Morrissey vows to hold federal Liberals to EI changes

Eric McCarthy
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Egmonty MP Bobby Morrissey on the wharf at Northport.

One immediate need is hiring more Service Canada personnel which Liberal government is committed to doing

ALBERTON – The new Member of Parliament for Egmont says he is impressed that the first throne speech of the new Liberal government referenced changing the Employment Insurance program to make it more socially responsible.

"I was pleased to be there as an MP hearing about that because, often, EI was something that was swept under the rug; it was something that people didn't talk about," Bobby Morrissey said in a year-end interview.

He's expecting further mention of EI changes in the spring budget.

 "We do have a seasonal economy; we do have a very well-trained seasonal workforce, and we need an insurance program that allows them to maintain a livelihood when they are between their normal jobs; that we don't look at it as people who are lazy and want to use the system to avoid work," Morrissey commented.

"That's a priority of mine going forward, to make sure our government fulfills its election commitments on the EI file," he said.

He said the changes made by the former Conservative government, including the clawback provisions, made it difficult for employers to find part-time help.

EI was something that was swept under the rug; it was something that people didn't talk about. Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont

Besides impacting both the employer and the employee, he said, it took revenue out of the local economy.

"We have a seasonal economy. It's just the nature of where we are," he stressed.

Morrissey acknowledged that one of the biggest demands on his constituency office over the past two months has been constituents with frustrations about difficulties and delays in getting their EI claims started.

He believes improvements are coming but, in saying so, he shared his own frustrations.

"Federal politics is not provincial," he said. "It moves a lot slower; decision-making - and I am going to be candid - can be frustratingly slow."

The solution, he suggested, involves hiring more Service Canada personnel, and he said, the Liberal government is committed to doing so.

Organizations: Employment Insurance, Service Canada

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Recent comments

  • martin from the west
    December 31, 2015 - 07:37

    Bob should be looking to create jobs for people not making it easier to sit home and do nothing on EI. MAYBE THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD CUT OUT EI ALTOGETHER!

  • Mr. Reality
    December 31, 2015 - 05:43

    So what exactly is he suggesting? Yes we do have a lot of seasonal Employers. Does that mean that employees working for these Employers should live perpetually on EI during the off Season? What is wrong with expecting these laid-off workers to seriously look for alternative employment during the off season. Obviously if , in spite of their best efforts, they are unable to find alternate employment then EI should be available to them. That is exactly what the current rules allow. So what changes does Mr. Morrissey want?

    • Just Sayin
      December 31, 2015 - 09:13

      He thinks that you shouldn't even have to work to get EI. It's an Islanders god given right to draw EI every year. Let those in the rest of Canada work 12 months a year to fund the EI system. Harper was right, maritimers are a culture of defeat.He should be demanding that the government help create year round work, not make it easy to sit at home all winter driving skidoos and drinking beer.

  • Islander
    December 30, 2015 - 21:55

    This guy is alot of wind. He was there before and knows very well he has little power over the people who are really running the show. Talk is cheap, time is ticking, we will wait and see just what this guy does, like he promised during his election campaign

  • kyle
    December 30, 2015 - 18:57

    Bobby is doing what he is supposed to do speak for Egmont , not just say yes like Gail did. He knows being a yes man u will end up like GAIL.

  • don
    December 30, 2015 - 15:59

    LOL. you are going to tell justen your boss what he is going to keep an election promise. LOL you need help.

  • Just Asking
    December 30, 2015 - 15:12

    How on earth does this back bencher think he can call the shots in Ottawa? He learned from the Great West Wind to over promise and under deliver. If he doesn't stop calling out the Liberal party and Trudeau, he may be looking for a new job, maybe as the independent MP.