Charlottetown – The Coalition for fair EI has been anxiously waiting for the public release of the Atlantic Premier’s Panel Report.
“We are disappointed that the report has not been released to the public”, says Craig Walsh, a coalition member and representative of the United Food and Commercial Workers.
“It was with great urgency that the Premiers established this panel as they were facing significant pressure from their constituents to do something, and now we have to wait”, added Walsh.
Islanders are very committed to ensuring the Atlantic Premier’s Panel heard what the impacts of these changes have been on their lives. We are disappointed the report is taking so much time to complete because of the need for numerical data. “There are two kinds of evidence, one that comes in the form of people’s experience and the other from quantitative data”, says Marie Burge from the Working Group for a Livable Income.
“The Atlantic Premier’s Panel certainly heard about the people’s experience while in PEI and the Coalition feels this should be enough to have the changes scrapped”, added Burge.
On Wednesday, Premier Ghiz stated publically that he estimates the loss to the provincial economy to be twenty million dollars. Maybe it doesn’t matter what the exact number is before this Federal Government does the right thing and scraps the changes?
“With an estimated surplus in the EI fund to be five billion dollars this year, the Federal Government can afford to scrap the changes and take the time to make the program truly work for Canadians”, said Burge.
The Coalition met with Premier Ghiz last week in preparation for his meeting with the other Atlantic Premiers and congratulates him for being the strongest voice calling for a reversal of the changes. “Like Premier Ghiz, the coalition is going to ensure that this is an election issue”, said Craig Walsh.
CUPE PEI is a member of the Fair EI Coalition.