Pace of job loss in Prince Rupert lowest in Western Canada

This has nothing to do with the quality of the story, but how numbers and EI have been treated over the years. I haven’t lived in PR too long, but one thing that seems to be clear is the stupidity of the EI situation.

Check out the original View story to see what I am getting at.


Report of the Standing Committee
Human Resources, Skills Development,
Social Development and the Status
Persons with Disabilities

February 2005

Since the middle of the 1990s, the cumulative balance in the Employment
Insurance (EI) Account — commonly referred to as the EI reserve — has steadily
increased and today is regarded by most as excessive. For many, the EI reserve,
albeit notional, represents a serious financial governance problem within the
EI program. Many, like the Auditor General of Canada, believe that the government
has collected much more than it needs to finance EI expenditures irrespective of the
period of time considered and that, in this context, the government has not observed
the intent of the Employment Insurance Act.

The government’s unwillingness to limit the size of the cumulative balance in
the EI Account and, more importantly, to reduce it, has caused a great deal of
consternation among employers and employees who contribute to EI.

Committee conclusion: committee members are unanimous in their belief that the government’s management of employment insurance funds since the latter part of the 1990s has
been seriously wanting. Program contributors — both employees and employers —
have been forced to endure excessive costs compared to the benefits that this
program is designed to deliver. This must stop and it must stop now.
Our report offers a blueprint for restoring EI’s financial governance,
enhancing access to EI benefits and providing the level of support that many believe
should be available to unemployed workers under this program.[/quote]

While the report is nation wide and doesn’t mention Prince Rupert, the point is back in 2005 they caught wind of this. There was a federal judicial decision that ordered the gov’t to take one year and find out how to pay back employers and employees who contributed. The best way could be to actually ease the requirements for towns like Prince Rupert, which are lumped in with vastly different economic regions.

Tyee story from 2006

[quote] Marty Bowles is a Prince Rupert teacher and union official who supports the Dignity Campaign. He says his fellow teachers have an opportunity to see the impacts of the Prince Rupert crisis up close every day in their classrooms.

“Too many kids are coming to school hungry,” he said. "At one of our schools, over 90 per cent of the parents are unemployed.

“The mainstream media continues to call Prince Rupert a boomtown, and that’s just not true,” Bowles added.

“It could take a decade to get back to where we were 10 years ago,” Bowles said. “The talk about a booming economy is a slap in the face to people who will struggle to get through the winter this year.” [/quote]

From today’s The Province:

I’m pretty it shows that almost everyone in town got their EI way before the rest of BC does… O_O

Rupert is truly a doomed town.