some other Country giving away our tax dollars.

  • geezzz
    January 14, 2013 - 16:16

    leave it to people to be harsh, judgmental and kick the person who is down... you think that since you could do something, anyone should be able to do it also...everyone's situation is different. Or you figure you are better than this person therefore you have a right to dismiss, disparage, and judge. It is very disheartening to read . Get a heart!

  • woods
    January 14, 2013 - 16:10

    Where was "common sense" in this decision. The minister said it would be used. Sad..sad.

  • MolariOntario
    January 14, 2013 - 16:07

    What a heartless cruel Government who attacks the poor and vulnerable of our society? This is so disgusting! People, see how uncaring and heartless the conservatives are? Please remember next election how the Conservative don't care about people.

      January 14, 2013 - 18:59

      Exactly! Young men, our boys, brothers, fathers, uncles and cousins fought, suffered hideous wounds and died for our FREEDOM and this is how it's being deliberately mis-handled, eroded, desicrated! What kind of Canada are we permitting to forced upon us, and why!

    • Bill
      January 14, 2013 - 19:13 Check this link. Dr Kellie Leitch is interviewed on Maritime Connection. She clarifies how EI will be based on an individuals circumstances and changes aren't strict at all. Then read this story again.

    • Workin' Man
      January 14, 2013 - 19:28

      Where is their caring and heartfelt laws that would allow a woman to work reasonable hours so she wouldn't get stressed out about her job. A big part of this blame goes not to the Federal government or Harper, it goes to the PEI government that makes the labour rules on hours of work and overtime pay ,where is the legislation that would protect people like this woman from being forced to work 60......other provinces have these laws.....why not PEI? This is 2013,not your provincial member and ask him why? .

    • Contact Kellie
      January 14, 2013 - 19:56

      Check out the CBC radio interview on Sun Jan 13 (Maritime Connection) with Dr Kellie Leitch. She is the Parlimentary Secretary to the Minister of Humane Resources and Skills Developement. She explains how fair EI is and how people shouldn't fear the new changes as assesments are done on a case by case basis. Sounds like she needs to know about this case!

    • Edward Greencorn
      January 14, 2013 - 20:16

      It will be overwelming in less than two months when all the Zellers employees from charlottetown and Summerside get layed off due to store closures 2 to 3 hundered more unemployed looking for work with the other thousands currently without jobs living in pei now I can not believe that everyone living in Charlottetown is employed and that none of them were qualified to fill that posistion that E. I. wanted this young lady to travel long distance to fill it.

  • Islandlobsterman
    January 14, 2013 - 16:01

    I love how its always the fishermans fault. I'd be willing to bet 60% of island fisherman put their boats in the barn and traps on the wharf and head west. I fish , I had lots of EI benefits to get me through until April but here I am , in a camp in fort mcmurray working. It's a few fisherman who give us all a bad name, the 20 or so more fisherman in this one camp can vouch for that.

    • To Islandlobsterman
      January 14, 2013 - 19:20

      Post your real name. If you have EI to get you through to the spring you should be home building traps and painting buoys!

    • Christy
      January 15, 2013 - 12:14

      For all those that blame the fisherman, I would love for you to get a chance to work one year in a lobsterman's boots, just to see how much work goes into the job, when the lobstering season ends in May in NS the work doesn't stop there. Not to mention how dangerous the job out on the water is. Lobster men pay into EI too and have every right to draw it, just the same as anyone else paying into should be able to use it when they find themselves without work. Lobstermen don't work 2. Months of the year and then live a life of luxury the rest of the time, they are hard working people just like everyone else. So before you judge someone , walk a mile in their shoes first. If a lobsterman makes so much money why would there be so many of them moving out west. That's right, they don't make any more than the rest of us and they struggle too....grow up people and stop trying to find someone other than the government to blame this on. Done.

  • jl
    January 14, 2013 - 16:00

    I'm not sure why she qualified for EI in the first place since she QUIT her previous job (I entirely reserve any judgment as to whether that was a good or bad decision).

  • king
    January 14, 2013 - 15:35

    feel sorry for the women that got a kid. people you are cruel i no i raised my son by my self''' i am on ei i live home at 5,00 in the morning to go to work i was living my little boy behind in miramichi work 12 hour day try to make better live for him he graduted now he welder. my god wake up smell the coffee not nobody perfect in this work she was working to much the doc give her note this new ei think going to her the economy if you can get ei why we pay in to it... try to be good to one another there no nead to put people down

  • sharon b
    January 14, 2013 - 15:20

    With the new EI changes in effect, you are supposed to call at least 1 place per day looking for work. I suggest that you call your MP's office every day and ask if they have a job for you and ask them to write down your information and keep it on file that you were looking for work in their office. The new rules states that a business must keep track of everyone who calls or comes into the their business looking for work so the EI police can call to check if you are seeking employment. I'm sure the businesses will enjoy having to take down 500 peoples information a day and keep it on file for maybe a year or so. I suggest that you then call your local PC MLA and ask them if they have a job for you and to keep track of you calling seeking employment. COPY AND PASTE SO OTHERS CAN SHARE IT AS WELL !!!

    • Jill B
      January 14, 2013 - 18:22

      This is false, check the facts on the Service Canada website...employers do NOT have to keep records and there is no one job and day rule...

  • Christine Dube
    January 14, 2013 - 15:17

    Most days Im proud to be a Canadian ...Today I am not!Shame on you people with your negative comments.Wasting precious time putting her down instead of helping her get a car or job.She already has the hardest job in the world(being a single mom).I bet you judemental people would help her if you thought you could claim a donation to help her on your income tax ! Karma will catch up with you!

  • Compassion
    January 14, 2013 - 15:12

    Why has no one mentioned the 50/50 custody agreement of her son? This, as well as the high cost of moving and/or transportation would be exactly why she would be unable to relocate to Charlottetown. So she is to move and have her boy carted back and forth (each week I'm presuming)? This obviously does not coincide what what I've been hearing about the new changes to the EI system.

    • Cathy
      January 14, 2013 - 16:18 It says here at the bottom of the article that if someone is looking for work in rural pei and dosent have a car to travel the distance and would have to take a cab that it would be unreasonable for them to take that job....and it was written in December. it says right in the article that common sense will be used. no common sense used here....

  • christine ramsottom
    January 14, 2013 - 14:24

    WOW !! Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who YOU are. Remember that as you write such unkind words about this woman who is just trying to get by.

  • E.I is crap
    January 14, 2013 - 14:09

    Being from the Martimes and understanding that jobs are hard to come by. But first she still shouldn't have quit her job. Most people have jobs they are not happy with. I used to do seasonal work. I would come west work then go back east and collect EI. And believe that's not what I wanted for myself so I finally said I will use the EI to my advantage and I took my class 1 lincense. So basically I would never have to worry about wing on EI . I live in Winnipeg where jobs are easier to come by. But still it's a crappy deal he Beijing job less but still don't quit your job and expect to get the rules bent cuz you have a kid, life is hard and by you quitting your job you just made it harder on yourself. But good luck tho.

    • Donna Furnival
      January 14, 2013 - 15:02

      I used to live in Montague. It's a little too far to walk to 'town' to work. This is just the beginning of the hardships Harpers policy changes have wrought to the EI pension system.

  • Gene
    January 14, 2013 - 14:03

    Doesn't add up, maybe not but do you have the story? I would like to hear it.

  • unemployed
    January 14, 2013 - 13:45

    get the fishermen who only work 10 weeks a year and get to draw 2 claims of EI out to work they are self-employed ... they should have to go to work some where else to get there stamps..

    • Leave the fishermen out of it
      January 14, 2013 - 15:03

      Why are the fishermen always to blame? Get your facts straight , there is more to fishing than" 10 weeks of work" and you would be surprised at how many have second jobs because EI is not enough . I am not a fisherman, I just don't think it's fair they are being judged for the way they make a living. Stick to the story at hand, it has nothing to do with fishermen..

    • Angie Lord
      January 14, 2013 - 16:21

      Ok I am a fisherwoman, first thing I live on a island with a 1/5 hour ferry, next thing who is going to hirer someone for 6 months of the year, and do you realize how much work is involved in up keep on boats, traps, nets and scows ect... Not to mention the paperwork involved for the government. I am sure fisherman/ woman pay into EI and also pay in extra EI for employing people. The taxes that we pay into the government, basically EI is loan till the next season. So leave the fishers out of this, you don't know anything about it.

    • Bob
      January 14, 2013 - 22:38

      This is the problem....EI is NOT a loan. It was intended to support a person who lost their job, not replacement income for half the year. It's not fishermen who are the problem, it's all those who think they should get EI to supplement their income so they can sit on their ass and let the year round worker pay for their yearly holiday. I know some people get the shitty end of the stick, but too many people have been abusing this system for far too long.

  • Easternpei
    January 14, 2013 - 13:37

    Quitting a job before you found another one was probably not a good idea especially with a child to support. It's kind of a " wing and a prayer" idea. What would she do after her EI benefits ran out? The government made everyone aware of the new changes coming to EI long before they came into effect, so it's no surprise that they are "cranking down" on EI users. I'm sorry to see her with no income but some kind of plan should of been implemented before quitting her job. I think there has been too much attention brought to this story without all the facts. ( For the record I was a single mother myself for the ones who may think I'm heartless... it's just my opinion..)

    • al
      January 14, 2013 - 14:29

      She did not quit her job she had a Dr note stress now she has even more THANKS everyone on here to shit on her. You don't know the hole story !!! Thanks FED's.She filed in oct and did not get EI till dec with no help .Some of the comments on here are un real . Am i still living on the Island it dose not feel like it. THANKS

    • sick and tired
      January 15, 2013 - 13:53

      I think you said it perfectly. I have high stress in my job too and several times I'm sure could have been put off on stress leave...but I would not quit my job before I had another plan in place. It's common sense!

    • becky
      January 15, 2013 - 23:26

      People, 60 hours a week in a job that is already high stress? That's the kind of stress that can make a person very, very sick. Not to mention, when does she actually get to raise her son? She's obviously more than willing to work if she was working under these conditions. Have some sense.

  • LuNy TiX
    January 14, 2013 - 13:08

    This is terrible, the government needs to see change, but not like this.

    • Workin' Man
      January 14, 2013 - 13:58

      The problem is the PEI government that has no labour laws like other provinces that has legislation that prevents a boss from making you work 60 hours a week. And legislation that requires overtime pay after 40 or 48 hours of work. Without legislation you'll be required to work as many hours as your employer tells you. PEI government has to get with the times.

  • Idiotic Tories
    January 14, 2013 - 13:02

    It is too bad that the GOVERNEMNT is doing this! I work year round and have paid into EI. I will not be doing it anymore! I think we all should stop paying into EI and then see how Harper likes that! This IDIOT needs to be stopped and stopped now!!! And i don't mind saying that i am a tory myself but that has now changed and you can thanks Harper for that and i am sure many others will be following! You go girl, if you need somebody else to hold a sign with you i am here!

    • Edna
      January 14, 2013 - 13:40

      i know marlene. she is a very hard worker, and no i don't beleive that the union or a liberal put her up to this. where she worked has no union. maybe their should be one. it is a big responsbility when u work with 30 some residents by yourself @ times. that can stress people. their should be no changes to E.I. why. we are not lazy people. marlene has a son to provide for. she has to live. come on she needs her E.I. we work hard for what we have. why take it away.if their's going to be changes made. get rid of stephen harper.

  • LC
    January 14, 2013 - 12:55

    according to what I found on the Service Canada's website, the fact that this woman has limited or no transportation options in terms of commuting to and from work, they should not have cancelled her EI. Listed under Personal Circumstances.

  • joebob
    January 14, 2013 - 12:50

    nasty boy what are you talking about? lazy maritimers? haha you're probably from the western part of canada are you? yeah it figures. haha 95 percent of canadians work out in your oil fieilds out west and every other job that is available out there. you try living here in p.e.i. for a year or so and you'll see how hard it is to get by you schumck!! live in the shoes of a maritimer bfore you start opening ypur big mouth

  • Walter
    January 14, 2013 - 12:45

    Wrong, wrong, wrong,DONNIE! It was the LIBERAL government under Jean Chretien who stole the EI 52 Billion dollar fund..... Look it up.

  • Dave
    January 14, 2013 - 12:37

    She quit her job working 60 hrs, so her EI woudl be good and she would not have to[pay childcare. That is a little fishy. I I find it very hard to believe that if she said "I have no car, but I am willing to travel to Charlottetown IF I CAN make arrangements" that she would be denied benefits.

    • Confused
      January 14, 2013 - 14:03

      I want to try & understand this one, the stress of working 60 hours per week versus the stress of worrying about putting bread on my table. This is a woman who said all she want to do is provide for her son but she did not think ahead to what she was going to do without a job in an area where jobs are at a premium. There are so many other things that could have been done rather than quit her job, let's be reasonable who is responsible for this woman's unemployment?

  • EI investigaters
    January 14, 2013 - 12:18

    To everyone commenting on here, do you really think the government is saving money cutting seasonal workers off ei? If you do, look and see how many million is being spent on the new positions of EI investigaters. They probably make a bit more than what an average seasonal worker would make on EI. If you want to complain about something complain about the fisherman's wives drawing ei, while never setting foot in a boat! As for buddy that stated he works 91 hours a week, wow we believe you and you're our hero!!

  • islander
    January 14, 2013 - 12:17

    with concern to the plight of this young mother and her denial of EI benefits. how they can deny your right to benefits after deciding that you qualified is confusing to me, however in the charter, if I understand it correctly. section 2 . a prohibits discrimination based on a persons present or previous residence. Mobility Rights Marginal note:Mobility of citizens 6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada. Marginal note:Rights to move and gain livelihood (2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right (a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and (b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province. Marginal note:Limitation (3) The rights specified in subsection (2) are subject to (a) any laws or practices of general application in force in a province other than those that discriminate among persons primarily on the basis of province of present or previous residence; and (b) any laws providing for reasonable residency requirements as a qualification for the receipt of publicly provided social services. Marginal note:Affirmative action programs (4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration in a province of conditions of individuals in that province who are socially or economically disadvantaged if the rate of employment in that province is below the rate of employment in Canada.

  • HarperisGay
    January 14, 2013 - 12:13

    Why do people pay into EI when you cant get it. its almost to the point of insurance you pay into insurance for years and if nothing happens your out hard earned Money. i say everyone in canada goes on strike against Mr.Harper and lets him know we work hard for our money our taxes are not for him to play with. i got 3 pot holes on my street for the last 2 years they fill them every year with crap to make them look good and i pay 10k a year in taxes and EI well its just an easy way to let harper and all those other conservitive bastereds pay for the next election. here guys here my share of your attack adds so you can win an election. Harper is a Pig he is like Bush dumb as shit and need to be out of the USA ass before canada becomes the next state bye bye health care EI is gone Pensions well that soon to be gone, hell with the retirement homes youll all be working till your dead tyo pay for harper. anyone who voted for him is either retarded or has money you all suck too.

    • SAP
      January 14, 2013 - 14:26

      You can pay insurance too, but you are not allowed to burn down your house to collect the pay out.

  • Daisee
    January 14, 2013 - 12:08

    The deficit deceit and the scare tactic of austerity: We are being lied to. A scare tactic meant to make us believe we can no longer afford to help people at the bottom of the economic ladder as much as we used to. But we’re not so badly off that we can’t make a few corporate tax cuts here and there. Go to the website of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ( Educate yourself on the lies that we are being told.

  • Head Shaker
    January 14, 2013 - 11:56

    What has to be remembered is she does qualify for EI. She met the qualifications listed under law, and regulations, as defined by the Federal Goverment, so whining about whether you think she should be allowed to collect ot not is just that whining. The issue is the NEW rule that you have to do any job available within an hours drive, and applying it to someone who never needed a car to do any of her previous work and therefore doens't have one. I think part of this is griping that she had a job previously where sh didn't need one, and being upset that she didn't buy one anyway.

  • joe
    January 14, 2013 - 11:54

    shame shame shame one of the riches county in the world treating a single mom like this shame shame shame

  • The Truth
    January 14, 2013 - 11:54

    You quit, cry me a river, it is time for the Maritime EI Lifestyle to end. If you want a life move west.

    • Go West
      January 14, 2013 - 15:42

      Yup, if you want a good life for you and your family, move out West. Poor kids on PEI have no chance unless they leave. There is so much more opportunity, for everyone, out West.

    • intobed
      January 14, 2013 - 16:11

      Stephen Harper, is that you?

  • JamesHalifax
    January 14, 2013 - 11:39

    Yes, quitting your job and them complaining about not getting EI makes a great sob story. (not) First, don't quit your job....and if you do, make sure you have something else to fall back on.. Look at other options. Car pool, work in a different field, MOVE someplace else....find a car, get a loan if necessary. What did this woman do? Talk to a reporter. Yeah...I'm sure there is more to this story. (I wouldn't doubt some union or LIBERAL put her up to it)

    • Lisa
      January 14, 2013 - 14:23

      Shame on you Jame Shalifax. This is not a sob story. First, as you stated, she is a single Mom and people do things in order to live. Spending 60 hours away from her child is bad enough, but to have to pay for child care, that is an expense all on its own. You said car pool, first try and find someone to car pool with that is not a government employee, working 8-5, and maybe she would have to work shift work, different field, well in order to get a good job, you need the education and training for that, which in turn, is very costly too, you said move someplace else, well maybe she has no choice to move somewhere's else, find a car, get a loan if necessary, well you need a job to get a loan. Don't speak of such things if you do not know the situation, and don't assume, because you and I both know what assuming means.

  • BCer
    January 14, 2013 - 11:34

    They simply do not care. I recently finished a 2 1/2 stint of being unemployed and my experience with the government has left a very bad taste in my mouth. After my whole six months of EI ran out I was ineligible for BC Income Assistance as my 10 year old car's re-sale value was deemed to high. So in the past 2 1/2 years I have lost my house, sold off most of my furniture and have maxed out a $30,000 line of credit. Now I work p/t in a warehouse for minimum wage, not bad for a 47 year old, eh?! I am so glad I went to university, paid my taxes, served my country and obeyed the law, so very glad.

  • Workin' Man
    January 14, 2013 - 11:10

    Everyone here has missed the most important issue...... The fault of this young woman's plight lies in the rules set out by the province. The province states that a regular work week is 48 hours. In the question of are there limits to how long a boss can make an employee work? The answer is there is no maximum. She could be made to work as many hours as her boss tells her to work. Now if one looks at other provincal regulations Ontario "The maximum number of hours most employees can be required to work in a week is 48 hours. The weekly maximum can be exceeded by written agreement and approval of the Director of Employment Standards." Also in Ontario any work done after 48 hours a week, overtime at time and a half must be paid. So the fault of excessive work is the PEI government that has no legislation to protect this woman from excessive work,or getting paid overtime. So the reporter should have done his homework in finding why this woman had to work the hours she was required, without any protection from provincial labour legislation.Unlike other provinces PEI workers have nothing to protect against excessive hours of work and possibly getiing paid overtime for this excess. The people to blame for this problem is the PEI government,not the Federal government or Harper.

  • Don't quit your job
    January 14, 2013 - 11:07

    Am I missing something here? She QUIT her job, she didn't lose it. Why would she even qualify for EI in the first place? Sorry, no sympathy here. You simply don't have the luxury of quitting your job when you've got a kid to feed. She made her bed, now she must lie in it.

  • noname
    January 14, 2013 - 11:07

    This was taken directly off the service canada website explaining the new ei rules, this is THEIR example;Examples Sarah is a single mother of three, living in rural Prince Edward Island. Each year, she works for several months on a local farm making $560 per week and is laid off each November. She receives $308 in EI regular benefits each week. As a frequent EI claimant, she is required to look for work in similar occupations at $448 per week (80 percent of her previous wages) during the first six weeks of her claim. Beginning week seven, she must expand her search to any job for which she is qualified that offers a minimum of $392 per week (70 percent of her previous wages). Ten weeks into her claim, Sarah is offered a minimum-wage full-time job in Charlottetown that offers $400 per week. There is no public transportation available to get to the job, which is located 45 minutes from Sarah’s home by car. If Sarah were to accept the job offer, she would incur a cost of $100 in gas to commute to work every week. Sarah turns down the job offer since she would be worse-off financially accepting the job than collecting EI regular benefits. Service Canada agrees that the job offer was not suitable employment for Sarah. As a result, she will continue to receive EI regular benefits while looking for work. Sarah’s weekly salary before EI Wage and type of work search requirements EI benefit (55% of previous salary, to a maximum of $485) Initial At 7 weeks At 19 weeks $560 $448 (80%, similar) $400* (70%, any) $400* (70%, any) $308 *Claimants will never have to accept jobs that pay less than minimum wage in their province or territory.

  • Sylvia
    January 14, 2013 - 11:06

    Stress on the job - first talk to employer about less hours, part-time or work-sharing options. No resolution talk to doctor about stress factors. Doctor gives note for employer for less hours since the problem was not the job but the length of the weekly hours. The answer was not EI or welfare. The answer was Workers Compensation of which that agency would have helped the person to get back to work in a reasonable time and they would have provided some of the help needed by doctors, agencies etc. AND they would have investigated to see if the job was under legal and fair working conditions. Having a winter vacation is not a way of life in other provinces. If you don't work then you don't have money. As for EI providing time to reassess and and to have some income while finding work after a job loss that is what it is for. However people have to move sometimes to find a suitable job. Charlottetown is not Alberta.......I understand the child care thing but guess what? Most of us have children and have to work around them.

  • kc christie
    January 14, 2013 - 11:03

    I find it interesting that most of the nasty comments on here are made by males. I wonder if you would change your tune if you were a single mother and trying to make ends meet?

  • Lloyd Smith
    January 14, 2013 - 10:58

    If thepurpose of this article (and it is) is to invoke pity, it's not going to work. Unfortunately, in most of the Canadian media, if a person runs to them with a "poor me, I'm a victim" story, then the media just laps it up, and never, ever questions it. Much of the msm is so obsessed with "Harper-bashing", they fail to do even the least bit of due diligence. For this latest victimitus story, the natural questions are: - why not just move the 1/2 hour, to the area where jobs exist? - in Canada, having to work 60 hours a week is unlawful - it is highly suspect that this person's claim of 60 hour work weeks has even an ounce of merit. - should we change the national EI system, because some people choose to live where there is no public transit? We, the reading public, are asked to ignore all these common sense questions, and instead go "all in" on the pity party.

    • duhhhh lloyd
      January 14, 2013 - 13:58

      farmers do not have the same labour laws as corporations and i bet there are other bussinesses that dont haven't got a clue what hours some seasonal workers have to put in and there isn't any laws to help them.You want merit to the claim of 60 hour weeks i'll show you my pay stubs of 70-90 hour weeks for 5 n 6 weeks in a row and its not my choice considering i have soul costudy of my 2 children.

  • Patricia
    January 14, 2013 - 10:55

    Okay first thing she should have went out on stress leave this most likely could have been avoided and bought her time to find a more suitable job . Does anyone not realize this all started when we now have Mom Dad Grandma Grandpa and all the kids all competing for the few jobs there are here . There is in now way enough jobs here to support the demand this is not the fault of the People . This poor Woman is a single Mom trying to raise a child on her own and let me tell you working those kinds of hours it won't be her job that will suffer but her rapidly growing child who could also become Taxpayers problem down the road if she is not able to be there for him . People here are getting so judgemental we used to stand side by side with our Neighbors now it seems we have become a selfish self absorbed every man for himself society not liking that I have to say . I am a big believer in It Takes A Village we all have to stick together you do realize come the end of your life it won't be about the money you made but the spent with Loved ones I have never ever once heard anyone who is dying say I wish I had more money when at the end of your life it is time you wish for to right the wrongs you made with those Loved ones .

    • SO TRUE
      January 15, 2013 - 01:00

      To Patricia: Patty dear, you are SO right! And we all know it, and we all have let it go much too far already! You speak from a lot of good sense.

  • SG
    January 14, 2013 - 10:46

    To the person who stated there were 9 jobs listed for the Montague area. The Job Listings posted re: all areas of P.E.I. are ususally: 1) Old Listings 2) Already taken 3) Requires a Degree, Skills that many don't posess. If there are so many JOBS on PEI I wonder WHY Islanders are Leaving in DROVES for Western Canada to find work? Does our Harper Government, Gail Shea, Mike Duffy not realize this is a Fact? The Majority of Islanders WANT to work the PROBLEM is there are VERY FEW if ANY Jobs available. The Majority of those Jobs are Minimum Wage. How does a single mother survive on Minimum Wage or one Salary when most Island Families can't survive on two ? It's easy to look in from afar and make comments based on a News Report about a person/people most don't even know. However it's not so easy when your the person who is living such circumstances Up Close and Personal. No one should be expected to work 60 hrs. per wk. Isn't that stated in our Employment Act? Also her past Employer supplied her with a Reference! I don't doubt this is just the First Case of Many to follow regarding our New Unemployment Changes! Maybe our Island Ministers Mike Duffy, Gail Shea could endeavour to explain the True Reality of Job Opportunities on P.E.I. to our Prime Minister and Dianne Finley or possibly find the means of Creating more Job Opportunities on P.E.I. for Islanders. The lastest Reports re: two new Companies providing a "Possible" 40 jobs for Islanders (having the specific qualifications required) will not make much of an Impact re: our current level of Unemployment.

  • Nina
    January 14, 2013 - 10:46

    She quit her job, and they managed to find her a job in another town that she is refusing. Why doesn't she offer to move to where there is work? Unfortunately, sometimes employment dictates where you can live. I hope that I'm missing something here.

  • wondering
    January 14, 2013 - 10:32

    Is moving to Charlottetown an option? Is asking her employer for less than 60 hours possible?

    • Megs
      January 14, 2013 - 13:22

      I can't imagine she has money to move - what funds would she have to put a deposit on a place? It sounds like she's totally stuck.

    January 14, 2013 - 10:31

    If everyone who posted a comment on this sad story would send this mother (say) a ten dollar bill, it probably would do her much more good than all the words put together here. It would amount to quite a sum. What is her mailing address? (and gifts would be none of anybody else's business -- clear cash to her and her child.)

    • simone
      January 14, 2013 - 13:34

      Oh Oh Marie! You can solve this problem by sending her money. I agree with some on here that their are two sides to every story and unfortunately ,we are only hearing one side.Going public is not the answer.

      January 14, 2013 - 14:18

      To clarify, the idea was to help Marlene and her child a little bit for a few days, not to "solve" anything, compren-oush? A little boost once in a while shouldn't hurt anyone. Thanks for helping me say more clearly what was intended.

  • Best move ever
    January 14, 2013 - 10:31

    As a once single mom back in the late 80's , I applied for and received a job in Charlottetown. I had 4 children and an old car and I took a leap of faith and haven't looked back since . Only to see how far I came and how I made it . To this lady if you like working keep an open mind and assess your situation. You will have to change your child's school and friends and your own friends but it will be worth it. It will be a struggle at first but you have some valuable skills that can be used to help you and your child. Welfare is demeaning only to others that may be jealous of you . Get the help and move forward. Look above and don't let anyone stop you. In a year you will look back and smile. Now is your opportunity.

  • sucks
    January 14, 2013 - 10:22

    How quick islanders are to called gentle island should be called resentful island.easy to say something when its no cocern of yours.sad to see what this place has become.

  • Ozzy Stillbourne
    January 14, 2013 - 10:21

    Well, I got laid off through no fault of my own at Christmas. My employer wanted to run on a smaller scale starting Jan. 10, but over 50 local employees out of about 75 refused to come back since they had their EI claims going. Since they refused to work, I was laid off by default. It wasn't feasible to run with only 20 people. No wonder the company likes Chinese workers so much. I'm wishing my employer would just call EI and force them back to work, I wasn't planning on having to file a claim this winter, but here I am. Can't wait to get a call to go back. It has times where it's well over 60 hours per week, but being as it's the lobster processing industry, you can't qualify for overtime until you've worked 55 hours. Pays the bills, though. Just wish my co-workers would change their attitudes.

    January 14, 2013 - 10:19

    I am a mother of 3, and am currently working 2 jobs, working 60 hrs per week. Yes it is hard, not seeing my kids as much as I want, but at the same time I would rather know that they have a roof over their head and food. Pretty sure there are jobs in Montague such as Tim Hortons, and MacDonalds....etc. What did she expect would happen when she decided to quit without a backup??? REALLY??!!??

  • Been there
    January 14, 2013 - 10:03

    I was a single Mother to two boys starting when they were 1 and 2 years old. A sixty hour work week was a light work week for me back then. Most weeks it was closer to 80 hours a week and sometimes more. The young lady lost my sympathy for quitting this job. I have a college education and twenty years later i'm still working two jobs .. a sixty hour work week. I've pumped gas, worked in a tabacco field, graded tomato's, whatever work came my way I took it.

    • workingmomofsix
      January 15, 2013 - 09:03

      I am a single mom of six, with a dead beat ex, who disappeared so he didn't have to pay child support. I have always worked 1, 2 and sometimes 3 jobs, to keep food on the table. I live in an area where my friends and family are which makes it a better place for me and my kids, because when I am working, these friends and family have helped me out because if I have to add child care costs to my every day costs, I would need another job. Until you've left a job due to stress, you can't possibly understand this woman. It affects your health, your ability to take care of your responsibilities and it gets harder every day to get up to go to that job that is causing you stress for whatever reason until you reach that wall and you just can't do it anymore. Seriously, until you have lived that experience you can't judge it., I have a full time seasonal job, a part time summer/ winter job, I collect EI when I need it, because I paid into it, and it's my right. I will also do whatever it takes, to avoid Welfare. I also have a bachelors degree, but I work full time in heavy equipment. Although my full time job is 60 plus hours a week, I can do it, because the stress of my previous job which I left , is not there and my children are taken care of. Family which includes close friends is extremely important in a childs life, and moving away would not be helpful to this woman and child.

  • Jerks
    January 14, 2013 - 10:03

    Agreed, there are 2 sides to every story, but in this case one of them is a family – so I personally don’t care what the other side is. I sure hope all you judgemental voices never find yourselves in this position of wanting human decency and empathy if not sympathy. I sure hope you never have the audacity to ask for it. I would love to see some of you who are commenting on this story, telling her to move, etc. - please, try and pay day care, raise a child while living in Charlottetown and paying over inflated rent, while watching groceries prices sky-rocket alongside electricity and all the other things we NEED - all on a minimum wage or barely better position (Approximately 650 bi-weekly take home – I challenge you to show me the numbers of how that works!!!). It sickens me to see people tear up someone obviously trying to do her best by her little one. Let’s not forget this is a formerly employed person who paid into this EI system while working in community care (FYI - community care is adults not children). I can think of a 100 reasons a 60 hour a week job would be too much for being a single parent. Child care is the first one that comes to mind. Policy makers need to hear from the people in need - because none of them get it!! Transportation barriers are one thing that is often considered and equated into programming. I’m shocked that it’s being used against an EI claimant - regardless of the situation. Keep your head up Marlene! Some of us have walked a mile or two in your shoes.

    • Walk in my shoes
      January 14, 2013 - 17:21

      RE: "Jerks" comment: I was a single mother, I worked , I payed my over inflated rent, I paid my utilities, paid daycare and bought groceries etc...I even had to move to get work.. I'm sure I'm not the only Islander to do this. The $ 650 bi weekly take home pay you mentioned would be more than EI bi weekly for starters.. I'm not sure what your point is....,Having no job or income one would think, would be more stressful than working 60 hrs per week.. Its too bad something couldn't of been worked out between her and her employer.... I can only go by the article( in the eastern graphic), but it did say she shares custody...that would be a big help with daycare.....I hope Marlene keeps her head up, and I hope things work out for her.

  • Ulfric
    January 14, 2013 - 09:52

    Meanwhile, there are likely hundreds of people in Charlottetown on EI who are able to take jobs.

    January 14, 2013 - 09:49


    • Mason Macleod
      January 14, 2013 - 10:12

      Harper won't be out of office anytime soon. Many people in this country take an absurd pride in sacrificing their happiness and health to work 60-70-80 hours a week for enough money to barely pay the interest on their credit cards. They hate anyone who won't do the viking death march with them.  The more money you don't spend the more the economy tanks. The more you spend the closer you get to bankruptcy. This is not what I call a workable system. When somebody points it out to them they get angry at the messenger. If a person has to consider themselves lucky to work themselves half to death and barely keep a roof over their head, maybe luck isn't the issue. 

      January 14, 2013 - 10:16

      Is this really the person you wanted the EI changes to target? As a society we should be standing up and screaming about this. The current EI changes will vastly affect a womans right to work while she is raising our countrys children. Any woman with two children in day care has an added expense of almost $17 000 a year. Minimum wage gives her a gross income of just under $21 000. For many women the reality is if they did not have EI that allowed them to work part time they would not be able to work at all. They would then face reentering the work force with few skills and no experience. There are MANY more less deserving culprits "sucking the life" out of this system.

      January 14, 2013 - 10:23

      Is this really the person you want the EI changes to target? The new rules and regulations will vastly effect a womans right to work while raising her children. A woman with two children in day care faces an extra $17 000 a year in work expenses. Minimum wage gives her just under $21 000 as a gross income. If it wasnt for EI allowing some women to work part time they would not be able to work at all. This would lead to them trying to re enter the work force later with few skills and no experience. There are MANY less deserving culprits "sucking the life" out of this system. And is a maximum yearly contribution of $787.00 for your country to be able to provide this kind of program really too much for some of you?

    • Lloyd
      January 14, 2013 - 11:05

      Community care can be very stressful, dealing with death all the time. Not to mention the residents are not usually at the best stages of their lives. It seems none of this has been taken into account. 60 Hrs per week should put enough money in a persons pocket that they could afford to take some time off. Unfortunately on PEI 60 per week at many of our jobs just pays the bills and nothing extra. Think about it 10 hrs a day, 6 days a week and poor besides.

    • Ida
      January 14, 2013 - 11:48

      EI or welfare, the gov't ends up paying both in the end so give her what she paid into !!!

      January 14, 2013 - 11:48

      I don't believe this was handled very well by Service Canada. To expect her to take a job in Ch'Town without a car or public transportation is going to far. It's not like she lives in Scarborough and expected to take a job in downtown Toronto, where there is plenty of public transportation.Regardless of why she is in this fix, it brings to light that if you feel you are entitled to EI,you are going to be disappointed. To leave her with no income with a child to support is not the right thing to do. It also shows that people are going to have to change their ways when it comes to working. No one is entitled on this Island, no one.

    January 14, 2013 - 09:45


  • Bertie
    January 14, 2013 - 09:33

    Islanders defining this as evil Harper at work and thinking that voting Liberal will make it all good again are deluding themselves. The biggest cut to EI ever ws done by the Chretien Liberals in the 1990s and it was the biggest single contributor to the growth in income inequality that followed in this country for a decade or so. Liberal MPs sitting today and the misguided Premier as a political aide to Chretien then all helped make this smuck to Maritimers happen. Liberals helped Harper with all the huge corporate tax cuts of the last few years, The Ghiz Liberals are cutting jobs and slashing services ( or jackin guo fees on those services) just as aggresively as the Harperites are doing. Many of the major abuses in our politics today- the Plan B insanity, the HST smash, the cash grab that ruined PNP, and even the current Maritime Electric scam attempt- are joint projects of Liberal and Conservative elites. Ghiz and his cabinet ministers are not losing too much sleep over the current EI cuts. Not really. They are not nearly as worked up as they would have been if they had failed to deliver the goodies to their backers through HST, Plan B and PNP. Voting Liberal will not help any of us who have low and modest incomes. It will only help the rich an dpowerful. Just like voting Conservative. It is the same action. The true alternative is voting NDP.

  • You quit
    January 14, 2013 - 09:28

    I don't agree with all the ei changes but in this case you quit your job because of stress from working 60 hours I work at least 91 hours a week but I'm not gonna quit my job and rely on the govt to take care of me, how stressfully could it be working at the French creek lodge? Being an air traffic controller now that's a stressfully job. how about you go back to your previous employer and see if he will take you back for part time work at least .standing outside by yourself with the poor me's isn't going to help you get a job, the ei changes are here as much as we don't like them the fact is there here and that's the way it's gonna be. I know it sucks your ei was cut off but you quit the job, I bet lots of people would love to have 60 hours a week (well the people that want to work full time and not just 14 weeks) I hope you find some work but standing outside in the cold with a sign isn't gonna take any money home. Best of luck to u on your job hunt

    • Unbelievable
      January 14, 2013 - 11:08

      omg where do you get the right to turn your nose up at her. What about her 9 yr old boy does she leave him unattended to work and support him wth no guidance well sir its all about money no wonders are kids are heading to drugs and criminal activities in todays society cause asses like you always putting your nose in without compassion.

  • mike
    January 14, 2013 - 09:25

    what about when you have a doctors note someone get a doctors note for stress that getting like the bad back that got abuse I left my job for health reasons with a doctors note and am being penalized for it but I payed into ei for 28 years and I need it till I get another job around here you have to be a frequent user of it to get it

  • sick of this island
    January 14, 2013 - 09:24

    This woman is trying... unlike so many people in this province that abuse the EI system year after year... EI isn't a way of life for SOME PEOPLE ya know!!! I can understand her position, can't afford to live in this pathetic province... can't afford to leave!

  • Kerry Duggan
    January 14, 2013 - 09:23

    Car-pooling would likely not be an option for Marlene, nor for many other individuals. She has worked in community care, gas stations and coffee shops. 9-5 jobs are very hard to come by and the type of work Marlene has done generally involves shift work. She is a single parent as well so I can empathize with her decision to not continue with her 60 hr per week employment. I am fairly challenged with my 37.5 hr day job and 2.5 hr daily commute. If commenters were required to use their actual names to comment perhaps they would think a little further before judging someone without all the facts?

  • K-Catz
    January 14, 2013 - 09:16

    I'm surprised that that fool above doesn't know the difference between EI and Welfare. We as employees pay into EI for just such occasions. When we need to adjust our working situation to meet our family needs. Her young son should not have to go without his mother that much of the time. There are several things that have been done to this poor women, that shouldn't have been done. First, it's true, her last employer should be sued, and the HRDC should be leading that fight. It's there regulations that say an employer can not force those kind of ours on an employee. I'm sure this lady was not this employers first, and yes I'm gonna say it, Victim. And second, EI is not a long term thing, there is a limit. It's intention is help get by until something comes up, a job or a move, whatever needs to happen. It's not like welfare, where the drug addicts, gamblers and lazy people hide. Don't get me wrong, welfare can be useful to those who really need the help, and I do know from experience, you can use it to better yourself and your situation. However, the career welfare receivers are the ones that should be cut off. If you can't work for medical or mental reasons we have a program called Long Term Disability. I had a drug addict for a first husband who spent ever penny we had and then some, and when I finally got out of that situation, I needed and used the system to get more educated and back on my feet. That's what the system is for, not so people, like high 5 and 6 digit incomes, like fishermen, can get extra money in the off season! It's a shame the government did tighten the screws in that direction in stead. Girlfriend take the welfare, and try to use it right for your own sake, but if you do take advantage, it serves the government right!

    January 14, 2013 - 09:13

    Appears that this young lady compalins about working too many hours and thus making too much money only to quit to go on Ei for those cold winter months. If her last boss gave her such a great recommendation then that must mean he or she would hire her back. Where is the problem except she doesn't want to work 60 hours per week. The majority have worked that and more just to make ends meet. I am sure there are many many out there that would not find it an inconvience to have a full time job.

    • Being a single Mom
      January 14, 2013 - 10:28

      You can't say this is all her fault. I am a single mother of 3 kids. As much as I would LOVE the 60/hr a week, and the money that comes with it, it is not possible by yourself. Paying for childcare, then paying for childcare with extended hours? Then on top of that trying to withstand a household. I would quit too, if my concerns were not addressed about working too many hours. The woman obviously has been trying. Things happen. It's not fair to pay into Benefits only to be denied access to them. I understand the governments reasoning behind the new rules, but there has to be leeway somewhere.

  • Quiet Observer
    January 14, 2013 - 09:10

    If the story as it is told is accurate, then I think Gail Shea needs to resign for misleading Islanders. But, I wonder, is there another side to this story? Did this reporter try to check out the other side of the story?

  • John
    January 14, 2013 - 09:04

    Serves her right! Never quit a job without having a new one ready.

    • Brett
      January 14, 2013 - 09:32

      Have you ever worked a 60 hour week, let alone 60 hour week upon 60 hour week ... AND taken care of yourself and your 9 year old son on your own? I wonder how long you'd hold up John? I'm betting you'd change your tune pretty fast. I'm also betting you don't do all your own shopping, cooking cleaning etc. on top of that 60 hour week. At 60 hours a week your physical and mental health plummets in a hurry. Take a sabbatical from your present job and try it for a month. Seeing how most of us have to survive might just do you, Stephen Harper, and his cronies for that matter, some good.

    • Shelley
      January 14, 2013 - 09:42

      Seriously? And then when her little boy goes wild because he has a parent that spent 60 hours working I bet you will be the first to pronounce her an unfit mother because she couldn't provide a proper upbringing. P.S- I also am a single mother and have never been on EI. That doesn't mean I don't have the intelligence to realize that some people havent' had the same opportunities/ luck as I have. It's called compassion.

    • C. Tayler
      January 14, 2013 - 10:28

      Serves her right? You have no idea John,...the more hours she works, the longer she is away from her son, the more hours she has to pay a sitter. She has her priorities right, the government has to put theirs straight, Family first, I see too many kids left on their own as their parents are working one job or two, just trying to "keep up with the Jonses", and to buy STUFF,...they don't realize that spending time, instead of money, is better for their kids! Best of luck to her and her son.

    • V.G.
      January 14, 2013 - 19:25

      John, you do not know the circumstances resulting in her quitting the previous job. Sometimes people have no choice. She had paid into EI and if the only reason she is being denied it is because she cannot travel almost an hour away for a new job because there is no public transportation and she cannot afford a car, then the new restrictions for EI are not reasonable. Actually they're callous. But that's what I expect from the Harper Government. My best wishes to Ms Geirsdorf.

  • sean
    January 14, 2013 - 09:03

    I was axed 6 weeks cause of harpers new rules and was on a existing claim well before he even thought about lets screw with EI and make it hard for people who dont have work on PEI lets face it theres more unemployed people then there are jobs. I seriously hope this lady wins her appeal with service canada and gets her benifits back. Harper doesnt realize how much seasonal work there really is here in PEI and how it will effect canada when these seasonal works have to stop doing seasonal and are forced to do fulltime since they wont have much of a EI program to fall back on.

  • flirt
    January 14, 2013 - 08:56

    leaving a 60hr a week job for stress and then whining ur broke is the stupidest thing i have ever heard in my life. jobs arnt that easy in the capital either esp if u have to work around kids but shish id kill for that job right about now

    • Jimbo
      January 14, 2013 - 09:27

      How do you get EI when you voluntarily quit a job? Surely if it was a workload issue the employer could accommodate that issue with an additional part time position.

    • not flirting
      January 14, 2013 - 12:13

      Now that is the stupidest thing i have heard "shish id kill for that job right about now" get your ass in motion and get that job instead of being all lip and no hip.Not hard to tell your another one of these people that have not worked long hours for long periods of time.I'd give you a month.

      January 14, 2013 - 13:31

      The goverment made the new rules and examples of the meanings of them.The case workers are the ones that are inforcing them.The fact is their own example was not followed by the case worker at all.No doubt this case worker is trying to put a name for themself so they will still have a job when the next round of lay-offs happen in their office again.lets get their name out and see how many other people has had a problem from this person.

  • Dear sick
    January 14, 2013 - 08:54

    It is impossible for you to have made the contributions you claim . Annually at the current rate is approximately $700.00 for each the employee and the employer which a recipent of E.I. uses up in approximately 1 month. This is a very strong arguement of why employed people are so against regular users.

    • Jen
      January 14, 2013 - 10:13

      Actually, you are wrong. The employee and employer portions are not equal, the employer pays 1.4% and the current maximum employee contribution is $891.12 annually per employer. If this person has more than one employer, or ever has in a calender year, then it is entirely possible that they have paid in what they claim over the course of 40 years.

    • to Cromwell
      January 14, 2013 - 12:29

      Post your name if you're so proud! You have all the answers without knowing the facts, you must work the government.

  • Time to change
    January 14, 2013 - 08:51

    This situation highlights a lot of what's wrong with this province. There's no public transportation, so people can't get around. PEI has the worst literacy rate in the country, so a lot of locals here are unemployable. Many people here, including the government, think living on hand-outs is normal. EI was never meant to be a substitute for a job. This province needs to grow up and start functioning like adults.

  • Walter
    January 14, 2013 - 08:43

    Walter The gentleman who referred to the EI fund being taken by the Tories and put in government coffers is mistaken. It was the Liberal government of Jean Chretien who performed this terrible thing As far as the young lady with the "sign" she did QUIT her job. , When I was working many years ago, when a person quit their job, they would make sure that another job had been secured before acting hastily

  • nastyboy
    January 14, 2013 - 08:42

    Like most lazy maritimers she has a notion of entitlement to being on the dole. She quit a job without having another one. It's her own fault.

    • Ulfric
      January 14, 2013 - 10:32

      Where does a single mother working 60 hours a week find time to look for a new job?

    • OverTheHill
      January 14, 2013 - 13:23

      All I can say to you is you truly are nasty and an idiot to boot. You have no idea what being a "maritimer" is all about. Get your facts straight before you run your stupid mouth off.

  • Times are hard
    January 14, 2013 - 08:40

    Well the issue is that for years so many have been abusing the system and that has lead to such drastic results. We can all agree here that for years people here on PEI have been using the system the wrong way, I know everyone in here knows at least someone that wronged the system, I mean we fight so hard for hand outs here but never fight and scream for better education or better Health care. It sucks that a few hard working people down on their luck have to deal with the way things are now, but instead of fighting Harper they should look at their friends and neighbours and ask them why they killed the province. We want it all and don't want to work. PEI way of life.

  • changes
    January 14, 2013 - 08:40

    There are always two sides to every story, please see the Myths & Facts sheet on the Service Canada web site: Also, a new change on the Rights and Obligations that EI people aren't aware of is "•keep a detailed record as proof of your job search efforts to find suitable employment as we may ask you to provide that proof at any time. Therefore you must keep your job search record for 6 years;"

  • toasty
    January 14, 2013 - 08:37

    As we do not know the details of her stress, I do not think it is fair for anybody to come on here and judge anybody. Perhaps she suffers from a mental health issues, family crisis, we really do not know. She was obviously found to have "just cause" to quit her employment or she would have been denied EI from the very begining. This is just the first we are hearing about e.i being cut off. When this program was created it was supposed to be a right, unlike welfare. The program was also created to HELP the economy by allowing those who found themselves unemployed to have spending power.

  • Seriously??
    January 14, 2013 - 08:36

    The comments on this article honestly make me sick. Move to Charlottetown? Perhaps that is not an option seeing as how i'm sure there is a vast difference in housing costs between Montague and Charlottetown...and nowhere here does it say she owns or even rents a home...perhaps she is staying with family because she cannot afford rent. To cut off benefits because she cannot travel to Charlottetown is utterly ridiculous simply for the fact that I am 110% without a doubt certain that there are people residing in Charlottetown at this very moment, receiving EI benefits, and not being forced to take whatever particular job she has been denied because of. Stephen Harper is grossly abusing his power as Prime Minister when it comes to people being forced to move to another city/town where there are jobs, forced to take lesser paying jobs after moving to a more expensive location, and forced to bounce from job to job to job because there aren't enough year round full time jobs to accomodate all the people who are currently looking. As for the "fraud" comment...having worked in human resources for the last ten years I am knowledgeable on the subject where it would appear you haven't a clue. There are a multitude of reasons a person can voluntarily leave a job and still be entitled to EI benefits. one of those reasons. If a person is working in an environment that is hazardous to their health...physically, mentally, etc...they are fully within their rights to leave said environment without penalty. In some cases, they may have to prove their case in front of a board...but nobody, not even Stephen Harper has the right to force somebody to work at a job that is hazardous in any way. If you want to address about having Canadian employees and their employers pay into an insurance fund for said employees should they get laid off (for any reason) from their jobs...and then spending that money on anything other than the benefits those people rightfully earned. Also, being a victim is not limited to being shot or stabbed!! Are you honestly for real? If your parent, sibling, spouse, or child was being abused mentally, physically, etc...would you not consider them a victim? If your child was being bullied at school...would they not be a victim? Because this is a grown woman being bullied by the Canadian Government doesn't make the situation any different than if it were a 7 year old on the playground being singled out and denied to play with the other kids because they can't afford to have an ipod. I cannot for the life of me understand why some people think what the Government is doing is perfectly acceptable. "We will deny you the EI benefits that you paid into for however many years...but here, have a welfare cheque!"...what is the logic behind that? For those of you who think there is no difference between EI and welfare...there certainly is, go apply for welfare and see how you get treated when you go the grocery store with a voucher instead of cash.

    • Islander
      January 14, 2013 - 10:13

      I find it hard to believe that an employer could not cut down her hours if she was stressed. Quitting does not seem to be a rational decision especially when she has a family.

    • Well said
      January 14, 2013 - 10:18

      I couldnt agree more with everything you just said! This is NOT OK! We have a Government that says it is commited to ending childhood poverty, and this is the solution? Service Canada will never publicy answer to this, because accountability is not Harper's way. I feel bad for this mother caught in a game of 'hot potato' between the Federal and Provincial coffers.

    • Vivian
      January 14, 2013 - 17:48

      SERIOUSLY?? ---That is well said. EI is an INSURANCE PLAN that we pay into. It IS NOT a government funded program. This woman is being denied her benefits illegally.

  • cynthia vanderlinden
    January 14, 2013 - 08:34


    • marlene leblanc
      January 14, 2013 - 09:35

      Umm,I believe the bastard is on his second term...

    • DonnaG
      January 14, 2013 - 14:42

      Actually Cynthia, I believe he's into his 4th term right now, and there doesn't seem to be any threat to him getting a 5th term in 2015. This situation is not about Harper per se, it is about the government finally doing something about people who abuse a system that was never meant to be used over and over, year after year, like many use it. The new rules were about fixing that problem. This young lady got herself caught up in the new rules by making a bad decision. She should never have quit a job without having a Plan B, and I don't mean EI. She has a child for goodness sake!!! How short-sighted of her not to take her responsibilities into account when quitting her job. Many of us seasoned citizens have learned these types of lessons throughout our life. This young lady is learning hers. You can bet she won't make the same mistake again. I wish her the best of luck in mitigating her poor decision, but it isn't fair to blame government or other taxpayers for her poor decision. The accountability for that is hers and hers along.

    • Mike Carmen
      January 14, 2013 - 17:32

      So easy for people to quickly jump on the "Blame government" bandwagon. Yes, you are right. It's the government's fault she didn't get herself any training or skills in the 14 years since she graduated high school. It's the government's fault she had a child when she was 23. It's the government's fault that she found her job too stressful. It's the government's fault she has not been able to obtain a vehichle. Everything is the government's fault. Such ignorance. These people gladly accept going to the doctor for free and sending the kids to school for free. The lion's share of medicine and education is not paid for by the seasonal worker salaries in PEI. It's paid for by the rest of Canada. Heaven forbid people having to work for their money.

  • Julie
    January 14, 2013 - 08:25

    I find it interesting how people are so quit to judge this woman. "I support Harper on this one"? Give me a break how about cracking down on the millions of people who are really sucking the life out of our money? How about going after the ones who have been on welfare for years and have made a career out of it. Why punish people who use "temporary" funding and not do nothing to the ones who spend years and years on the system. Lets open our eyes here are not ridiule a single mother for making a decision that she obviously felt she had to make. We dont know everything about her situation. Kudos for her for being a single "working" mother. Because there are many that use that excuse to never work until their kids are 16-18 years old. and they are never questioned. I am sure if the opportunity arises that she can work again she will and not be a leach on our system. I think some of the comments are just cruel and judgemental. Just saying

  • Islander
    January 14, 2013 - 08:21

    No sympathy here. You had a job and quit. What do you expect? There are people worse off than you.

  • Darrell
    January 14, 2013 - 08:18

    Read the article. "Geirsdorf quit a job in the fall at a community care facility over the stress accompanying a 60-hour work week." She had a job and she quit. Her problem, I don't want to pay her to stay home while I work 60+ hours per week.

    • Jonathan
      January 14, 2013 - 09:40

      Darrell I believe you may have your wires crossed. She has paid into EI for years, when she needs it she should be granted it as she has already put the money into the system. We've all had jobs that we've had to leave due to circumstances, that's life. The people you pay to stay at home while you work a 60+hour week are those on welfare and collecting band cheques. These are the people we all should be mad at. Not fellow workers who have contributed their fair share over the years.

    • To Darell
      January 14, 2013 - 12:21

      Good choice NOT, you would rather pay the wages of the new EI investigaters costings us millions in one fiscal year. Real intelligent!

    • Darrell
      January 14, 2013 - 16:25

      She has likely not paid enough into EI to cover her first check. If the EI investigators can make a dent in EI abuse then there will be much money saved. Unfortunately that money will be stolen by our gov't and not given back to employers and small business owners who are the ones that pay the most into the EI "fund". It seems like everyone is on EI, workers comp, or welfare. Cheating the system. Nobody wants to work any more. If she quit her job without securing another one then she should not be receiving EI. Simple as that.

  • Richard
    January 14, 2013 - 08:16

    Why doesn't she just move to Charlottetown? It's not like she's being asked to go to Fort McMurray, it's half an hour up the road, and the job opportunities are much more plentiful. Did the journalist not think to ask this simple question when painting their one-sided picture here?

    • outside Montague
      January 14, 2013 - 09:20

      No offence but if she is still even trying to get caught up on her bill do you really think she's gonna have the money to MOVE to ch'town considering every place liveable for a kid in town require Damage depsoit, first and last months rent...where is she gonna get that? if she still had her EI i'm sure she would consider it but no they cut her off before even trying to work anything out with her...if we keep pushing these people who are stress one of them is going to off themselfs and then who's to blame everyone of us! and u know i'm right!

    • outside montague
      January 14, 2013 - 09:30

      Do you realize what your saying....honestly harper is trying to get everyone off Ei...let's just say he succeeds then what? are we and our employers get to finally stop paying into EI ?? i think not even though no one will be getting Ei everyone will be lining the gov's pockets by paying something we will never get anything out of

    • You obviously dont have kids
      January 14, 2013 - 09:36

      She probably doesn't want to have to make her kids change schools!

  • Mike Stokes
    January 14, 2013 - 08:16

    So what did she plan on doing after her EI ran out? Buy a car? move? go back to her old job?

    January 14, 2013 - 08:02

    Me thinks that this young lady posed a bigger problem by bringing this up. No liking your working hours is definately not a legimitate reason to quit your job and apply for EI. You quit a job you have no entitlement and getting the rest of the EI population does not change the rules.

    • Harland
      January 14, 2013 - 08:45

      She was working 60 hours a week and trying to raise a child. There is ample reason for her to want to find a job with more reasonable hours. Nobody should have to work 60 hours a week to survive.

  • Sick
    January 14, 2013 - 07:58

    Dear Harper! I have worked for 40 some years contribbuting apprx. 50,000.00 to MY EI fund, my employer contributed apprx 70,000.00. If you can't add, that equals 120,000.00 paid directly from me and for me by employer. I have only drawn it twice in 40 years, approx. 20,000.00. Since if I can longer use it, please refund, the unused portion of MY money, which you stole without my consent, PLUS INTEREST>>>I will be awaiting your reply!

      January 14, 2013 - 11:25

      SICK... I think you are embelishing the truth quite a bit. In order to have paid $50,000. in premiums, you would have had to pay on average $1,250. in EI over the forty years, pretty hard to do when the maximum for 2013 is only $853. at the highest income.

  • cromwell
    January 14, 2013 - 07:56

    A couple of points It is illegal for any employer to 'force' an employee to work more than 48 hours per week - anything in excess of this has to be voluntary and overtime has to be paid. If Miss Giesdorf is claiming that she had to work 60 hours per week, then she has the ability to make a legal claim against her employee. It is illogical to quit a job without first checking on the availability of other work in the area, and then outside of the area. For much of my working life, I had extended periods in my jobs that were stressful, When it got to be a problem, I found other work, in other towns/cities/provinces, since my priority was to take care of my family, and not rely on the government to do it for me (personal pride enters into the conversation) I suppose the conclusion that I would draw is that if Miss Giesdorf (I note no mention of a husband/father in the report) wants to be gainfully employed, and work is available in Charlottetown, then move to Charlottetown. Nevertheless, the story provides a good opportunity for some additional Fed-bashing by 'The Guardian' and its supporters.

    • Neutral
      January 14, 2013 - 08:26

      CROMWELL: While I do agree with a good portion of what you say, whether she had a husband or father in her present family is completely irrelevant. As others have pointed out, no employer can force you to work more than 48 hours without your consent and without holding that against you, the type of work she did is rather stressful. However, I'm inclined to agree with others that quitting the job without finding an alternative source of incoming was not the wisest choice. But, if her doctor advised her to leave her job due to stress (which DOES happen and is legitimate) then going on EI is more than fair. It wasn't clear if Giesdorf did that or not. A good point is made by her that there is no public transportation from Montague to Charlottetown. I am all for seeing EI managed properly and not being abused. But cutting her off after a couple of months when she was clearly entitled to it initially is not something I agree with. Either they should not have approved her in the first place, or they should be assisting in finding transportation/job placement services. GIESDORF has great assistance in the form of SkillsPEI. EI needs to pick things up and either assist her in transportation, or point her to another government body who will. I doubt GIESDORF will be using the EI system long if SkillsPEI assists her with their various programs.

    • Uhhhh
      January 14, 2013 - 08:56

      I can slightly agree with your statement about not quitting a job without looking for one first, but we are all human beings and we all make mistakes. The point of EI is to assist Canadians who have found themselves in these sorts of predicaments, and sometimes they get there by making mistakes but does that give us an excuse to ignore a poor, crying mother? Probably explains the Canadian homelessness rates. And move to Charlottetown? This woman has $100 in her pocket. From that $100 she would need to provide a damage deposit, a first months rent, deposits for utility hook ups and a moving truck/transportation. She would also need to find an available apartment, one in her price range, which is probably a lot higher in the city than in her current town. Not to mention she would be uprooting her child who probably has friends and drop him into city life, and honestly I'd rather raise my children in a small town then in a scary city. So I'm sorry Cromwell, your suggestion seems just a tad far fetched to me, not everyone has the resources to uproot their life because the government says they have to.

    • To Uhhhhh
      January 14, 2013 - 09:32

      The government isn't technically the one saying she has to move to Charlottetown or find work there, it's actually the job market. If you want to get down to it, the government is simply telling her where an available job is.

  • Rideshare
    January 14, 2013 - 07:55

    If it's a set hours job, post a rideshare ad on kijiji offering to pay gas money to commute back and forth. I've done this in the past since I have no car and there are other people traveling back and forth for work right who probably wouldn't mind a bit of extra gas money to help them out... if it's shift work she plans on working at in Charlottetown, it would be nearly impossible to organize though and she'll have to bite the bullet and move. Also something I've done (move for work) before people start screaming at my post here...

  • RLP
    January 14, 2013 - 07:53

    We have heard one side of the story. It would be interesting to hear the other side of the story. I doubt that things are quite as black and white as portrayed.

  • Brian
    January 14, 2013 - 07:52

    It would seem to me that this woman has hung herself out as an easy target for the EI police. Why in god's name would anyone quit a job, knowing they have bills and responsibilities, without first having secured a new position? 60 hours and stress.....please.....welcome to the work-a-day world of many people. "Community Care Facility".....would this be a daycare? Stress too much in the babysitting industry? I don't hold out much hope for this lady. I applaud the government who is finally taking action to cut down on working taxpayers having to subsidize where folks chose to live. Move to Charlottetown and god luck to you.

    • fyi
      January 14, 2013 - 09:32

      Community Care Facilities A licensed Community Care Facility is a privately owned and operated establishment with five or more residents. These facilities provide services such as: housekeeping, meals, assistance with grooming and hygiene. Twenty four hour nursing care is not available at these facilities. Paying the cost of accommodation is the responsibility of the resident; though financial assistance may be available on a limited basis in certain situations. * Some facilities provide both community care and nursing care. Yah, so not a daycare...and 60 hours might be normal in your life, but try being a single working mother working 60 hours a week and then your opinion will carry some weight.

    • Jen
      January 14, 2013 - 09:55

      "I applaud the government who is finally taking action to cut down on working taxpayers having to subsidize where folks chose to live." Sometimes there is not a choice to be made as to where a person lives. Not everybody can afford to live in the city as opposed to a rural community where housing costs less, and perhaps she has child care available for her son where she is now, that she would not if they were to move. Not every person on PEI can move to Charlottetown for work, because the entire island cannot inhabit one city. There are not enough jobs in Charlottetown for every non working person on the island to move or commute for work. How many people presently residing in Charlottetown are without work? Are they being told "move to Summerside, there are jobs there". No, I can assure you they are not. Yes she quit her job, that doesn't make her any less of a taxpayer than you or I, you have no idea if this is the first or tenth time she has been on EI, so potentially she could have paid in thousands of dollars over the years into this 'insurance policy' fully believing that one day when she needs it, it will be there...only to be told "yes your claim is valid and you are approved" and receive a few payments before being cut off. She may not have even received as much as she personally has contributed let alone what her employer(s) have. There are two sides to every story, and while I can see both sides of this I am inclined to respectfully disagree with the quoted statement above. The government has no right to dictate where people can and cannot live. Perhaps you can easily uproot and leave your family and friends behind, but not everybody can so easily do that. I personally do not agree with people travelling to Alberta for 2-3 months per year and sitting around for the rest of the year because they have zero desire to work full time. Those are the people taking advantage of the system, those are the people withdrawing far more than they ever contribute, and those are the people who should be penalized and lose benefits if they are not willing to work year round.

    • Sharon B
      January 14, 2013 - 15:12

      Brian - the EI system is user funded. The Gvt. took a surplus from it recently. The only way you will be subsidizing this woman's life is if she ends up on welfare, which is looking likely. A Community Care Facility is a privatized home for the elderly or disabled. Before making judgments, I suggest you first know what you are judging, and maybe try spending a few months changing adult diapers for 60 hours a day.

    • Kay
      January 16, 2013 - 12:17

      Community Care Facility would be a place for the elderly and disabled. You try working 60 hours a week moving full-grown adults in and out of bed and wiping adult a$$es. It's hard on the body and hard on the mind. Then try to juggle your home life with that and tell me your mental state.

  • Mick
    January 14, 2013 - 07:51

    As a business person I have noticed a reduction in available money in our local economy. The net result will be fewer jobs and entrepreneurs not being able to make a go of it. This hurts not only the lazy but also those who create those jobs. The fragility of our economy was never taken into account.

  • Bonnie
    January 14, 2013 - 07:49

    This is so sad that PEI is coming to this... My heart goes out to this girl

  • Terrible just terrible
    January 14, 2013 - 07:46

    The Ei program is a well funded insurance program and the harper Conservatives have turned it into a method of attacking the poor and unemployed in this region particularly. This woman is a victim of harsh and unnecessary federal changes to this program and to administrative compliance and assistance. The attacks from the odd Islander is simply deplorable. i guess this situation answer the qustion in the recent guardian editorial. Now what?

  • NO sympathy here
    January 14, 2013 - 07:45

    NO sympathy here,she quit ajob, knowing she had responsibilities...30 yr of age...she should no noted something smells here..islanders are to quick to jump on the sympathy wagon.... and I suspect the other supporters are politicaly motivated....a good example on how previous GOVT 's have used EI as a political football ..and this GOVT has the balls to do something about it.........

  • More to this story
    January 14, 2013 - 07:33

    If she spent as much energy looking for work ,or doing one of the many jobs listed in the emplyment office(she may not like them ,but beggars a cannot be chosers) as she is demonstrating..I would have some sympathy.... BUT she had 2 months to know this was happening,there are people travelling to Chtn everyday from work in Chtn.To top it off she QUIT a go on pogey..she quotes stress....something does not smell right here....She is not a victim..she put herself in this 30 yrs of age she no doubt has used EI before..these are the people the GOVT are targetting... people are jumping on her bandwagon for political reasons ..both Liberal and NDP supporters will use her for a poster boy.... they don't care if people abuse of the system as long as it makes their cause look good.......maybe the EI people smell a rat here.....there are more than 2 sides to this story........... in the end she may have to make changes in her is move to town......she does not seem to want that option....lots of other people have.......take the hint.

    January 14, 2013 - 07:32

    Such a travesty. Where is human compassion in our society. I have never used EI and have been working for 35 years but I do not begrudge those who need it. That is why EI was established in the first place, to assist those who needed it when they needed it. If some of the government leaders had to walk in her shoes, I will bet the rules would change rapidly. My suggestion would be for her to call her MP and MLA on a daily basis to find her gainful employment with reasonable pay. They have the power to do it, perhaps a nice position within the government has worked for others. With the H(ATED) S(ALES) T(AX) rapidly approaching, we will all need to work two jobs to keep up with the bills. Not much wonder some turn to crime. The polls will reflect how Islanders feel and it is just a matter of time.

  • Craig
    January 14, 2013 - 07:32

    Everybody is jumping to the same conclusion here with out all the facts...I bet there is a lot more to this story than is being reported. How often has she collected EI? How often has she quit her job to collect EI benefits? DId she try to carpool with someone to get back and forth to Charlottetown? Is she a habitual EI user? What is she so resistant to clllect welfare, but beleives it is her god given right to collect EI? Just a few things to think about before jusmping to conclusions.

  • LA
    January 14, 2013 - 07:29

    Parents of Montague students, make sure your kid is not one of those laughing at her as they drive by.

  • Flo
    January 14, 2013 - 07:04

    Terrible Terrible Terrible .What has our island come too ????It is. getting to a point where i am almost ashamed to say i am an islander.

    • D.S
      January 15, 2013 - 18:52

      I,m to the point, where I,m ashamed to to call myself a canadian,living in a country ruled by a tyrant that should be forced by the electorate to a referendum ,to answer to the people for the changes that he is making ,that affect them so gravely,rather than ramming his personal (Culture of Defeat) agenda down our throats! To bad Mr. Trudeau can't call an election . Tommorrow!

  • Dave
    January 14, 2013 - 06:52

    This is terrible. I feel frustrated, angered, and hopless when I see the government treat honest citizens this way because there is nowhre else to for her to turn. Take the welfare girl and feel good that it was forced on you. Fuirther, stay home and enjoy the rest.

  • confused
    January 14, 2013 - 06:51

    If she quit her last job due to stress, why did she not just take stress leave? Why would she or the government not approach her previous employer to see if she could continue working there at reduced hours? If she was on stress leave, they would have had to retain her position. By quitting, she lost that opportunity. Maybe all of this has happened, but the article didn't mention it. I completely do not agree that someone should be denied because they are "unable" to travel so far for work but I am surprised at some of the other details of the article.

  • Not enough information
    January 14, 2013 - 06:39

    It seems that this woman is a cronic job changer. Does she usually quit her jobs? Has she applied for E.I. after each job? She also should not have qualified for quitting the last job. I also doubt that the last job required her to work a regular 60 hour week. There are also 3 sides to a story, employee, employer and the truth.

  • Billy M
    January 14, 2013 - 06:35

    I feel for her. Sad that is where the government stands for humanity. Hope a resolution is in sight.

  • Paula Dixon
    January 14, 2013 - 06:27

    I guess my thought are if you lived in Charlottetown, that would make sense. She lives in Montague, that's a town so she should be eligable because that's not her municipality. Would I be expected to drive to Souris every day ,if there was no work for me and I live in Crapaud. Just because we are a small province the same expectations should apply nationally. Are people who live in Bathurst getting refused if they don't take a job in Moncton. Same principal. She has a legitimate case to sue on discrimination

  • islander
    January 14, 2013 - 06:08

    Just because there are jobs on the job bank stating no experience is needed that may not be true. Also you have no idea if she already aped for those jobs. All fast food charlottetow are hiring i have applied 4 times twice since december and nothing not even an interview but still advertised. So explain that please

  • Justine Thyme
    January 14, 2013 - 04:23

    Not having transportation to work is seen as a reason not to qualify for EI, I can kind of understand that. If we all moved to rural PEI and gave up our vehicles then we could all claim we require EI. That being said, if she is willing to take work in her area and the EI office says there is work available, they should line this woman up an interview. But how does she plan on getting to a job site in her area if she doesn't have transportation? I am sorry, but if you want to live in rural PEI, then you best have a working vehicle to get you to your commitments. If you cannot afford a car, you best afford a moving van and relocate closer to employment opportunities. I recently spoke to an architect who cannot find work on the Island because they specialize in skyscrapers. Well, if you want to specialize in something, should you not live where you have job opportunities? There are two sides to every story. I have paid into EI for years and should I require it, I hope it is there without hassle, but I am willign to do what I can and have to, to stay employed. Had working 60 hours been too much stress, the lady should have gone to a Doctor, got a medical note for a sick leave for 18 weeks.

  • Kevin Kelly
    January 14, 2013 - 01:20

    I am so sad to see what type of country Canada is turning into. The terrible heartless comments made buy some makes me give up hope that the soul of our Nation has not already been lost to heartless and greedy influences. While CEO,s and those in power rape the riches the working people turn on each other, exactly what they want. This young woman has every right to have UI benefits,. these benefits are not a handout but are an insurance paid into by working people to protect them from the financial impact of layoffs or in this case forced 60 hours weeks. Perhaps those that criticize her would like to turn back the clock like the Conservative-Reform movement where worjkers are treated like dirt. Want to pick on someone really ripping off the system, perhaps you need to refocuse on the millions being taken by those that benefit most by keeping workers under their thumbs..

  • Did You Read the Story
    January 14, 2013 - 01:20

    Did you read the story. She had a job a quit. EI is for people who are out of work by no fault of there own. I know on PEI EI is a way of life but times need to change.

  • Two Sides
    January 14, 2013 - 01:19

    What the EI office told her is completely unreasonable. I'm sure there's a clause in the Act that she could use to overturn their decision. If she's unable to get to the job, she can't be expected to take it. She should have a look in that Act and file an appeal citing the Act. On the other hand, she has a 9 year old child that should come first. She waited two months for EI before her first cheque and now she's protesting. Both times she could have been on welfare or working. Pride should not come before a child. Protest all you want but if that means you need to live on welfare or take a job flipping burgers, then you do it. There are jobs available in Montague for minimum wage. She may end up having to move, maybe to Charlottetown, to look for better paying jobs. This is only the first of many stories of this kind. These new changes are targeting the lower income class of people. If I recall correctly, one of the new changes is that they can force you to take a job making 70% of your previous earnings from a previous job. This won't affect captains of the lobster boats, but it will definitely affect their employees. All that's going to happen is there will be less people on EI but more people on welfare. I don't see how that's an improvement. The federal government couldn't care less about the seasonal workers. Last year was my last year for seasonal work and I guess I got out at the right time.

  • joe maldone
    January 14, 2013 - 00:13

    if we force all the unconnected to leave PEI who shall serve the connected

  • Sward
    January 14, 2013 - 00:04

    Gail Shae will toe the party line. Just as she voted against the EI enhancements. Labour needs to get labour friendly people in these jobs. They care less about the majority of Islanders. Broken promises of job security both from the provincial gov and Federal gov. This poor single mom and her son , it's just the beginning of many more casualties to come, forced into poverty with no where to turn. Thanks to Harper and Ghiz governments!

  • wendy grant
    January 13, 2013 - 23:49

    Those of you making fun must have a gov;t job where most just sit on the ass as usual and do very little. And EI doing this is always a woman ( go figgure) Catherene Calbeck scewed us, now EI is doing the same. I just hope you all can sleep well at night. what goes around comes around.

  • Piet Hein
    January 13, 2013 - 23:19

    Where is Gail Shea? Did she not make a point of going to the media before Christmas to tell Islanders that no one will be denied EI without just cause? I would say Shea was told exactly what to say then and now the Harper government's true agenda is showing - keep as many people off EI as possible to force them go out west to work. Gail Shea had a choice - to serve and help Islanders or to stand with the Harperites and thus turn her back on Islanders. She chose to turn her back on us. Shea sold her soul for a handful of gold and a nameplate on her office door.

    • will
      January 14, 2013 - 08:00

      This is the reason why people move of that sandbar and out to places like alberta the jobs that are there suck and dont pay enough to live and if you cant work they dont want to give EI .

  • Thy Voice
    January 13, 2013 - 23:06

    This is really sick... My heart goes out to you! This change is definately prejudice against single mothers and way out of line with reality!

  • absolutely Unacceptable and Criminal
    January 13, 2013 - 22:33

    This story is very very bad. This poor woman is being driven over by Harper while taxes on corporate profits are reduced and banks turn in routine record profits. It is absolutely unacceptable and shameful. thanks eh?

  • Shirley
    January 13, 2013 - 22:28

    This is just terrible and breaks my heart to read this young mother trying so hard and to have them do this to her how can they expect someone to work in Charlottetown without any transportation to get there.This is just as low as they can get .I hope someone can help this young lady and her son.

  • Donnie
    January 13, 2013 - 22:25

    I thought you had to be willing to travel to work, not necessarily able? This is a totally unfair. Obviously she had gainful employment in the area before.....They had a huge EI surplus until the Tories voted to give it to the Federal Government to put towards the deficit, and then forgave themselves the loan so they never have to repay it. By the way, the EI funds were taxpayers' money they was put in by taxpayers for EI only before the Tories/Harper raided the fund.....

  • Katherine Davis
    January 13, 2013 - 22:18

    I have the utmost of sympathy for Miss Geirsdorf. Some people just fall on hard times. It's not because they are uneducated, or untrained, or willing to work. It's just merely that not everyone is awarded the same opportunities in life as others. Vehicles are expensive to maintain no matter what income you're making. I just went through my third lay off in Charlottetown in two years. With a seven week lull before I even find out whether or not I will qualify to reactivate my old claim, my vehicle was the first thing to go. Many supporters of the EI changes stated that it would be very difficult to actually demand a person take a job if they do not have the means to accept it, like available transportation. This is just really disappointing. Having had to rely on Employment Insurance myself in emergencies, when hard times fell, I think the system is seriously flawed. Here is a woman who is striving to change and improve her life and she is denied. She doesn't WANT to be on EI, but she needs it. I don't WANT to be on EI either but I have to be for a very short period of time while I'm between jobs. It should be our right to receive those benefits that we paid into when we were working. Can you imagine the scene outside the Service Canada building when they REALLY start clearing out the applicants; the folks who are legitimately taking advantage of the system? The processing times are way too long. What does a single person do for seven weeks with zero income while someone in a government cubicle looks at my life on a piece of paper and makes a decision as to whether or not I should receive the money that has been deducted off my pay cheques for the last year? I was barely starting to get caught up on my bills after being laid off six months prior. Losing a job sets you back and EI should be there to help. It breaks my heart that that is not the case in this story. Shame on the federal government for approving these kinds of changes to the system. You did not fix the pieces that were broken. You've made everything worse. Miss Geirsdorf, you will be in my prayers that your situation turns around very quickly. I no longer live on PEI. Three job losses too many.

  • Gobert Bhiz
    January 13, 2013 - 22:13

    Notice to Plan B screamers: THIS is a case of legitimate, sincere protest. It's unfortunate that this woman will have to move to Charlottetown, but she will eventually have to. Montague is a ghost town. If you don't want to work minimum wage or fish, you have to move to Charlottetown now. Maybe when Montague starts grinding to a halt due to a mass exodus to Charlottetown, there will be some realistic attempt at sustainable growth. Meanwhile, fishermen with houses and 2 trucks each are enjoying benefits all winter.

    • carl
      January 14, 2013 - 06:16

      Gobert why should she have to move to Ch'town because she has no car..Lr. Montague is her home. she worked her hrs and is entitled to EI unless there is more to this story than is being told. Charlottetown is not big enough for everybody that has no work to move to...maybe you should move to the country with no car and see how you survive in the real world

    • Brenda Handrigan
      January 14, 2013 - 07:26

      How is she supposed to move to Charlottetown if she does,nt have money to move or have money to pay rent.. What a stupid remark to make. ......

    • It's and, not just or
      January 14, 2013 - 08:00

      It's not that difficult to have more than one concern at a time. I too feel that abuse by Ms. Shea's government, and her personal sin of omissions in this specific issue, is worthy of great concern. And, I feel that the Plan B fiasco is also of grave concern. And, please excuse the pun noir, the NRA in the USA is a grave concern too. There son, that's three concerns . . . and there's a constellation of others when you're ready to see them.

  • Smith
    January 13, 2013 - 22:11

    There are currently 9 jobs posted on Thr Job Bank for the Montague area, 5 of those jobs need no experience what so ever. You may need to take on a job you aren't super excited about. To many people give up to easily when it comes to looking for a job. An unsympathetic islander.

    • Amazed at your brilliance
      January 14, 2013 - 06:45

      Hahaha 5 jobs in the Montague area, and she might just have to take a job she doesn't particularly like??? Are you serious? 5 jobs for how many unemployed individuals? She has likely applied to all 5 without getting the job because the number of unemployed people looking for work righ now is ridiculous. I am a Charlottetown resident with two degrees and have certainly been applying to jobs that most definitely are of no interest to me and are minimum wage, yet still am not able to get a job. Shame on your for you inconsiderate comment. I would love to know your personal situation, where you work and how you got there, and just where you'd be at if you unexpectedly found yourself without work today!

    • Chellybean
      January 14, 2013 - 07:17

      @SMITH I myself have applied to just about all jobs for Summerisde area, have academic grade 12 and some vocational college and a good variety of jobs since I have been 17!! There are so many people applying with no call backs!! The fact is she was approved than it was taken away!! With a child at home, waiting for that call back from jobs she may have even already applied to must be awful!! Also while you pass judgement as an unsympathetic Islander, while having grammatical errors in your closing sentiment! I feel for her, and glad this is in the news!! Canadian people need support right now and we need to band together to take care of our own!!

    • Proud of you
      January 14, 2013 - 10:41

      @Smith. I totally agree with "Amazed at your brilliance" Out of these 9 jobs, she would either need to wait till May 1 to start work at two of these jobs, go get her class 1 or class 2 license to apply for either the long haul truck driver or school bus driver. Or she could go back to school and get skilled in Web design or become a student electrician. Or she could take the 3 hours a week job that needs no experience. That should get her through the winter! I have recently lost my job and I am terrified that I will be next in line to be cut off. I have been on the job bank website everyday for weeks and applied for every position that I would qualify for and then some. I have not received a phone call/letter nothing, not even an acknowledgement that I have applied. I also possess a Business degree and hold many certifications. But have been forced to apply for a variety for jobs, mostly all at minimum wage. I hope that you find something soon Marlene. Good for you and standing up for your rights!

    • John Getson
      January 14, 2013 - 13:23

      Just curious... any idea how many people in the Montaque area, at the moment, are looking for work. including those, currently a job that they are not "super excited" about... on an EI claim... not 'qualified' to open a claim ...or may be under-employed. bet it is significantly more than 9 You seem to have made a very common mistake... the exact same one that apparently our elected officials assume that just because there is a job opening at the same time that there is one person that is capable of working at that job that it should or would automatically go to that person... or that is a always a job available for everyone that might ever be looking for one. at any given time.

  • Fraud Alert
    January 13, 2013 - 22:10

    While I sympathize with this woman's situation, I'm surprised at the tone of this article. Calling her a "victim" because she was ineligible for an insurance policy is an enormous stretch of the word. A victim is someone who gets shot or stabbed. Not someone who doesn't qualify for a federal program. I'd also point out that this woman is taking a very differing view of EI than she holds toward welfare. She qualifies for welfare support. Take it. What's with this attitude that she's too good for welfare but not too good for EI? Is this because welfare cheques are smaller? And how did she get on EI in the first place? She quit her job. That means she was never eligible unless her employer committed fraud on her Record of Employment, and she subsequently furthered that fraud to a conspiracy when she knowingly applied for EI with falsified information. While she has our sympathy, she ought to duck and cover. Service Canada would be well within their rights to demand she pay back all the EI funds she received.

    • Bob Bunyan
      January 13, 2013 - 23:41

      FRAUD ALERT, You would not think anyone is too good for welfare because I imagine you know all about social assistance. By the way, did you read the story and if so did you understand it? She quit her last job because of the gruelling 60 hours work week. When was the last time YOU worked a 60 hour week? I would think that ANY work week is a distant memory for you. Moronic troll

    • Sorry, Bunyan but EI doesn't pay quitters
      January 13, 2013 - 23:58

      Bunyan Brain: Sorry kid, but EI is an insurance policy who are laid off from their job. It isn't for people who quit because their job had too many hours. So smart you must be, young one.

    • statler
      January 14, 2013 - 05:42

      FRAUD ALERT maybe you should look into the rules of being eligible? the last time i recall the rule stated that if you quit any job, you had to wait for a certain period of time then you were able to qualifi for E.I. the time limit for waiting i think was someware around 8-10 weeks .And what happens to someone who has no drivers license . do they deserve to be denied even though they are very good workers?? (i know of two or three right here in my community) anyway you seem to have a handle on everything, but watch out for the larger bumps in the road of life you may hit one next

    • Andy
      January 14, 2013 - 06:56

      Wow you are making some wild accusations based on very little information. First off she left her job due to stress (working 60 hrs and trying to take care of a child). Second, you can quit your job and qualify for EI if you valid reasons and i believe stress is one of them. Thirdly, you claim that both her and the company filed falsified Information, how did you get to that point from reading this artical. And Finally, There is a difference between EI and Welfare and i am not just talking about the size of the cheque (although that does matter), but one (EI) you pay into as you work for times of need and when that need comes up then how dare the government say you can't have it (amounts to robbery IMO) and Welfare is not directly payed into (although everyone in the province pays into through taxes). EI refuses to help if you don't fit into THEIR structure of who needs help. Everyone says she has to move to charlottetown. How ? who is going to pay for the move, the extra rent due to higher costs in charlottetown compared to Montague?

    • Ann
      January 14, 2013 - 07:29

      You CAN qualify for EI when you quit a job if you meet one of the criteria necessary. Ex: You have an unsafe work environment, your job is damaging your health, you have an abusive employer, you employer is asking you to break the law, etc... But the issue is NOT whether this lady initially qualified, it's that they said she no longer qualified because her job saerch criteria does not meet the new standards. Even if this lady had a car, where does the money come from to travel to work 5-6 days a week in Ch'town? You make minimum wage (calculated based on a person living close to their job), need child care (add 2 hours daily for travel time), and now need to pay $70+ a week for gas (and wear and tear on car). Oh and your car insurance will go up if you travel beyond locally for your job. Also, just because there are jobs advertised locally, does not mean they are hiring immediately, do not already have a person in mind but are required to advertise anyway, that there are not 50 or more applicants for each single positionn, that they are all full-time, or that this lady has not already applied for therm all. The new EI rules were never designed to help anyone other that the politicians. Aside- What community care facility has workers regularly pulling 60 hrs a week??? What kind of care would that leave the residents getting?

    • bill
      January 14, 2013 - 07:39

      fraud alert person said he sympathize with this woman but in my eyes you have to have a heart and soul before you have any feelings i think you do not have any,and stealing from the government are you nuts they have been stealing our money for years,are you pensioned of with a very big wage maybe you are in government because they have NO FEELINGS also

    • Francis Oshea
      January 14, 2013 - 19:57

      You want to talk about fraud. Lets talk about the 52 Billion dollars that Martin, Maroney and Chretian stold out of the EI fund to provide services and buy our votes. Perhaps you do notrealize that thefederal government does not and never did contribute to the EI fund but are only administrators of the funds collecte from employers and employees.

  • george
    January 13, 2013 - 22:02

    funny.... I listened to a call in show today on cbc radio .. they said this sort of thing would absoutely not happen.

  • jrsplace
    January 13, 2013 - 22:01

    If this story is true then many hard working islanders are about to get screwed out of the EI that they payed into . The only thing I don't get here is that the new rules are only supposed to apply if you would be better off economically by taking the job which is obviously not the case here . I bet that if this lady had fishing stamps she would still be recieving EI . I know of some lobstermen that are not even in the country right now that have no problems with EI . I do wish her the best and I hope some business will see the value in her attitude and give her a full time job right in Montaque.

  • Jimmy
    January 13, 2013 - 22:00

    I dont like Harper-but you know what-I'm with Harper on this one.

    • Bill Smith
      January 13, 2013 - 23:27

      I agree with you Jimmy. You are safe because the feds can't touch your welfare, That's provincial money you're collecting so you are free to attack those on EI.

  • carpooling
    January 13, 2013 - 21:52

    EI will hurt a lot of folks in the rural communities where the jobs are either taken or do not exist.. Carpooling may have to be the answer for the time being. There must be folks who work in Charlottetown who would be willing to split the gas cost.. Its a possibility...

    January 13, 2013 - 21:34

    And so it begins the weak and helpless are the first to suffer.There is an abundance of money in the EI coffers but Harper wants to squander it on foriegn countries or prop up Canadian(USA OWNED) businesses which should be by now self-supporting(read here Chrysler Ford and G.M. operating for decades) This is not the same country my father and his brother Volunteered to go fight for in WW2 so others might not be forced under tyranny.I was always taught a society is judged by how they take care of thier weakest but Harper is more concerned with his own worldly image.God help us all.

  • SAD
    January 13, 2013 - 21:31

    This is a very,very sad story!!!! I feel for this lady. How can the gov't see this and sleep at night??? I pray things will change for the better for you!!!!

  • WHY
    January 13, 2013 - 21:29

    Why do people in offices make it so hard for the underprivileged and those temporarily down on their luck? I cannot understand why the working poor --some with young children-- are treated so harshly, so inhumanely.

    • the rod
      January 14, 2013 - 07:08

      The orders come from the top. The "people in offices" must follow policies and procedures and have absolutely zero room to wiggle on protocol. If the legislation says they need to be able to travel up to an hour for work the front line EI case workers have no option but to deny the claim. It is an absolute shame but it is the nature of their jobs.

  • intobed
    January 13, 2013 - 21:25

    This is exactly what the federal government and provincial government wants: all low and moderate income people without steady employment to leave PEI, and go to Alberta to work. All moving should also be broke and desperate, so you will take any job and not complain. Marlene is only the beginning of the exodus that will happen when the HST is forced upon us. I am very sorry Marlene, but your government doesn't want you or your son. It is a tragic turn of events for our home province.

    • just another source of money for harpers crap
      January 14, 2013 - 10:27

      i think Harper and the rest of the gov are trying to dig their way out of a hole they themselves made and its us that take the blows like that stupid hotel they financed on Grafton street its us that is paying for it gimme gimme gimme is all that's going through their little minds

    • sick of Harper
      January 14, 2013 - 11:36

      My question is why are we paying into the EI system (giving the Gov't our money each and every week) if we don't have access to it when we need it?! My guess is there will be a lot of businesses that will be paying their employees under the table again. Would be nice if we could actually get a refund of all the EI benefits we all paid into since we began working that weren't used. It's insurance for when we are unemployed. We should be given the option to have EI taken off of our pay checks and decide how our money is spent. As for Marlene, why did her boss not create another job and split her position into a full time and part time position so that she could keep her job and employ another person part time? The future looks like the Welfare system will be accessed a hell of a lot more and then I predict a huge increase in criminal activity, way to go Harper! Maybe now "white people" will know what the Idle no more movement is fighting for. I don't see why people have so much compassion for Marlene and not hundreds of thousands of Aboriginals fighting for their rights. You all support teachers and hospital workers fighting for their union rights correct? A signed contract stating and protecting what you are entitled to be safe and compensated for? Funny how everyone is being screwed by Harper but yet you all pick and choose who should be compensated fairly and who should be left out in the cold.

    • Doesn't add up
      January 14, 2013 - 11:51

      There is more to this story. Simply does not add up. Reporters for The Guardian and Graphic need to do more research before reporting one sided stories such as this. Glad I didn't waste $1.31 on a paper today.

      January 14, 2013 - 18:44

      To the Rod and Intobed, how many of our young sons died for our freedom and look what those in offices are doing to it, making us move West and goodness knows what else is eroding that precious FREEDOM they died for! Wake up Canada!