N.B. fisherman on hunger strike to protest EI changes
Maurice Martin hopes to get the attention of the federal government
A New Brunswick fisherman is going on a hunger strike because he says the federal government is not listening to the thousands of people who are protesting against the recent changes to Employment Insurance.
Maurice Martin, of Aldouane, near Richibucto, has been fishing for 28 years.
He usually puts away his gear in winter and collects EI until the next season.
But this winter he said he's afraid of losing those benefits because of the recent changes to EI, so he began a hunger strike on Wednesday.
"I woke up at 5:30 in the morning. I woke up my wife. I told her I'm going on a hunger strike for seasonal workers of Canada," said Martin.
He's hoping to get the attention of the federal government, especially Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
There have been hundreds of protests in New Brunswick, but the government says the changes won't affect people.
Tried to find work
"We tried protesting, we tried everything, peacefully. There's nothing," said Martin, who is sticking to a diet of water, juice and broth.
"Like Harper doesn't want to budge, so that's my way of saying, well, we got to try something else," said Martin.
Martin said he's tried to find work.
"Where am I going to apply for work? I've applying all over here. They're tired of us. There's no work for us here."
Martin said he can't move because he wants to be back on the water for the next season. And driving an hour away to Moncton for a minimum-wage job would end up costing him money.
Martin doesn't know how long he'll be able to fast, but he said he is stubborn.
For now, he's taking his hunger strike one day at a time.