The MP for Random-Burin-St. George’s is concerned, but not surprised, the Conservative government has not learned from the problems experienced last winter with the backlog of Employment Insurance (EI) applications waiting to be processed.
Judy Foote said people, who find themselves unemployed and forced to apply for EI benefits, are experiencing a 30 day delay before their claims are finalized, this on top of the 28 day standard response time used by Service Canada.
“When the Harper government announced cuts to Service Canada, I cautioned a reduction in the number of Service Canada EI processing centres, along with the reduction of personnel, would result in unacceptable wait times and added hardship for applicants.
“As usual for the Harper government, those concerns were not only ignored but said to be fear mongering, and again we are seeing the results of the short-sighted and callous attitude of this government.”
Mrs. Foote suggested there is never a good time to wait for EI benefits when, in many cases that is the only source of family income. However, she insisted the period after Christmas is especially difficult for new applicants.
“In the short-term the Conservative government must hire extra staff to handle this backlog and recognize the need that exists among those who need help between jobs in order to provide for their families in many cases. However, that would only be a temporary solution.”