UPDATE: Premier says she's advocating for issues important to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians

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Premier Kathy Dunderdale says she's raised several issues of importance to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians today during the 22nd session of the Council of Atlantic Premiers in White Point, Nova Scotia.

A news release from the premier's office said Dunderdale spoke about open access to energy resources and suggested an Atlantic consultation to study the impacts of the proposed federal changes to Employment Insurance.

 “As co-lead of the Canadian Energy Strategy, I had an opportunity over the past two days to speak to my Atlantic counterparts about the importance of open cross-territorial access to transmission and transportation of energy resources,” said Dunderdale. “I impressed upon the premiers that as we continue to develop a strategy for all Canadians, we need to focus on energy security. I believe that by focusing on common goals we can achieve great results, including a reliable, secure and stable energy source throughout Canada. Without an effective inter-provincial transmission and transportation system in Canada we may not be able to develop projects that will ultimately benefit all Canadians."

The premier said she was pleased to start this conversation with her colleagues and their support is encouraging. "We all want the benefits that could be achieved through open access to reliable and secure energy resources. Muskrat Falls is a concrete example how provinces, regions and Canada can benefit when we work towards common goals,” Dunderdale said.

 The premier also spoke with her colleagues about proposed changes by the federal government to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and suggested a comprehensive Atlantic Canada study into the impacts of any changes to the program. Recent changes to EI will have a major negative impact on seasonal industries in Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout the Atlantic region.

 “I think it is vital the federal government recognizes the devastating impact their changes to Employment Insurance could have on workers in the Atlantic provinces,” said Dunderdale. “Seasonal workers are being directly targeted in these new definitions of ‘suitable employment’ and ‘reasonable job search.’ Seasonal workers will be required to travel up to one hour from their home to work for low wages. We can not stand by while our people are being punished for taking the only work available in their home towns. This is not a solution for Atlantic Canadians and through our consultation we will show the Federal Government their actions are hurting our provinces,” the premier said.

Dunderdale said other recent changes to federal skills funding, including changes to the labour market agreement, will further impact people who are trying to enter the workforce.

The premiers also discussed other areas of collaboration that will benefit the Atlantic provinces, including the labour market, apprenticeship and job training.


Earlier story

CUPE  leader urges N.L. premier to oppose EI cuts

Wayne Lucas, the Newfoundland and Labrador president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), is encouraging Premier Kathy Dunderdale to join with New Brunswick Premier David Alward in opposing the federal government’s cuts to employment insurance (EI).

The Conservative premier of New Brunswick is calling on the Harper government to impose a moratorium on changes to the EI system, after a series of protests in that province.

“It is saying something that a Conservative premier is taking a public stand on this issue. Premier Alward is to be commended for standing up for his province in this instance," Lucas said in a news release. "What CUPE would actually like to see is that she and the other premiers ask for a rollback of the reforms, since they are already taking effect in many parts of the province.”

The Atlantic premiers are meeting today at White Point in Nova Scotia.

“We need to take a united stand against these cuts, which demonstrate a profound lack of understanding of seasonal work in this part of the country, before they cause further damage to working families in our province,” Lucas said.



Organizations: Canadian Union of Public Employees

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, White Point Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • mpdman
    April 30, 2013 - 08:36

    Anywhere west of Quebec we file this whining under, "keep giving us free stuff cuz we don't want to work a full year".

  • concerned citizen
    April 30, 2013 - 06:29

    Here we go again , fill the air with BS. Hopefully in a couple of years we will have a new government. Ernie and Bert would win here in NL if they ran as candidates.ABC next election.

  • Tony Rockel
    April 30, 2013 - 06:12

    OK then, Kathy, how about advocating for the abandonment of the insane Muskrat Falls project? That would be the biggest favour you could do us.

  • Brian
    April 29, 2013 - 20:37

    Kathy is on the job. Sleep well Newfoundland ( and Labrador ---Sorry Peter ).

  • Danny
    April 29, 2013 - 20:33

    Cathy please quit..I am not into ragging on gov..but it has become time for you to step down ..save some face .Do the right thing for Nfld & Labrador.

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 29, 2013 - 20:00

    I don't believe a word she says.

  • Aub
    April 29, 2013 - 15:40

    I cringe every time I here the term "Newfoundlanders and Labradorians". If we are to be one province with one people it should be "Newfoundland and Labradorians". Ther are so many "educated" people who don't get this right!!!!!!

  • Jeremiah
    April 29, 2013 - 15:08

    the EI program should be tightened up more than proposed by the Feds. This program has been the most abused of any program in the history of Canada. It has been abused bt workers, employers, provincial governments and unions. The result of this abuse has been an erosion of the work ethic and a monumental waste of money. The PM and his govt. are right by tightening and should impose even tighter controls on this much abused program. Ignore the self serving unions, employers and provincial governments.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    April 29, 2013 - 13:52

    How can government talk about inter-provincial, open access to energy when government has created a monopoly on the island? We do not even have free access on the island nor the freedom to compete with Nalcor. Incoherent?