Majority of NL residents oppose EI changes

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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Fifty-seven per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians "completely or mostly oppose" recent Employment Insurance policy changes, according to a new survey by Corporate Research Associates Inc.

The survey found 42 per cent of people in the province "completely or mostly support" the changes, which came into effect early this year and require recipients to demonstrate efforts to seek alternative employment. Recipients must also be prepared to travel to jobs available elsewhere within a reasonable distance.

About 40 per cent of Atlantic Canadians completely or mostly support the new EI policy changes, according to the poll, while 55 per cent mostly or completely oppose them. Four percent didn't offer an opinion or are not sure.

Support for the EI changes is strongest in Nova Scotia, with about 48 per cent of Nova Scotia residents offering support. In New Brunswick, 32 per cent of respondents support the changes and in Prince Edward Island, 31 per cent.

“The results are somewhat surprising,”says Don Mills, chairman and CEO of Corporate Research Associates, “but likely reflect the long-term reliance on EI in this region, particularly in support of seasonal jobs.”

Opposition increases with age, with nearly one-half (48 per cent) of Atlantic Canadians aged 18 to 34 years opposing these changes, compared with those aged 35 to 54 years (56 per cent), or 55 years of age or older (59 per cent).

These results are part of the CRA Atlantic Quarterly, an independent, quarterly survey of Atlantic Canadians, based on a telephone sample of 1,501 adult Atlantic Canadians, conducted from Feb. 7 to March 8, 2013.

CRA says the overall results are accurate to within plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

Organizations: Employment Insurance, Corporate Research Associates Inc.The, CRA Atlantic Quarterly

Geographic location: NL, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Prince Edward Island Don Mills

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Recent comments

  • Lori
    April 07, 2013 - 17:51

    Employment INSURANCE. I'm sure everyone jumps to pay off car damages out of their own pocket when they get in an accident, rather than turning to the insurance that they pay into every month. EI is no different. The attitude that people have towards it is ridiculous. I'm glad for some changes to the system, like having to prove you're making a reasonable effort to find work, but don't agree with all.

  • Frustrated
    April 07, 2013 - 10:08

    A lot of people abuse the system all across Canada. My daughter was taken ill and is unable to work due to a serious disease, her company sick benefits covered her for the time she was off (almost a year) she got well enough to go back and then took ill again several months later, her company no longer offered the sick benefits in her medical package, so she applied for EI sick benefits and was turned down because she was 11 hours short of the qualifying hours ( a lot more hours are required in a city than in rural areas), but yet people can work just long enough to get their hours year in and year out and are classed as eligible to collect EI while they are healthy and able bodied. The systems sucks big time and I agree that anyone on EI or welfare should be put to work, cleaning up our communities, assisting seniors or people unable to do everyhting for themselves. they should be put to work, shovelling snow or mowing lawns, etc for seniors,or helping them with other chores around their houses that they would normally have to pay someone for. EI or welfare recipients get far more money than some seniors on pensions and most of those seniors have worked really hard all their lives and never asked for handouts and NO I am not a senior yet but I will be one day and I have a full time permanent job and its not a cushy government job either, I work hard for what I have and do not rely on the "system" to pay my bills or put food on the table. I cant afford to drink every weekend or smoke or go to clubs, bingo games, etc as I live from paycheck to paycheck but I pay my bills and feed my family and I get my butt out of bed every morning and go to work. I understand EI and welfare is there for people who need it in "time of need" but too many people abuse it and think its their full time job!!!

  • Mary
    April 06, 2013 - 14:36

    Why are they cutting medical transportation? If ambulances and taxi's cost too much invest in vehicles. Hire people on income support with cars to drive people to hospital. Hire people receiving employment insurance to answer the phones. How can the province give away so much and have so little when we all need jobs?

  • Lee
    April 05, 2013 - 09:21

    Jon Smith (or John Smith) Surely you are joking when you go as high as 34. My father had to leave home when he was seventeen, as well as his young brothers and their father, to go to the seal hunt to make money. The rest of the year they tended their vegetable gardens, cut hay for the horse that they used to go into the woods daily to cut wood for the Winter (with a hand saw), etc., etc. These days most don't know what "hard" work actually is. If they can't find a job that they "want" just go on EI if they qualify, or better yet, the Welfare System. Any able-bodied person on E.I. or Welfare should be put to work now the Spring cleaning up the utter mess after the Winter. Get them off their backs or butts, but they sure have their cigarettes (butts) also.

  • No big changes
    April 04, 2013 - 20:56

    When I returned to NL from Ontario in the 70s I had to look for work. I tried Unemployment Insurance or EI and before I got settled away I had to go back to school and upgrade my trade. I had to drive 100 miles to the city look for work document it and by golly I found a job. One I worked for 4 years and the other the rest of my working life. I see no excuse when 18% last year was home and out in Conception Bay they had to bring in foreign workers. They always worked on my dime..but anyhow I got a good pension and full CPP and the sun is nice for a few months in the south.

  • Jeffrey
    April 04, 2013 - 16:10

    EI and the Welfare System has certainly created a lot of lazy leeches, who actually feel that the world owes them everything for nothing. Works, though, to their advantage, doesn't it? Imagine.... the rest of us out working our butts off to allow them to live this way. Most of them must be laughing at us, especially while we are out shovelling in the cold while they lie in their warm beds waiting for cheques to arrive for doing nothing. Great example for their children.

  • Jon Smith
    April 04, 2013 - 13:27

    Any poll that puts 18 to 34 year olds in the category ADULT is surely very questionable.

  • Gordon Gekko
    April 04, 2013 - 12:52

    The former EI program was discriminatory to real workers and in particular urban workers. I've been paying into EI virtually all of my adult life, except for one very short period of time where I had lost a job through no fault of my own and had to fight like a dog for a few weeks assistance so I could pay my rent and put food on the table. Yet 'round da bay we've got lazy entitled fisherman who work the bare minimum year-in-year-out and then they and their entire families go on benefits and get to live high onthe hog for the rest of the year. Every year. Like clockwork. Compassion for the oppressed fisherman starts wearing thin when you've got these guys on EI every year driving around in brand new trucks as big as Sherman tanks, several ski-doos out back, and a big paid-off house around the bay with virtually no property tax. I say the new EI rules aren't tough enough. If these guys cant make enough money during the fishing season to support their lifestyles I say they should spend the rest of the year out in Alberta on an oil rig.

    • So
      April 04, 2013 - 13:38

      Sometimes I wonder if they are the smart ones. But then again, I have to look in the mirror every morning. I'll never get back what I paid in.

    • Danny
      April 04, 2013 - 14:34

      Metro St.John's & around da bay ppl use the system.I own a home & fair amount of land around da bay...I worked around da bay but due to work shortage did not resort to living off gov handouts.I moved where there was full time employment.Almost everyday here stores & homes are broken into by no doubt those using system.Instead of getting a better education to end up with a good bad job many young ppl steal to support a drug habit.Many here & around da bay work away to support the family.Many here & around da bay use the system.

    • Bogey Man
      April 04, 2013 - 14:42

      Gordon Gecko, truer words were never spoken. Great comment. As an educated Newfoundlander who works here and who grew up 'round da bay you have no idea how discouraging it can be. Scraping to get by in University when your peers were racing around on Top EI claims and had never even fished! Brand new Mustang (the bay car of choice) in the driveway and doesn't need to work. The system is disgusting. You wonder why there are disenfranchised youth's out there. Take a look at what some people get just because their Father, Uncle, or Cousin owns a boat.

    • benn
      April 06, 2013 - 15:38

      i beleive in most provinces the min wage is around 10.00 per hour which is about 400.00 a week so anyone who makes over 25,000 a year should be disqualified.

  • david
    April 04, 2013 - 12:51

    Shocking result. This place is exactly the welfare and handout-dependent place that no one is allowed to say it is...because it offends the professional moochers. BTW, is Danny still planning that province-wide "parade of prosperity" travelling gong show so that we could stick it in the rest of Canada's eyes and gloat that we are now rich and won't be taking any "krap" from them anymore ? No? North Korea took that idea?

  • Forget about it
    April 04, 2013 - 12:02

    According to all the experts a couple of days ago the CRA polls got it all wrong.

  • Douglas
    April 04, 2013 - 11:52

    Nice to see 42% of this province thinks that they will never be unemployed (and $%#(@ everyone else)

  • Christopher Chafe
    April 04, 2013 - 10:05

    Nice to see 42% of this province can think clearly.

  • So
    April 04, 2013 - 10:03

    The workers support the changes. The ones on EI don't. No surprise here. They need a survey to know this ?????

  • missus
    April 04, 2013 - 09:51

    How is this accurate that the majority of the province opposes the new rules? It says based on a sample of 1501 Atlantic Canadians. How many of those were Newfoundlanders and Labradorians? This number is nowhere near the majority of the province, very misleading.

  • Danny
    April 04, 2013 - 09:50

    Unless you have a health issue or retired there is no excuse to turn down a job.If you have to go back & get extra education in order to get off the system it should be mandated.So many ppl think they should be allowed to live in a town where there is little if any chance of decent work.We have a shortage of skilled workers in Nfld yet many who are ablebodied living off gov..sad lazy culture!