Published on April 29, 2013
From left, New Brunswick Premier David Alward, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz pose for photos as the Atlantic premiers meet today at the White Point Beach Resort in Hunts Point, N.S. — Canadian Press photo
Published on November 10, 2008
CUPE N.L. president Wayne Lucas.
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.
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.