West Prince Chamber of Commerce backs EI changes

TC • Media Staff
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This census map shows the boundaries of a new Charlottetown EI region. Critics of new EI rules announced Thursday say those who live within this area will be eligible for less money and will have to work more hours to qualify for employment insurance. 

ALBERTON — The West Prince Chamber of Commerce is throwing its support behind the recent changes made to the Employment Insurance program.

“These changes ensure the Employment Insurance program is fairer to Islanders and better reflects Prince Edward Island’s local economy,” said Paul Arsenault, president of the West Prince Chamber of Commerce.

Egmont MP and Fisheries Minister Gail Shea announced Feb. 20 that changes would be coming to the Employment Insurance Act in October with the recognition of two distinct employment regions in P.E.I.

The two regions, the capital region and the rest of P.E.I., will better reflect the fact that job opportunities for Islanders differs significantly between Charlottetown and rural areas of the province, Arsenault added.

“With rural P.E.I. having a higher unemployment rate of 14 per cent compared to that of Charlottetown at eight per cent, a seasonal economy and a private business sector with 70 per cent of the businesses having less than three employees and a lack of public transportation, the non urban areas are at a disadvantage facing many barriers to full-time, year round employment,” said Natasha Dunn, West Prince Chamber of Commerce board member.

“This will assist our local residents in not falling short of income before they return to work where they may have had to rely on income support through social services to make ends meet.”

Arsenault said this is not a new concept.

Since 1996, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have each had three separate regions. In every province, capital cities are considered a separate region.

“This new change will reflect what has been happening all across Canada for the last 18 years and corrects that flaw in the system, ensuring that rural Islanders and many seasonal workers will receive appropriate benefits,” said Arsenault.

Organizations: Employment Insurance, West Prince Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, New Brunswick Nova Scotia Canada

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Recent comments

  • UPWESTER
    March 21, 2014 - 16:16

    I was undeer the impression that the Chamber of Commerce was for business, not the EI folks.

  • Of course
    March 21, 2014 - 15:51

    Of course they'll support these changes... they supported Gail Shea... and, no doubt... basil Stewart... Sounds typical to me... of all of them... Me first... Eff you.

  • Billy
    March 21, 2014 - 15:10

    How can 130 thousand people, certainly a lot less when one talks adults, bicker so much over politics.

    • huh
      March 21, 2014 - 15:22

      because it takes very little mental effort to say stuff like "oh you must be a liberal". Actually talking about the issue is a strain on the brain.

  • Right
    March 21, 2014 - 14:37

    Right, well hope Charlottetown business just hire Charlottetown district employees and lay the up west people off. Just saying

    • agreed
      March 21, 2014 - 16:08

      You are right. I agree and support you 100%

  • townie22
    March 21, 2014 - 14:09

    fine, i'll be sure to skip my Summer trips Up West this year, no prob, i'll do my travelling and spending in the new Charlottetown "district". the way the polls look, your MP will probably be sitting in Opposition in another year and a half anyway, the Charlottetown "district" can ride this out for another year.

    • Die Hard
      March 21, 2014 - 14:55

      This is written by a die in the wool Libera!! Do not get your hopes up too high; as Justin keeps making gaffes, because he is in away over his head!!

  • Concerned
    March 21, 2014 - 13:22

    Why wouldn't West Prince Chamber like it, they got all the benefits because of Gail Shea. Thats one reason I would never step one foot into any thing past Summerside. I've dealt with you yahoos up there years ago in business and most of you don't want to pay for anything anyway. A lot of deadbeats etc

    • Upwester
      March 21, 2014 - 18:00

      @concerned I'm from up west I don't agree with what the government has done. So why do you have to discriminate against the people from up west when it's the government that we all voted for that made the stupid decision as far as I'm concerned your the only yahoo here saying stupid comments like that