Statement by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Gatineau, Quebec – “Earlier today, I met with Ms. Agnès Maltais, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Labour, and Minister responsible for the Status of Women for Quebec. As with all of my provincial counterparts, I was pleased to meet with her to discuss topics that are of mutual interest to our governments and of importance to Canadians.

“In particular, we discussed the recent changes to Employment Insurance (EI), which will help to better connect Quebecers and all Canadians with jobs in their local area that match their skills.

“As I mentioned to the Minister, these changes clarify the responsibility of EI claimants to look for work, which has always been a requirement while on EI. They also include new support for Canadians who are looking for work, such as the new Job Alerts system that was launched in January.

“Our government understands the importance of seasonal industries in Quebec and in other parts of the country. They are an important part of Canada’s diverse economy. I have reiterated to Minister Maltais that, in areas that are predominantly driven by seasonal work, EI will continue to be there as it always has been for individuals who cannot find other work.

“As we face significant labour and skills shortages all across this country, it is critical that we have all of our talent at work. It is equally important that federal programs like EI are built to ensure that individuals in Quebec are encouraged to accept work when it is available. However, if someone cannot find a job that matches their skills, EI will continue to be there.”