Wildrose Shadow Jobs Minister Grant Hunter today issued the following statement on the omission of only those in Alberta’s Capital Region from receiving a short-term boost in EI benefits:
“I was disappointed to discover in the federal budget that those in the Edmonton Region who are currently sharing the brunt of our province’s economic downturn are the only Albertans to not receive extended EI benefits.
“Areas like Nisku and Leduc have been absolutely devastated by the economic downturn – the Nisku Industrial Park, which is the second largest in North America, has seen about half of its workforce laid off.
“What the federal government fails to realize, and what the Premier has been poor in conveying, is the fact that devastating job losses in the region are masked by the stability of public sector jobs and the broad boundaries of the Edmonton EI Region.
“The boundaries of housing and employment are very fluid in central and northern Alberta, and as a result this short-sighted decision has an unfair detrimental impact on those who have lost their job in Alberta’s heartland, but choose to reside inside the boundaries of the Edmonton EI Region.
“Under the federal government’s changes, a worker laid off in Fort McMurray but living in the Edmonton region will not qualify for extended benefits.
“Wildrose will continue to urge the NDP government to stop their failed quiet diplomacy, and instead be a strong advocate for our province. Ensuring all Albertans receive are treated fairly from the federal government, and focusing on job creation by supporting pipeline projects that would get Albertans back to work must be their top priorities.”