PLANT

PEI vows to strengthen private sector amid EI cuts

Growth will come from an improved education system and better training opportunities.


CHARLOTTETOWN—The Liberal government in Prince Edward Island opened its fall session of the legislature with a promise to strengthen the province’s private sector to offset federal cuts to employment insurance.

The government said it has “significant concerns” about the effect changes to the program will have on Islanders who work in seasonal industries that have traditionally driven PEI’s economy, including tourism, agriculture and fishing.

The new rules expected to take effect next year would force those seeking employment insurance to take lower paying jobs—for some, in unrelated occupations.

“The province is firmly of the opinion that the federally imposed reductions to the national employment insurance program will penalize individual Islanders and the province as a whole,” said the speech, read by Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis.

“Unfortunately, the government of Canada has not yet acknowledged the value and importance of seasonal industries and seasonal workers in Prince Edward island or the harm that its measures will cause.”

The government said it will work to grow the number of jobs on PEI to 75,000 by 2016, including 2,000 in emerging sectors such as aerospace and bioscience.

It said part of that growth will come from improvements in the province’s education system and ensuring that appropriate training opportunities are in place for workers.

©The Canadian Press