Today’s generalities

Bernard Valcourt becomes the latest cabinet minister to try to explain what will come of the unexplained employment insurance reforms in the budget bill.

“I guess it is particular to each region. I mean, you know, I don’t think that it would be proper or it would be reasonable to expect someone from Fredericton or Saint John to commute to Moncton for a job daily,” Valcourt said. “You know it doesn’t make sense. So we’re talking communities and surrounding communities. What is reasonable? The details are not out yet.”

It’s about a two-hour drive from Fredericton or Saint John to Moncton.

Valcourt said he knows many people in the northwestern city of Edmundston, who commute about 30 minutes to St. Leonard for work. But he said he wouldn’t expect people to travel to Woodstock, which is about two hours south of Edmundston.

“It’s the custom and if the economic fact of life of the region is for people to work in their community and the surrounding communities. I don’t think it would be proper to force people to travel to other areas in the province to get a job,” he said. “There are hundreds of small- and medium-sized business be it in Fredericton or Moncton or Saint John as we speak that are looking for employees. i think what is aimed and the objective here is to connect those people that want to work with available jobs in their communities and the surrounding communities.”

See previously: Explaining EI and Help Wanted




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Today’s generalities

  1. It doesn’t matter what are the intended regulations. What’s important is that the legislation is that in the future the Minister can change the requirements for EI without public debate. I’d be opposed to giving the Minister the power to destroy this program without public debate; regardless of how she says she will use the power.
    Changes to such an important public program should be debated in parliament when legislation is brought forward. It is a shame that debate is no longer considered useful.

  2. This is why you’re supposed to launch new policy initiatives or modify existing ones with at least some sense about the logistics that will be needed to carry it out and the demands that will be made of both government and the people looking for the service. Although it’s up to the bureaucracy to develop the most specific operational elements, the public face of the proposal should be offered once there is some semblance of how it will be undertaken. Unless we’re looking to introduce new laws that prohibit the press and population in general from asking for elaborations, then it’s not unreasonable to think ahead a little more than they have demonstrated.

    Of course, if all you’re looking for is a toot on the ol’ dog whistle for your party’s base (ie. people on EI are lazy moral failures because they don’t want to ship out to Fort McMurray every year), then I suppose that it was Mission Accomplished. If you’re looking to really launch an initiative, then please put it back in the oven, the toothpick is covered in batter.

    • Too true. Sometimes the opposition will try to snipe at a policy by taking a (sometimes rare) scenario and saying it’s not accounted for, but this is big chunks of detail they just didn’t address.

  3. In a way, this is just legislating the unemployed back to work.

    • Yup. At a reduced rate of pay too, considering employers now get foreign temp workers at 15% off prevailing rates.

      • Which dovetails nicely with what the CPC have been doing to unionized workers for the past year every time they engage in (or threaten to engage in) a job action.

  4. So folks on EI will now be subject to the same intrusions as those on welfare, and our government will fight it’s deficit by hiring another level of enforcement to check up on people out of work.

    On the bright side.. only 3 more years.

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