Saskatchewan Party leader Brad Wall is not holding back on a lack of Employment Insurance benefits in southern portions of the province from the 2016 federal budget.
Federal Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk explained in Saskatoon Thursday that northern Saskatchewan oil and gas workers received an additional 20 weeks of E-I benefits because of a rapid increase and sustained level of unemployment. However, southeast and southwest Saskatchewan, including Premier Brad Wall’s hometown of Swift Current, did not meet enough criteria to qualify.
Wall was in Saskatoon at a rally to promote his party for the upcoming election. When asked about the federal government’s choice, he says Mihychuk “should come and meet his neighbours”. He says many of his neighbours have been out of a job for a while, and E-I benefits are starting to run out.
Wall says the federal government used a formula from Ottawa, and sometimes formulas don’t work, and lack common sense, calling the move a “mistake”.