Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

October 11, 2006 10:18 ET

HRSDC: The Government of Canada has Announced the Extension of Transitional Measures for the Region of Lower St. Lawrence and North Shore

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 11, 2006) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, has announced the extension of transitional measures for the Employment Insurance (EI) economic region of Lower St. Lawrence and North Shore in Quebec. The transitional measures were adopted to help workers adjust to changes to the EI regional boundaries introduced in 2000. The extension will last until October 4, 2008, or until the results of the ongoing review of the EI regional boundaries are implemented, whichever comes first.

"Because of this decision, men and women claiming EI in the region require fewer hours to qualify for EI, and will also receive benefits for a longer period," said Minister Finley. "Canada's New Government has acted decisively to make sure that transitional measures are in place to support workers in these regions while the EI regional boundary review is completed."

The transitional measures were adopted to spread the impacts of the last EI regional boundary review. The effect of these measures is to apply a higher unemployment rate than would otherwise be the case. The formula used to calculate the unemployment rate will remain unchanged until October 2008 or until the EI regional boundary review is complete.

The extension of current transitional measures takes into account the timelines required for the conclusion and implementation of the broader review of EI regional boundaries. EI regional boundary changes will be made if the results of the review indicate that it is appropriate.

Backgrounder

Under the Employment Insurance (EI) Program, Canada is divided into economic regions that ensure that people residing in areas of similar unemployment levels face comparable EI rules, in terms of eligibility and length of benefit entitlement. EI Regulations require that EI regional boundaries be reviewed every five years to ensure that they reflect current labour market conditions and geographic representation of communities across Canada. The current 58 EI economic regions came into effect on July 9, 2000.

The configuration of the economic regions had a greater than expected effect on Employment Insurance (EI) claimants residing in the region of Lower St. Lawrence and North Shore in Quebec. Consequently, transitional measures were adopted in September 2000 to ease the impact of the changes to the EI regional boundaries. The transitional measures provide for the application of a higher unemployment rate than would normally be the case. As a result, claimants in the Lower St. Lawrence and North Shore region require fewer hours to qualify for EI, and receive benefits for a longer period than would be the case without the transitional measures.

The regulations extend the transitional measures until October 2008. It is intended, however, that they would be repealed upon the conclusion of the five-year EI regional boundary review that is now in progress, which will coincide with the introduction of new EI regional boundaries across Canada.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559