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.