Jacques Poitras (CBC News):
Justin Trudeau’s promise on Employment Insurance this week was clearly aimed at winning support from seasonal workers in New Brunswick and elsewhere in Atlantic Canada.
But Trudeau made the commitment despite data suggesting the Harper government’s EI reforms have not been as bad as predicted.
The Conservative reforms, which took effect in January 2013, added new requirements for frequent users of EI, such as seasonal workers, including that they seek work as far as a one-hour drive from their homes in order to be eligible.
Trudeau said on Tuesday he’d eliminate that requirement because “it’s hurt a lot of people.”
But a 2013 report prepared for the Council of Atlantic Premiers said there was no evidence at the time anyone had lost their EI as a result of the Tory reforms.
And new data provided to CBC News by Statistics Canada this week suggests the effects of the Tory reforms have been minimal.