New Brunswick

Protests against EI 'black holes' expand to Richibucto

Protests in Richibucto on Wednesday follow similar protests in Tracadie and Caraquet last week.

Declining unemployment rates have shortened the number of weeks seasonal workers can get EI benefits

Protesters gathered Wednesday outside the Service Canada office in Richibucto. (Radio-Canada / Nicolas Pelletier)

About 200 protesters showed up outside the Service Canada office in Richibucto on Wednesday in the latest protest against Employment Insurance "black holes."

Similar protests have been held in Tracadie and Caraquet.

EI black holes refer to the gap between the time benefits run out and the start of regular seasonal work, which is prevalent in the east and northeast of the province.

A declining unemployment rate in several areas of the province has affected how long benefits last.

In the Restigouche-Peninsula Acadien-Kent economic region, where Wednesday's protest was held, workers have to work 490 hours, or just a little over 12 full-time weeks, to get 23 weeks of benefits.

Workers in that region used to have to work 420 hours, or 10 and a half full-time weeks, to get 30 weeks of benefits.

With files from Radio-Canada & Nicolas Pelletier