Burrill challenges Armstrong to debate EI changes

April 10, 2013


(Halifax, N.S.) Gary Burrill, NDP MLA for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, challenged Scott Armstrong, Conservative MP for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, to a public debate on recent EI changes introduced by the Conservatives. Burrill challenged Armstrong during government’s late debate at the Legislature today, April 10.

“I challenge Scott Armstrong to a public debate on the federal changes to employment insurance,” said Burrill. “Any time, any place, and in any forum or format.”

Burrill’s comments in the Legislature were directed against the new EI restrictions for the seasonally unemployed and against the abolition of the Board of Referees system for appeals of decisions denying benefits to EI claimants.

“The new EI restrictions for the seasonally unemployed will have a very negative impact on people in seasonal work,” said Burrill. “Mr. Armstrong and I both represent many people who will find these changes very hard.”                                                                         

Burrill says he disagrees with the replacement of the Board of Referees, which has always included representatives of both local business and local labour. The new Ottawa-based tribunal will deny unemployed people the right to appeal an EI claim decision before a board knowledgeable about the local situation.

“The people of Nova Scotia deserve a strong defence of their interests on this question,” said Burrill. “For this reason I look forward to debating Mr. Armstrong about these unfortunate recent EI changes.”