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