Cornwall calling on Ottawa to restore P.E.I. to single EI zone

Cornwall Town Council has passed a resolution to formally request the federal government return P.E.I. to one zone for employment insurance. 

'We don't think it's fair'

'It's unfair and those decision-makers just may not understand that,' says Cornwall Coun. Cory Frizzell of the two zones Ottawa uses to calculate employment insurance on P.E.I. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Cornwall Town Council is planning to formally request the federal government return P.E.I. to one zone for employment insurance. 

Since 2014 the Island has been split into two zones, so that people who live in and around Charlottetown have to work more hours to qualify for EI benefits. Cornwall is part of that zone. 

"It's been an ongoing issue obviously since the federal government made that policy change," said Cornwall Coun. Corey Frizzell, who suggested Cornwall add its voice to calls for changes from other municipalities including Charlottetown and Stratford. 

"It's impacted all Islanders from tip to tip for a number of years now."

Frizzell said he has heard a lot about how hard it is for seasonal workers to get the extra hours they need. 

'Advocating for our residents'

Last week by a vote of five to one, Cornwall council approved a resolution to formally request the Island be restored to one EI zone.

In 2014 the Harper government divided P.E.I. into two EI zones. (Government of Canada)

"I think municipal government has a role to play here in that we're advocating for our residents," Frizzell said. "We don't think it's fair."

P.E.I. is a small place, and people who live in one zone may work in another, he pointed out. Further compounding that issue is the fact the Island has a seasonal economy, he added.

Frizzell said town staff will draft a formal letter to MPs and Ottawa asking for the change. 

More P.E.I. news

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown


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