Government of Canada brings fairness to EI program in Prince Edward Island - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Government of Canada brings fairness to EI program in Prince Edward Island

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O'LEARY, PE, Feb. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of Employment and Social Development, announced that the Government of Canada is making changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program to ensure it is fairer to Islanders and better reflects Prince Edward Island's local economy.

Beginning October 2014, Prince Edward Island will be divided into two EI regions - a capital region and a non-capital region. This reflects the fact that job opportunities for Islanders differ significantly between Charlottetown and non-urban areas of Prince Edward Island. This change brings fairness to the EI program and strengthens the core principle of EI - that benefits are calculated based on local economic realities.

Across Canada, regional unemployment rates determine how much, and for how long, a person receives EI benefits. Currently all of Prince Edward Island is part of the same EI region, despite the fact that the unemployment rate is consistently lower in the capital region of Charlottetown than in the rest of the province.

The changes announced today are in line with recently announced changes to EI in the territories, which will create new EI regions in all three territorial capitals. With these changes, the EI system in every province and territory will more accurately reflect the realities of local labour markets.

Quick facts

  • The unemployment rate in Charlottetown has consistently been lower than the unemployment rate in the non-capital areas of Prince Edward Island. For example, between June 2011 and June 2013 the unemployment rate in Charlottetown was on average 5 percentage points lower.
  • The changes revealed today are scheduled to take effect in October 2014.

Quotes

"Our government is committed to a national Employment Insurance program that is more reflective of and responsive to local labour market conditions. With this change, we are making the system more fair and equitable for Islanders living in rural areas. They will have access to improved benefits, similar to Canadians in other rural communities across the country."
- The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont

Associated Links

Ensuring Employment Insurance program reflects local economies in the territories



backgrounder



The Employment Insurance (EI) program currently reflects regional labour market conditions by dividing the country into 58 EI regions.

To account for differences in labour market conditions between the capital and non-capital area of P.E.I., the Government of Canada will divide the current EI economic region of P.E.I. into two regions: Charlottetown and P.E.I. (not including Charlottetown). The creation of two EI economic regions will make the EI program more responsive to and reflective of local labour market conditions.

With Charlottetown becoming its own EI economic region, this change is consistent with the creation of EI economic regions in the territorial capitals of Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

This change will be implemented on October 12, 2014. The Government of Canada is providing notice to ensure that claimants are aware of the changes and can make efforts to adjust their work patterns, if necessary.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

Image with caption: "PEI Map (bilingual) / Carte IPE (bilingue) (CNW Group/Employment and Social Development Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140220_C5925_PHOTO_EN_36935.jpg

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