EI plight brings flood of support to Montague woman

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MONTAGUE — A single mom protesting a denial of her EI benefits has been flooded with everything from hot soup and support, to offers of money and even a possible job.

Marlene Geirsdorf’s one-woman protest has sparked an outpouring of public concern as the 30-year-old epitomizes the fears anticipated by many in the Atlantic region about federal government EI changes in a region ripe with seasonal work.

She was denied her claim last week and told to seek welfare because she can’t get to Charlottetown (60 kms) for a job — only because she has no transportation.

“It’s been overwhelming,’’ said Geirsdorf, waving her placard once again Monday in front of the Services Canada centre.

“People have been offering me money, but I thank them and say, no, I’m not a mooch. I want to work; I don’t want to collect welfare. ”

Her story hit the front page of The Guardian Monday morning and registered over 25,000 hits on the newspaper website by midday. She’s been sought out by newspapers and television stations around the country, including the National Post and the Toronto Star.

The single mom says she can’t find a job in Montague at this time and has been told to take a position in Charlottetown. However, she has no car and there is no public transportation, and she doubts the government will pay cab fare.

“I’m not trying to rip off the system….I’ve always worked whenever I can,’’ she insisted as people honked horns in support as they drove by. “I’m just trying to get the benefits I’m entitled to until I can find work.”

A spokesperson for Diane Finley, federal minister of human resources, says people have always been expected to actively look for work in their local area while on EI.

“There are currently job opportunities in Montague,’’ said Alyson Queen, director of communications in an email from Ottawa. “And personal circumstances such as having a car or access to public transportation are taken into account.”

However, Geirsdorf, who has an eight-year-old son in local Grade 3 French immersion, said she’s checked the half dozen available jobs in Montague but doesn’t qualify.

“I can’t drive a truck and I don’t have the education for the others which are science-related,’’ she said noting she’s worked in coffee shops, gas stations and some light administrative rolls.

“If there aren’t jobs available in a particular area, EI will continue to be there for people as it always has,” said Queen.

Geirsdorf hopes that statement holds true, especially since she’s appealed the decision of being denied EI.

On Monday, people were stopping by with coffee and food, money and hot chocolate, and plenty of encouragement. A local fast food shop owner even dropped by to encourage her to apply for a job at his operation just in case.

“This shouldn’t be happening and I think this lady is doing a great job raising the awareness on this,’’ said retired businessman Barry White.

“I’ve never seen it this bad and I don’t know what they are trying to do to us….we don’t have enough year round job here and you can’t penalize people when most jobs are seasonal.”

Tracy Llewellyn pulled up with a hot chocolate for Geirsdorf and offered support to her cause. So did Lana Peardon and Chris Dockendorff.

“I just got laid off and I haven’t drawn EI in 20 years,’’ says Peardon. “But are they going to tell me I have to move to Alberta now?”

Geirsdorff has appealed her EI refusal but has been told it will take until Feb. 11 until a decision is forthcoming.

Organizations: Services Canada, The Guardian, National Post Toronto Star

Geographic location: Montague, Charlottetown, Atlantic Ottawa Alberta

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Recent comments

  • Patrick Gariup
    July 08, 2014 - 09:44

    For Marlene, I feel for you. I am in a different situation where I have contributed for over 30 years with none or insignificant claims until I became very ill in 2012. I applied and 16 weeks were given to me ..pending wether I qualify for extended aid...well after the 16 weeks, I didn't and though I qualified for 42 weeks , 16 is all I ended up with. I was recommended to go on "Welfare"..which ironically, I would not qualify for or find a job to get the missing hours and reclaim. There were battles with Insurance companies who denied benefits to which I was entitled stalling for time until they finally paid what I was entitled to.The wait was very painful and added to the mental , emotional and financial stress that I wish to no one. I have to point out that in early 2013 I returned to work with joy and adapted perfectly , until, 3 months later, they closed the location I was working at, was thanked for 10 years of exceptional devotion, given a severance package and off I went to hunt for a new career while my employer wiped their hands free of any "comebacks" from my end. Accepting the money immunizes them. Being almost 60, the search can be painful. Anyways, the money eventually ran out and I now needed to apply for E.I. in order that I can keep my head above water.I was denied benefits because I was short 70 hours. What about the previous 62,000 hours , do they not stand for anything..? I appealed in 2013 (for the 26 week difference from 2012) and wrote and waited and hoped that there would be a little compassion given that their "Analytical Grid "that qualifies us, doubtfully perfect or iron clad , is exclusive of exceptions.The letters ,time passed, waiting for abnormally long periods of time for a response, fear of opening the letter, reading yet another categorical refusal .The sheer cost of mailings, people involved (both clerical and EMPOWERED), handling and transcribing all that is convenient to their denial probably exceeds the amount that I am fighting for. (why am I forced to fight.?) Well, we are now in july 2014 and I was informed 2 days ago that their decision was final and if I still wasn't satisfied with the decision I could (bla, bla, bla, and more bla ) use the suggested options which I believe that I need a lawyer to understand. Is this not an indication of how the costs involved can escalate even higher at the same time securing employment for the involved .? I neither hoped or asked for the grief that they (EI) have been inflicting upon me. All I can say is that it is deplorable to experience such nonsense and the best solution would be that they refund my contributions seeing that I am still looking for work and will doubtfully ever apply for E.I. in this lifetime.

  • No Impressed
    January 16, 2013 - 17:19

    I have to say ....what is wrong with car pooling or taking the shuttle service I have taken it for personnel reasons ( nice way to go ) no gas ,no insurance no problem !) or moving or taking a job or take some training. My God there is funding for that !!! , even if it is out of your comfort zone ! I think that standing on a cornor when you should be on a job or a career search is very unproductive !It is very hard for anyone including myself. No reason to to give up ! Howerver ...lets just get on with it!!!!!

    • Joan
      December 08, 2013 - 13:43

      I agree.You quit a job u didn't like.You still can afford cigarettes among other things.I car pooled one time from Charlottetown to Souris fish plant,when it was still in operation.At least you can get welfare,some people don't have even that.When EI first came out years ago,it was never intended to be a source of income.EI has been so over abused that I can understand the cuts.Its about time.You can afford to smoke cigarettes and other things,then your not so hard up after all.

  • Are there no workhouses?
    January 16, 2013 - 10:40

    It will be an Employers world. Any old job that could not be filled before working in lousy conditions with Scrooge like employers will be designated as suitable work. And some body will be forced to work it.

    January 16, 2013 - 10:38

    People, People, People, I think a lot of you are missing the point here...Maybe the women quit her job, perhaps she has a cell phone, who cares the point of the matter is not that she want's all this money its the fact that The government is stealing our money from right under our noses and we are doing nothing about it. This women as well as ourselves pay into EI every year with our taxes incase we need to use it. But now we are not even able to use it if we some day may need it leaving us to struggle on low wage jobs and not being able to support our own life styles. The system is flawed and she is just making a point about it. I for one do not use EI nor hope I never have to but if someday we need to use it and are unable to and we payed into for 10 years...well there goes your hard earned money. It's like at work our union has yet to even renew our contract in about 3 years, and somehow managed to "run out of money" so we are unable to use it for education purposes " so remind me why am I paying union dues off each check" It's corrupt, and the longer we ignore it the more and more that will be taken from us. I hate to see what the next 10 years are going to bring, if we think times are tough now they are on;y going to get worse unless we start to get a voice.

  • Frustrated
    January 16, 2013 - 10:10

    For Anyone Interested ! There is a A man who lives in Murray River and runs a shuttle from Murray River to Montague on to Charlottetown...... Monday to Friday ! It is called Shuttle Up and there is a notice at CDS Montague .

    January 15, 2013 - 22:46

    Justice delayed is justice denied. This woman has been denied her rights in this great country; what is happening to it?

  • Islandwoman
    January 15, 2013 - 19:04

    There must be people driving from Montague to Charlottetown to work every day. You'd think at least one of them would offer her a drive.

  • use you head
    January 15, 2013 - 17:18

    use your head guys.. the government wants the fishermen to draw more ei... 3 claims if they could.. think about it. it boost up there tax bracket in a major way.. ei takes off very little tax so they pay it saall back and then a bunch.. take it away then who hurts,,, every1..

  • Ashamed to be an ISLANDER.
    January 15, 2013 - 15:49

    Except for the comment made by Musselman, all the other comments are so ridiculous, that I do not have any more to say.

  • mussellman
    January 15, 2013 - 13:49

    I have a great job, working 60+hours a week doing HARD labour on a mussel boat,work that most people cant last 3 hours doing.I love it.The problem is it only lasts 8-9 months of the year.But i have the same job every year for the last 10 years.When i get laid off i look forward to a bit of a break and having an EI claim, this doesnt mean im lazy or milking the system,anybody who says different should grab thier rubber boots and rain gear and come out on the water for a 12 hour shift when the winds blowing 60 kmh, now do this day in day out for 9months a year and then tell me im lazy and milking the system. Bet 90 percent of you wouldnt last a week,you would quit then get a doctors note stating stress or physical empairment , then go file EI.Dumbasses

  • Adam
    January 15, 2013 - 13:21

    This is just one example of how the system fails. Sure she will get what she needs, but only because of the publicity her case is getting. Will this actually translate to changes in EI policy? I doubt it.

  • For those Islanders with jobs
    January 15, 2013 - 13:02

    For those Islanders with jobs who are dissing those without, I hope you enjoy your jobs while they last. When Islanders are forced to move out west to work, your business will slow down and lay offs will happen. Good luck.

  • Harper is loving this
    January 15, 2013 - 12:59

    His plan to turn western Canada against Eastern Canada, and Islander against Islander is working. Great job, Stephen!

  • rose kendall
    January 15, 2013 - 12:57

    its time to get the fishermen a job to i work 35 weeks at a fish plant they work 2 months

  • Simone
    January 15, 2013 - 12:40

    Being handed a cup of coffee or hot chocolate is hardly a "flood of support" as the author of the article suggests. I agree with many on here that this lady needs to apply for the jobs offered. She quit her job! This, as well as yesterdays', article are very biased toward "this poor girl" I guess it makes better news than the headline"Woman denied EI and Searches for More Suitable Employment" No one would read that article.

    January 15, 2013 - 12:35

    From the Guardian article above: "Geirsdorff has appealed her EI refusal but has been told it will take until Feb. 11 until a decision is forthcoming." Can this decision not be made tomorrow or, better still, today? What's the hold-up? Someone on vacation or ill will, or what? What kind of people are making those weird decisions? what excuses do they have for withholding human rights from a child and his mother?

  • good luck
    January 15, 2013 - 12:32

    I think she is a brave lady and wish her well. She has the stamina and grit to stand up for herself and speak out. Perhaps she needs to get a job in politics where the money appears to be.

  • David
    January 15, 2013 - 12:06

    Yes i must say that there are people out there trying to scam the system for years and yes there are lazy people out there, but there's 2 sides to a story and the people that make more money that work year round 40 hours +and get bonus every year for good work, great for them but for those who are unfortunate and have only themselves to fight for there rights to work and support his/her family,do not get fair judgement so for all those people that have full time jobs remember 1 thing your turn will be coming soon and see how the shoe fits.Never judge others so others don't judge you. Good luck to the young lady in her fight for her rights

  • Something for Nothing...
    January 15, 2013 - 11:39

    The best part of EI, is when the EI I pay into, goes to pay someone elses college tuition so they can get a job, and possibly take that job from someone who paid/worked their own way through school. Now some lazy bum gets a free ride, to be able to take a job from someone who did it all on their own. Funny how only some people are picking up on the fact that she was offered a job that I guess was below her standards (fast food), and that there is a call center in the community hiring every month, with no qualifactions needed. I've also seen advertisements on Facebook of someone starting a business (rather then going on EI I assume) that would shuttle people between montague and surrounding areas and Charlottetown. Not to mention, the fact of lining up a carpool (they do exist). EI should be a short term solution for those who need it, and maybe at a higher rate then 55% of your wage (though, your net income works out similar due to much lower deductions - FYI). It shouldn't be a way of life for anyone...and that's what it is. Fisherman, lazy people, and people who go out west for the winter, and draw EI for the summer to sit on the beach, to pay for the beer and gas for the monster truck they bought.

    • Islander In NS
      January 15, 2013 - 20:57

      Here Here

  • Get on With Life
    January 15, 2013 - 11:38

    The fact is she quit a job in the Montague area . That alone disqualified her from EI . Been there ,done that . I worked 30+ years & then quit my job because I didn't like my new boss . Guess what ! I couldn't get EI . Has the rules changed or is this just a change in attitude that the people of Canada owes everone a living regardless of the rules being broken . I feel sorry for her but can't agree that she is being wrong done in this case . She made the choice as I done when I quit . End of story .

    January 15, 2013 - 11:34

    FISHERMEN, fishermen, fishermen. If you want to stop the abuse of the EI system and decrease the number of people drawing EI , then change the present system to disallow fishermen from drawing EI and leave the seasonal workers alone. I know for a fact that a number of fishermen drawing EI spent some of the winter time vacating in Florida, Cuba. and other areas. They do not even bother looking for work as they claim there is no work in their line of work and they need the time to build traps, boat repairs, etc. If that is the case then they are not available for work and should lose their eligibility to draw EI. Or set up a separate Fishermen EI Fund and only fishermen pay into it and draw from it. They can abuse it all to hell if they want . Then it will be them and only them that will have to increase their payments into the fund to cover the abuse .fraud etc

  • Carmen Young-McGrattan
    January 15, 2013 - 11:30

    Been there, done that. I'm originally from PEI and have worked from waitress, fishplant worker, retail sales, clerical... and guess what folks, it's P E I... the industry is not there... PEI is basically a Seasonal Province. If a person pays into EI, they deserve to draw out, what they have contributed. God help us All, if the banks ever decide to "keep the $ we have worked for". ^5 to Marlene for getting the ball rolling on this. I 'might' still be on PEI now (but I won't go into My job situation, Polar)... :) take care everyone... be of luck.

  • simlpe minds
    January 15, 2013 - 11:21

    love thy neighbor.what a joke in pei .its resent thy neighbor.dont worry shes not going to get further a head on ei if she gets it .idiots

  • island mom
    January 15, 2013 - 11:17

    So has she taken that fast food owner up on his offer? She says she wants to work. Theres her opportunity. And to the people offering her money, how about offering her a drive to charlottetown to work? Montague is small I am sure lots of people travel to charlottetown to work daily.

  • island mom
    January 15, 2013 - 11:14

    So has she taken that fast food owner up on his offer? She says she wants to work. Theres her opportunity.

    January 15, 2013 - 11:10

    You make an excellent point for the people who think the new system is a good idea. You state that your husband deserves a 4 month break paid for by other EI contributors because he works hard for eight months and does work around the house the 4 months he is off. NEWS FLASH the majority of people work hard but for 12 months a year and do their house repairs on their days off. Welcome to the real world.

    • Full time employee also
      January 15, 2013 - 12:26

      Exactly! Couldn't have said it better myself!

    • jody from nb
      January 15, 2013 - 18:43

      And do they work over 90 hours a week for 8 months straight?? Including holidays and weekends? No I think not! He goes to work from 5 am to 10 sometimes 11 pm 6 days a week for 8 months......which gives him only 1 day a week off to spend with the family. Don't tell me a normal person works those hours and has time to do anything else. There is a reason they pay into EI....he has been at the same job for 8 years now.

  • Realist
    January 15, 2013 - 10:54

    Everyone should read Gerry's comment. Extremly well said and with a lot of common sense.

  • Math Teacher
    January 15, 2013 - 10:48

    Time for a Math Lesson. The maximum EI contribution is around $840 per year even if you make $200,000/year. Let's assume a person works 40hrs/week for 8 months @$10/hr. That person is making $400 per week, 55% of that is $220. After 4 weeks they have been paid $880, so after only 4 weeks they have used up a year of their contributions to the pot. So if a person were to work for 8 months then draw EI for 4 they would pay in about $840 and recieve back $3,520. So the question is why is this HER MONEY that she is entitled to? If a person goes on EI every 4 or 5 years for 4 months they are about net even to the system, not counting the administrative costs etc. EI is not designed to get you by every year. It is supposed to be there for every 5-10 years you need support. If you want the system to give more money there is a very simple answer, higher taxes. It has to be a zero sum game, more taxes = more services. Less taxes = less services, there is no debating this. So you have two choices 1) You support higher taxes and support lots of social support plans. 2) You want lower taxes but understand that social support plans will be sacrificed. There are minor tweaks to make to the system for efficiency, but they only will do minor shifts. Hospitals/schools etc are all in that pot as well. If you want 27 hospitals for 140,000 people you better be willing to pay some very high taxes.

    • Update
      January 15, 2013 - 11:11

      Actually you are being too generous. Each person pays $1.83/$100 they earn. So if a person works 36 weeks at $10/hr 40hrs/week they would earn $14,400. So they would only pay $263.52 in EI contributions. So if a person were to work 36 weeks/year and EI for 16 weeks/year they would contribute $263.52 and recieve $3,520 from the system. Not exatly sure how the government would be stealing from that person. Seems like that person is stealing from their neighbor who contributes to EI every year.

    • Seasonal
      January 15, 2013 - 11:27

      But wait.... what if a person were to work really hard most of the year. Work 80 hrs/week for 44 weeks EVERY year at $10/hr. Well that hard worker will have made $35,200 and paid $644 in EI contributions. But they also made more money so their EI benefits are higher. So they now recieve $440/week, so in the 8 weeks they are off they have recieved $3,520 in benefits, despite only paying $644 into the "System". But, hey, they worked really hard those 44 weeks, let's all feel bad for them. Nevermind that they knew they were going to be without work soon and didn't set anything aside. They are ENTITLED to that money, they paid into the system so the money would be there when they needed it. Not as much as they took back... but still......

    • ME Durkee
      January 15, 2013 - 11:49

      EI benefits are not "taxes" tax payers dont pay for these from their taxes..its a separate pot of money paid for by EI contributions . Its often had a surplus that successive Governments have raided and put into general funds.. Its NOT Government money..Its worker/employer paid. Get your facts straight.

    • Proved Point
      January 15, 2013 - 12:16

      Exactly. It's not taxes, it's a pool of funds that people pay into. If you are going on EI every 2 or 3 years you are pulling WAY more funds out of the pot than you are contributing. You pay $1.83 for every $100 earned up to a maximum of $839 per year. So if you draw more than you put in that money has to come from somewhere..... it comes from those people who very rarely draw EI and pay into it year after year.

    • W.Wilkins - let's play together kids.
      January 15, 2013 - 12:39

      I'm now retired and have contributed to "EI" for many decades without drawing a penny out. For my part, I'm not close to being worried about anybody willing to stand in the cold with a sign that sends a message to all of us that things have to change. I'm much more worried about those who would never, in their wildest imagination, do what this young person is doing. We're all vulnerable; in countless ways, we all need each other. Perhaps it's not money, but we all need some type of help. Don't we?

    • Roch Longueepee
      January 15, 2013 - 12:59

      @MATH TEACHER. You are out of touch. Social programs exist to give those who are down on their luck such as this young woman a hand up to get back on their feet. She has already stated she is interested in being on the system, she just wants to be able to tap into a system which she has already contributed to. If every Canadian decided to draw EI, we would have no pot to draw from. So for those who don't have the competitive edge (academically or otherwise) these programs are a safety net to give them enough reprieve to bounce back. This government's attitude is a 'you're on your own' approach. That is not the Canada I know. They cheated this election. So if you want to discuss 'cheating' or ‘self entitlement' look toward our current federal government. It is hypocrisy at its best. How many millions (if not billions) of tax dollars are given to greedy, self-serving corporations provincially and federally? Do you care to do the math on that as well? Frankly I grow tired of facile comments. Why don't you go back to the peanut gallery of intelligence where you belong?

  • concerned
    January 15, 2013 - 10:36

    all the power in the world to this single mother of a child. once upon a time when i was married and my children were smaller, i was on E.I. Has anyone forgotton how hard it can be to find after hours babysitters/childcare facilities...her son may be in school throughout the day, but what about the evenings or weekends...stress has a big meaning when you are raising an 8 yr old and need to find someone to look after your child during these after hour times. only for the fact that i had a husband at the time my kids were small and family to help out as well, or my after hours wouldnt have been possible. what has this country become when we deny a young woman trying her hardest to raise her child...wake up people, look at who's to blame for this woman standing on the side of the road trying to make a point while our politicians sit in their office sipping their coffees and leaving to go home to their cooked meals and money in their pockets...our world has become so sinfully shameful...what the hell is wrong here. GIVE this woman her E.I. back until she finds a job that she can get back and forth to, or i challenge the politicians to bring her and her son into their home to help her out until she finds some employment. it sickens me to think that all these "year round employed" people think life is so easy, its not by any means...i've been there, i've done that, and i was NEVER lazy, i started working at the age of 9 delivering papers and went from there to picking blueberries; i never considered myself lazy, people need to change their attitudes...you know the old saying before you ramble at the mouth....WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES then maybe you can pass judgement!!!!

  • Lloyd Smith
    January 15, 2013 - 10:35

    What saps people are., eh? PT Barnum said, there's a sucker born every minute. As it turns out, there are thousands of suckers out there in Canada willing to buy any victimitus story.

      January 16, 2013 - 03:20

      But Marlene has a lawful right to EI and has been "made" victim, and thanks for calling me "sucker" because I care about her and her child, I'm willing to put up with your "kindness" in trying to put me straight, only willing to put up with you and so many others like you, for her sake. Stop being so hateful Lloyd and so many others, you might just need my sympathy --and help-- yourself one day. Think about it.

  • SG
    January 15, 2013 - 10:25

    To Cathy Dawson: Like they say, it's nice to look in from afar and form opinions regarding the situations of others. However, the FACT IS the only people who TRULY KNOW what the Actual Reality of the Situation is are the ones who are LIVING it Each and Every day! There are always people who will abuse a system/program. However the Reality is there are Many Many people WHO TRULY NEED the Program. In my opinion the number of people who TRULY need the Program greatly out weighs those who May Be abusing the it.

    January 15, 2013 - 10:11

    Your basking in your 15 minutes of fame. Enjoy it, because you will soon be forgotten.

      January 15, 2013 - 10:57

      Lets all quit our jobs because they are not what we want, go stand on the side of the road, whine and cry about our situation and get handed jobs that may appeal to us! Sorry, but this "poor" girl could have gotten a job at Tims or MacDonalds!! Just goes to show that the people that will work the long hours are no further ahead then the ones that will quit them and whine about it!! PRETTY SURE THERE ARE BETTER THINGS TO PUT IN THE NEWS!!! SHE DID NOT LOOSE HER JOB -- SHE QUIT!!! LETS ALL GO OUT AND QUIT OUR JOBS AND WHINE BECAUSE WE HAVE NO MONEY

  • Islander
    January 15, 2013 - 10:06

    To ROGERDODGER: Thanks for the chuckle but wiser words never spoken as greedy employers see that they can replace their full time workers of $15 to whatever wage with a $10 dollar worker and not have to pay benefits to hire these workers. LOOK OUT full time workers EI is on the way for you and then egg on your smug faces will look good.

  • Gerry
    January 15, 2013 - 09:53

    Has to be more to this story. However, as previously stated, Service Canada is restricted (e.g. ATIP Act) in terms of what they can divulge; and why should they divulge anything to the Guardian? The Guardian's journalists should be more proactive in terms of conducting its' own indepth research which would undoubtedly benefit those whose knee jerk reaction is to immediately respond to hearsay. There is a strong sense of entitlement on PEI - we want a hospital in our town, we want a school in our town, we want, we want. God forbid, we are a very small province, which typically translates into a whole gamut of inconveniences, e.g. lack of employment opportunities in our backyard; better (yet costly) highways; working population "warranted and affordable" transit system to outer lying areas; enviable health care; new/upgraded schools. The wish list is endless, but the reality is that it is just that, a wish list; mainly due to our population base, geographical location and the real kicker-affordability. Maybe we all should be looking inward, and asking ourselves "Wwhat can we do to help each other as well as ourselves versus defaulting to the mindset "who is going to help me?"

    • Recasting the intent of EI?
      January 15, 2013 - 12:29

      Good solid comment Gerry, but what does "help each other" actually look like? Does it look like capitalizing on each other's weaknesses to maximize our own self-interest? Or, does it look like helping each other to maximize our quality of life? What I really appreciate about your comment is the call for a balance between seeking help from others and self-directing our own survival. However, doesn't EI play a role in reaching this balance? Perhaps, in 2013, it's time to revisit the intent of EI and render explicit its goals and objectives?

  • Shirley
    January 15, 2013 - 09:52

    Everyone on here should just mind their own and let this young lady do want she feels she has to.Until you walk a mile in her shoes and know it all from her side of the dime we should all just mute.

    • Townie
      January 15, 2013 - 13:01

      see thats the thing. Many of us have walked in her shoes and we are calling BS. She may not be one of these habitual Income supplement EI users but she should never of quit her job because she was working 60 hours a week. She should of 1) asked to be cut down in hours 2) taken stress leave and then returned to her job after she was done being stressed out.

  • Nadine Lumley
    January 15, 2013 - 09:51

    The housewife’s chores are unending and undefined. ... petty housework crushes, strangles, stultifies and degrades (the woman), chains her to the kitchen and to the nursery, and wastes her labour on barbarously unproductive, petty, nerve-wracking, stultifying and crushing drudgery.' ***And with no pension to boot. Why doesn't the government pay her to stay at home and give her a pension for raising a future tax payer / soldier? http://www.marxists.org/subject/women/authors/davis-angela/housework.htm

    • Wow
      January 15, 2013 - 10:18

      Unbelievable. Just plain rubbish. Raising a child is its own reward. Who has a child for financial gain?

  • NB ER
    January 15, 2013 - 09:49

    It does not appear that this lady has a "flood of support" based on the majority of comments here. Many people are plain tired of the chronic EI abuse. This system was not set up to become a fund for seasonal workers. Perhaps that is the solution, that a separate program be created for those who have chronically used EI when their seasonal work ended. They would pay premiums (which likely would be higher than current EI deductions) and this would fund their time off, kind of like teachers who have a deduction taken off each check so they can take a sabbatical at a future time. It's time for a seasonal workers program which they can pay into to fund their months off.

  • rogerdodger
    January 15, 2013 - 09:48

    it will b a whole different story when we guys on ei replace all u 15 dollar an hour guys for 10 dollars an hour. then it will b u looking for ei.

  • Bertie
    January 15, 2013 - 09:47

    The Harperite cuts to EI hurt people but these Cons are only following up on the harm done by the Liberal cuts to EI in the 1990s. The Chretien cuts were the really big smash to the system, millions nabbed from the EI fund for the deficit. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians were impoverished by those Liberal actions. The Conference Board of Canada report on income inequality quotes a study- Battle, Mendelson, and Torjnan- that indicates that the beneficiaries-to-unemployed ratio dropped from 82.9 in 1990 to 47.8 in 2009. Most of this massive drop was caused by the Liberal changes under Chretien and Martin. Both Wayne Easter and Lawrence MacAulay voted in favour of these changes. Sean Casey mentor Shawn Murphy was there to harm us as well as long as Joe McGuire, father to current deputy Matt under Robert Ghiz. And yet we see Easter and MacAulay on CBC yesterday playing it holier than thou as if they were angels just dropped from a hay loft in heaven. Do not be fooled, folks. Vote NDP! Do not fall for any more Liberal con jobs. They are no better than the Harperites. Not a bit. They laugh at you behind your backs. How can they not? Their pockets are stuffed with cash.

  • SG
    January 15, 2013 - 09:43

    YOU GO MARLENE for as long as you can! I give you more than CREDIT for standing up not only for yourself but for the MANY jobless Islanders and Maritimers ! I checked the Job Opportunities in Montague and you are CORRECT there are NINE and the most require skills many would not possess! As if NINE jobs would make a REAL difference for the number of unemployed in your area or the other scant job opportunities for the many Islanders who are presently unemployed! Does Ontario and the West have the Same EI Stipulations? Oh I guess they wouldn't need them given they're the HAVE Provinces! Maybe our Government Federal and Provincial should take the lead from President Obama and raise Taxes on the Rich NOT the Poor and the Needy of our Society! When the EI Changes were first announced the Majority of Maritime tax paying citizens stated they would cause Severe Hardships for the majority of our population DUE to LACK of Job Opportunities and the Reality re: many areas rely on SEASONAL Employment not because they want to but rather due to the fact for many that is the ONLY means of employment Available! If our Government feels EI is not the answer than maybe our Government(s) could provide more Job Opportunities! If Islanders and Maritimers have to continue moving to the West and Ontario to secure Employment before long the West and Ontario will be experiencing the same Job Shortages! 90% of our Population want to WORK the problem is the LACK of Job Opportunities! Marlene I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST! I also ADMIRE you for your courage in taking a STAND on this issue that is Affecting the lives of many on P.E.I. and throughout the Maritimes! In my view All Islanders in your area should get out and Support You as you are certainly not the Only Islander facing such Hardships and Challenges.

  • full timer
    January 15, 2013 - 09:38

    Think it's time for the fishermen to start getting cut off after drawing a second claim..draw pogey for 10months and make 50+ take home in 2months. Talk about abusing the system!!!

  • Kelly
    January 15, 2013 - 09:26

    Some of you people make me sick. It's HER money!! She has paid into it for years! Just like we all have and when we need it, it should be there for us!

  • david
    January 15, 2013 - 09:26

    pehaps this is all she has left the bill was not payed . say no more help her out and stand togather ;;;;;;;;David

  • david
    January 15, 2013 - 09:10

    Dont pay her a dime//// ' you ass your lucky you have money from your last job it was fed or pro job at lease we are doing our thing not like you if you dont like this to bad it relly shows us so called good people not trash like you' you need help do someing for me and go to bed you x goverment no body we vote you in and look now cant even keep our money at home poor poor little boy ........the end

  • Sheople R Herded
    January 15, 2013 - 08:57

    some of you are beyond ignorant. You attack a young mother for her EI claim but leave the politicians who are STEALING from you alone? Really? You think it's ok then that ghiz and his cohorts are Thieving Hundreds of thousands even Millions from YOUR POCKETS in illegal taxes to fund their big dinners and to enable them to give themselves pay raises and guaranteed pensions on Your Back .. but you think the thing to do is Exactly what the crooks want you to do. You don't see this many comments on articles about CORPORATE fraud > Big business not paying their taxes and then getting Millions in bailout money. Nope it's a lot easier to go after your neighbour, your friends, family and single moms Grow some and go after the real thieves . if you have the kahoonas. You have been HERDED > You have been manipulated into attacking each other. Why not hit those lazy seniors who want You to pay for their meds.

    • DAVID
      January 15, 2013 - 09:37

      Sheople R Herded '''''thank you for tell them out there the way it is ;you so smart people perhaps you could find a good worker at canadapost outlets what a joke that is 'if you need work canada post will take you on you dont need to work much ....

  • Don't Pay Her a Dime
    January 15, 2013 - 08:36

    Hey, I like a place called 'Middle of Nowhere'. It's a nice place, without jobs, or buildings, or any other people. I'm thinking of moving there because I like it so much, and because I'm entitled to be funded by the taxpayers of Canada. I'm tired of all the criticism of our EI system - do any of you know just how lucky you are to have the things we do in Canada? Easily, one of the greatest social countries on the planet, so count your blessings. This sense of entitlement is ugly. If you need money, you need to earn it. I'm very tired of these poor attitude, lazy individuals who think the system's there for milking. Why don't you make a contribution to this economy instead of sucking it dry? It's called hard work, an eduction, and a reality check. If there's no work, it's time to move. Otherwise, please forward my EI cheques to the Middle of Nowhere - a place not unlike many, where I think I can sit on my ass, use a lack of jobs as an excuse, and allow the rest of the country to feed, clothe and shelter me, while I do nothing more than criticize the very hand that feeds me?

    • Some playground bullies just don't grown up?
      January 15, 2013 - 08:50

      Okay, who are the poor attitude, lazy individuals who think the system's there for milking? We all know who they are? I don't. The vast majority of people I know on EI have a good attitude, they're not lazy and they don't milk the system. And by the way, what "system" are you talking about? Based on your tone of argument and the total lack of statistical evidence, it appears that some playground bullies just don't grown up.

    • mej
      January 15, 2013 - 09:09

      I hope you're putting some monies away for a rainy day. Because the way things are going, when you lose your job due to the economic slow down, and there is no EI system anymore, then you better have something to live on while looking for that "job on a sliver platter" you seem to think there is.

    January 15, 2013 - 08:35

    Gail Shea was and is supposed to be working her ISLANDER'S and NOT the harper government, just in case she forgot.

    January 15, 2013 - 08:20

    You like to report the FLOOD of support (from other EI receipents) but why not also report the NUMBER of people who support Ei changes to make it what it was designed for. A fallback to assist people who lost their jobs not by their own doing and not a way to sit home during the winter. As one individual said to me and I Quote "i have been drawing EI in the winter for the last 30 years and I am not going to look for a full time job now. Unquote.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 15, 2013 - 08:11

    We have been fooled into thinking that our votes count for something when in reality they count for nothing. The system has been broken for over 40 years. The governments could have fixed the system (and it can still be fixed) but they do not have the will to do it, nor will the ones who follow them. What we need is a new system of government, one which reflects accurately the will of the people, not the will of the chosen few. An analogy, You can only fix something so many times until sooner or later you must throw it out and get a new one, houses, cars, governance systems all fit into this.

    • The Facilitator
      January 15, 2013 - 09:13

      And what new for form of Government would you suggest?

  • mej
    January 15, 2013 - 08:11

    The majority of people on EI (at least on PEI) do not enjoy being on EI. Who wants to live the winter months on 55% of their wages?? But if everyone who works a seasonal job were cut off EI, then I guess Cavendish and all those wonderful tourist destinations would be no more! I mean who wants to go work for a theme park that is only open for the tourist season, and then you have no income for the winter. How will the employers find workers to come work for the tourist "season". Foregin workers are wonderful...they come work the season and go home....no one tells them they have to stay here and find work for the winter now do they??? Wonder how many we can get to come work this summer's season??

    • Townie
      January 15, 2013 - 11:08

      EI isn't income support. It is insurance that if you loose your job you will have money to tie you over until you get another job. Those jobs in Cavendish and other touristy spots will be filled by students rather than people who want to mooch of the government for income support. Foreign workers have been working the higher labour jobs that Islanders have become too "good" for. If you want income in the winter get another job, there are lots to be had if you get up and look for them otherwise we wouldn't need foreign workers. They get paid the same as everyone else, there are labor laws for that. Some are subsidized, but the gov also subsidizes businesses to hire people who are on EI, but no one on EI will take them.

    January 15, 2013 - 08:06

    According to the article she was offered a job while standing on the corner with her sign. people who quit could job should accept what is offered. Sounds like she is not ready to go to work, just to fight for EI. People all over Canada have to drive over one hour to get to work, why should PEI be any different except the fact that EI is considered winter employment here. I suspect that there are a number of people from that area that drive to Charlottetown daily. I know people who drove from Montague to Cavendish Farms in new Annan because work was there. Join the real world and get out of the backwoods thinking people.

  • Lori Mac
    January 15, 2013 - 07:59

    Happy to see that some people are supporting Marlene in her effort to get attention with regards to the new EI changes. To those of you who have felt the need to comment with regards to her phone, her leaving her prior employment and abusing the system--- perhaps you should speak to her and see her side of the story as opposed to just commenting to comment. I very much hope you all remain secure in your positions until you are ready to retire and you won't ever be in the same position this lady is, however I feel that is doubtful. I currently travel to charlottetown to work 5 days a week and my commute is 2 hours a day. I consider myself lucky that I have been able to find decent jobs and own a car that can get me from point A to point B, not all of us are so fortunate. Stay positive and all the best to you Marlene!

  • I don't get it
    January 15, 2013 - 07:55

    My kid started at the call center in Montague a few months ago. He makes $10 an hour, but with the bonuses they get, he said it's closer to $13 if you do good work. On top of that, full benefits package, and paid sick time, etc. Pardon me...but with options like that (and we all know, you don't need much in the line of "qualifications" )....why should I feel bad for her? It's also pretty clearly BS if she said she isnt qualified to work there, they hire part time high school students.

  • Islander
    January 15, 2013 - 07:50

    I know I am going to get some hate responses for this but I have to agree with the government that something needed to be done. There are jobs here. There are tonnes of opportunity to upgrade, the skills PEI program for returning to school is nothing short of fantastic. EI is there for a short term fix. Everyone seems to feel like they are entitled to it because they don't want to work year round.

    • The Facilitator
      January 15, 2013 - 08:36

      Have to agree with you Islander, It is interesting that she states that there are no jobs in Montague for which she is qualified, but the very first day she is out protesting, a fast food operator drives by and suggests that she apply for a job at his business in Montague, Wendy's, Tim Horton's and McDonald's are hiring all the time yet it would appear that she hasn't checked out these businesses. From her discription of her past employment and education, it sounds like these are the types of jobs that she is qualified to do, The trouble with these types of stories is that we only get one version of the events. The government is stymied by the Privacy legislation to give its side of the story. She states that because she won't look at jobs in Charlottetown is the reason why she was cut-off. Is this true? In my experience Federal Public Servantss are not cold heartless individuals. Clearly the fact that she had no form of transportation to get to Charlottetown would have been taken into consideration. I am absolutley sure that there are other factors that she either did not understand or chose not to share with us.

      January 15, 2013 - 08:55

      TO THE FACILITATOR: I went on-line to check out the job postings for Montague. Did you? Do that, then spew your nonsense.

  • Buffalo Tamer
    January 15, 2013 - 07:30

    There seems to be a disconnect between rich politicians that cater to Alberta and people that are down on their luck. Personally I think representing Canadians in Parliament should be an honour, a privilege. Therefore, I propose all ministers work for the average salary of their constituents that they represent. oh and get rid of those expense accounts that pay for $16 glasses of orange juice and "Training" (Fishing) trips up north.

  • Targetman
    January 15, 2013 - 07:22

    Well for many many years people have moved to where the jobs were. Here on PEI that generally means Charlottetown. If she doesn't have a vehicle and is unwilling or unable to purchase one then perhaps she needs to move to Charlottetown. As much as I don't agree with the changes to EI I don't see how Ottawa is at fault in this case.

  • Wish she had fishing stamps
    January 15, 2013 - 07:00

    Funny that this lady gets cut off but I don"t hear any fisherman getting cut off EI Even though they actually plan on using EI as part of the entitlement of buying a lobster licience. I can even name quite a few lobstermen within twenty miles of Montaque that are down south for a month or more this winter and have done this every single year.

  • Candy Drover
    January 15, 2013 - 06:40

    Job Bank Breakfast cook (job # 6812096 ) Employer: Kate's Cafe Salary: $11/ Hourly for 30 hours Location: Montague, PEI Date Posted: 2013/01/14 Source: Job Bank People Train

  • Candy Drover
    January 15, 2013 - 06:35

    I live in this area I put out 2 resumes and got a call back from one and hired from another so there is work people need to LOOK

  • gin
    January 15, 2013 - 06:28

    Hey I know quite a few people in Charlottetown who can't find work and are about to lose their ei benefits and have to resort to welfare. Can everyone patting their own backs for helping her help them too?

  • Jody from NB
    January 15, 2013 - 06:03

    What you might not realize is that a lot of people draw their unemployment due to the fact they are SEASONAL workers. They work long hard hours during the seasons they are able to and PAY into the EI. To be laid off for 4 months out of a year due to it being winter gives them a well deserved rest. They are not lazy because they want their winters off. They paid into the EI during the time they worked, so it should not be denied from them. Why should they work long hard hours, just to be told get another job until you go back to work? I'm not quite sure on the PEI situation, but I'm sure its the same as here in NB. We are a seasonal province. Potatoes, Lobsters, Cranberries, Road Construction, etc...

    • The Facilitaor
      January 15, 2013 - 08:54

      EI is not a program designed for the purpose of giving someone a four month rest. It is meant to be used as a bridging measure for when someone is temporarily out of work and is looking for another job. If a person is dilligently looking for alternate employment and , in spite of his/her best efforts is unable to find something then EI is there for them. If they plan to use EI to finance a four month vacation, an not make an honest effort to look for another job, they should be cut-off.

    • jody from nb
      January 15, 2013 - 10:18

      A vacation? The time my husband is laid off until the time he goes back is when he does repairs here at home and where he spends some time with the family. Why would he have to be cut off?He works over 90 hours a week, 6 days a week from march until mid december. We as a family barely see him so I think its unfair that he pays into EI to be told get another job. He already has a job, not their fault they can't work during the winter. Think about these ppl when your eating your potatoes, fish, drinking cranberry juice, driving on brand new roads. My husband has been trained for the company where he works so he shouldn't have to go get trained for something else just for a month or two. Wake up!

  • Dear Cathy Dawson
    January 15, 2013 - 05:20

    I fail to see your point in this context. Are you a disgruntled Conservative, you seem to be desperate to make a point but you have no point to make. What abuse are you able to be factual about. It was suppose to be an insurance program for Canadian workers who had paid into the fund, It is actually very little to do with the governmnet, it isn't there money. But they reached in and took the money and are now punishing the people to get the numbers of claimants down, so as to have more money from the money paid by Canadian workers to put into Harpers political schemes.

    • The Facilitator
      January 15, 2013 - 09:09

      Yes Cathy Dawson it is supposed to be an insurance program and not a welfare program. The purpose is to support workers, who through no fault of their own, lose their jobs. It is meant to temporarily hold them over while they dilligently hunt for another job. A temporary measure. The reality is that peole are vieiw it as an annual entitlement to be paid to them every year after they complete the qualifying period in a seasonal job. Some have not been dillignetly looking for alternate employment while they are unemployed. The measures introduced by the government are meant to address this issue. If you are looking diligently for a job and in spite of your best efforts are unable to find employment your EI will continue. In this case , if her assertions are factual she is entitled to have her case reviewed through an appeal process. I doubt that she will be successful as there are jobs available in the Montague area for which she is qualified. A call centre is hiring as well as fast food operators. She appears to be qualified for both these types of employment.

  • Diesel Truck
    January 15, 2013 - 00:26

    She QUIT her job. Why would she qualify for EI, UI whatever the heck it is. 60 hrs a week, she musta been making too much money I guess. Geeez better quit and expect to get paid to do nothing. What, I paid into it, I DESERVE it. Junk. No you don't and neither do you lazy bums on here shooting off. You should of been responsible especially having a kid and at least have a backup job before quitting a job. Makes no sense like 90% of the people on here. Just stuck in your head Islander way of thinking that your owed everything. Oh geeez gona have to go out west I guess no jobs here. Well I guess if your broke and have no money yah gota do something. And don't curse ow, after all it is possibly the best place in the world. What would half the gentle island do without this lovely oil rich money flowing province. I'd say either go beg for your job back, take the money handouts (like most of you would), find a new job or move ow and make more money than any of you would know what to do with, buy a ginormous diesel truck and call er a day. OW is the best...

  • Greedy--- Not I
    January 15, 2013 - 00:09

    I was an unemployed islander for many years. NOt a lazy bum but just doing what I had to get by. Now I work in Northern Alberta (oilberta) and pay more income tax than I earned as a salary in PEI. I pay full EI premiums. I pay happily so my underemployed brothers and sisters can survive. I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to do so. Greed is an awful thing. How much is enough? Take care of one another. The last thing I will think of when the last nail is driven in my coffin is how much went to support the less fortunate. Living in the maritimes is portarayed as a non stop party of lazy bums. In fact it is quite stressful for the under-employed. Everybody should lightenup and count your blessings. Islander out.

  • Brantley Brazen
    January 14, 2013 - 23:47

    Cathy Dawson, of course you are always able to find work. The jobs you are qualified for are a dime a dozen.

    • paul
      January 15, 2013 - 03:07

      I support the Government and the new changes they have implemented. This system to me has been abused and abused and its about time people quit living on handouts and EI comes from a larger bucket than Community Services, so when a person says I will not draw welfare, Whats the difference??? I do not see this Lady holding up a Sign requesting car pooling or seeking an alternative to the so called lack of Transportation to have the ability to work in Charlottetown. Further more if this Lady had to leave her previous job due to Stress , she should be receiving sick Benefits.

    • Lives Away
      January 15, 2013 - 06:11

      Cathy Dawson makes a great point..... many Islanders use EI as a form of income (I know, not all of you) when EI is income to ASSIST YOU WHILE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT. Yes there are lots of jobs out there, you may just have to swallow a bit of pride and work that minimum wage job (or two minimum wage jobs). If people spent as much time looking for work as they spend whining about it, this would likely not be an issue. PIET HEIN....spoken like a true Islander/East Coaster "not everyone has your good fortune or good luck to always fall into a job".......well I believe that you make your own "good fortune/luck, not expect that things to fall into your lap. That's why I left the Island for work....ten years ago I was a UPEI graduate and could not find meaningful employment on PEI. Yes my standards were higher than a minimum wage job so I thought for about 2 seconds and figured that I should leave PEI....best thing I ever done! I have a great paying job and I am able to easily provide for my now family. And no, I am not working in Alberta or Toronto. Many of the EI reliant Islanders/Maritimers need to realize that they may need to move to support themselves & family. The big world is not so scary once you cross the Confederation Bridge you know.....many people do it everyday. Keep up with the times...gone are the days when Shipbuilding/farming/fishing attracted many people to work in Maritimes and here are the days when bigger companies own all the bigger jobs and centralize them in certain areas (not Maritimes). And if that means needing to move to get one of them, why wouldn't you.....IT IS NOT UP TO THE GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT YOUR FAMILY, IT IS UP TO YOU! I am sick of all the whiners in this world.

    • MATT
      January 15, 2013 - 06:23

      Nice IPhone...Just Sayin. Gotta be hard times.

    • Call Kellie
      January 15, 2013 - 06:41

      Do a search for "Maritime Connection Jan 13" and listen to Dr. Kellie Leitch. She explains how the new EI system will be fair and talks about a senerio very much like Marlene's. You may get the warm fuzzys listening to it. Everyone will be considered on a case by case basis. Seems she hasn't heard of this case. Call Kellie

  • Piet Hein
    January 14, 2013 - 23:41

    Well Cathy Dawson, not everyone has your good fortune or good luck to always fall into a job and sometimes EI is necessary.If you were a decent person you would have some empathy for this woman and others like her instead of trying to tear her down.

  • Bill King
    January 14, 2013 - 23:31

    So it appears what Gail Shea and the Conservatives have told us are lies (as if that is a surprise). If you need EI and there are no jobs in your area then you are expected to leave home, family, friends and move to where the work is. At this time that is out west. I am 61 years old and have not collected EI for 20 years, but if I am laid off and cannot find work in Charlottetown or area then i can be be told by some fool in Service Canada that I must pack up and head west. After 61 years of living and working on P.E.I. suddenly I am expected to go west for work. The words "ethnic cleansing" come to mind.

  • rb
    January 14, 2013 - 23:27

    According to the original story, she quit a good job because she was tired of working up to 60hrs/wk. I wonder if she'd now like to reconsider that brilliant move. Maybe she cold ask het kid's opinion.

    • Bill Omega
      January 14, 2013 - 23:36

      RB, i realize you are not that bright, but read the story again, but more slowly this time so you can understand it.

    • Debbie
      January 15, 2013 - 02:17

      RB I agree with Bill O, read the story again. If Marlene is working 60 hrs a week, then who is raising her son. A child needs his/her parent(s). No parent should go through that kind of added stress along with job stress. If something isn't done for her now perhaps you wouldn't mind driving by her with warm clothing & blankets so she & her son can stay warm while living on the streets.

    • mra
      January 15, 2013 - 07:19

      your right RB they must have forgot to include that pat of yesterdays story. she said she was "stressed out"

  • What a shame
    January 14, 2013 - 23:05

    Fight for your RIGHTS.. This is down right aweful..Our Harper Gov had wiped PEI off the map. If we all pack up and move West was is PEI gona do?? I live in the country id be DAMMED if i would travel Twenty mins Thirty mins for work 10$ An hour is a joke. How could anyone afford to travel..400$ a week take out gas wear n tear on the car babysitter food lights heat and personal things leau with what.. Not alot not even a pot to piss in..This poor younge lady worked for her hours and paid into her EI and she gets a SLAP IN THE FACE for getting what she worked for and what is hers not the HARPER GOV be fair to us ISLANDERS and where is our own GOV? ? I hope she gets what belonges to her!!

      January 15, 2013 - 22:24

      For whatever reason, a certain young mother of one, and expecting another, either walks about a mile to work in all kinds of weather, receives the grand sum of ten dollars, or has to pay bus fare totalling $4.50 -- $2.25 each way. Where's the fairness in that? She is obliged to "work"-- as if home making is not "work"! No wonder there is so much bitterness being poured out in comments when a story is about some poor soul asking for, or getting, a few cents that is due them, which a host of resentful "tax-payers" claim belongs to them, and that it is being stolen by so-called "lazy" people, from their ("taxpayer's") pocket or moneybag! I am SICK AND TIRED of that kind of talk, JEALOUS RESENTMENT OF THE POOR who are slaving to scrape up enough to feed their babes. (please forgive my upper case letters, but they portray my sentiments on this subject. Help the poor -- or leave them alone!

  • jackie
    January 14, 2013 - 22:46

    I cant help but wonder since we hired the politicians can we fire them or lay them off for the winter and let them apply for ei. see how they like it. most of them probably have no idea about being on ei. if they want to fix the government then get rid of the rich idiots in there and put someone in who has had to live from pay check to pay check or on a tight budget.

  • unreal
    January 14, 2013 - 22:36

    they stole our money out of that ei fund.. the money all of canada payed into for social security when times got tough ....gave it away on corrupt deals to party supporters they say to pay down the debt but thats pure bs the debt was caused by missmanagement of tax money like a teenager with an unlimited credit card ... and now the people who need it the most get treated like we are nothing and told basically to suck it up and go on welfare. i worked all my life and used ei a couple of times and was some glad it was there and didnt mind paying into it for years and years but for them ( CORRUPT POLITICAL FAT CATS) to start using it as a slush fund makes me sick and the way they look at eastern canada LIKE WE ARE A BUNCH OF BUMS couldnt be farther from the truth ive worked in alberta and i know albertans hate atlantic canadians ( IS HARPER FROM ALBERTA ????) because we atlantic canadians showed albertans how to work when it came right down to it ..alberta would not be where it is today if it werent for atlantic canadians and the hard work we put in out there.. ive been there done that harper your a goof

      January 15, 2013 - 10:25

      No, Harper was born in New Brunswick, grew up in Etobicoke (toronto) and moved to Alberta as an adult.

    January 14, 2013 - 22:26

    Every seasonal and unemployed worker on pei should go to montaque and stand with this young lady .. Harper and his big oil cronies are tearing OUR CANADA APART TIME TO MAKE A STAND

  • rottluff
    January 14, 2013 - 22:24

    Hey, I like Montague ... even in winter when nothing is open and there's nothing to do. I'm thinking of moving there because I like it so much. I wonder if I can find a job?

  • humane rezourse
    January 14, 2013 - 22:21

    It's not in Montague but I hear there's a job coming up... PM of Canada!! Anyone is encouraged to apply. Transportation provided.

  • Chris
    January 14, 2013 - 21:42

    Just to help you out, I'll give you next months rent for that nice cell phone. Im not trying to be funny just dont make sense to me that her crying that you cant afford to keep ur kid but you can afford a $600 phone.

    • Ya Right
      January 15, 2013 - 03:39

      Are you for real Chris?A 600 dollar phone,you must have a better pic than me to see that,myself I have $ 40 dollar pay as you go phone,besides maybe it is not even the poor girls phone,If thats all you can complain about you have a sad life.

    • me smith
      January 15, 2013 - 06:12

      How can you tell from that picture that this is a $600 phone. Cell phones cost almost nothing now-a-days. This is not about her phone it is about Harper denying her EI benefits while she looks for suitable employment in her community. Good luck in your job search Marlene.

    • Islander
      January 15, 2013 - 06:20

      You realize nice cellphones often come free (or very cheap) with contracts, right? I've never paid full price for a cellphone in my life. Thing is, once you're on a contract, you can't just cancel the service when you fall on hard times. It can cost over $400 to get out of a contract. I'm betting she got that phone when she was working, likely on contract as most people do. For many people, their cellphone is their only phone, and that may be the case for her, in which case she likely needs it to find work and be in contact with her son's school.

    • Mairi
      January 15, 2013 - 07:19

      @ Chris: Who said it was her phone? She was talking to a reporter, it could possibly be a borrowed phone...don't make assumptions.

    • CM
      January 15, 2013 - 07:19

      You might want to get educated a bit better Chris. In today's world it is cheaper in most cases to have a cell phone than to have a land line in your home! And she probably got that phone for free on a contract with her cellular provider. Unless you are paying 200 or more a month for a bundle between the two providers on PEI. It costs more to have a land line. Also, like most parents, they have cell phones for emergencies in case something happens to their children! Think before you speak next time!

    • unbelievable
      January 15, 2013 - 07:30

      @Chris don't be so narrow minded! I don't know about you but I sure as hell don't pay full price for my phone. I have a $600 phone but I didn't pay a dime for it by signing under a contract and she may not have a house phone. So use your head before you speak. Also @ Cathy Dawson....I love how you say you were "lucky enough" to find a job after losing one. You are one lucky gal as not everyone is "lucky enough" to find a job right afterwards. Yes there is some that abuse it and it's families like yours that give the rest of us a bad name and have to suffer. Big pat on the back to the Dawson family!

  • good job
    January 14, 2013 - 21:40

    nice going dont be like most people an stick your head in the sand and wait for things to get better .keep being strong.

  • rob
    January 14, 2013 - 21:35

    harper has to go find a new leader anyone who at least likes people!

    • Cathy Dawson
      January 14, 2013 - 23:21

      It's about time the government stopped the abuse of the EI system. I am not saying this lady is abusing it, but others are. They draw their E.I. plus work under the table for cash. I have even heard members of my own family say " I am not looking for a job, because I like my winters off". or "by the time I pay for gas and a baby sitter I would be losing money. " I have worked all my adult life and have never drawn a cent from E.I. because if I was laid off one job I would look for another and was always lucky to find one. I see people that would not work one more hour past the required hours needed to draw their Pogy, as they call it. I know its not everyone that uses the system as a form of income, but there are a lot that do.