Faced with forest fires, the Bloc Québécois calls for flexibility in employment insurance

The relentless fight to protect Quebec communities from wildfires continues on the ground as the Society for the Protection of Forests Against Fire (SOPFEU) reported 123 active wildfires Saturday morning, nearly half of which were out of control.

According to the latest news, more than 13,500 citizens remain evacuated, mainly in Chibougamau and Lebel-sur-Quévillon, in Nord-du-Québec.

Meanwhile, the Bloc Québécois (BQ) is demanding that the workers affected be eligible for employment insurance (EI).

In a press release published early Saturday morning, the Bloc’s spokesperson for Employment and Labour, Louise Chabot, called for the immediate adoption of emergency measures for employment insurance in order to quickly come to the aid of workers who are affected by the forest fires currently raging in Quebec.

“The current situation, unprecedented, justifies a relaxation of the eligibility criteria for employment insurance in order to be able to provide effective and rapid support to the thousands of workers affected by these disasters, particularly those in the seasonal industry. , who simply cannot currently qualify,” said Ms. Chabot.

She acknowledged that the federal government announced two days ago that it wanted to make it easier and faster to apply for employment insurance benefits, but the Bloc member believes that more needs to be done.

“This measure does not take into account all the workers who will not have access to these benefits because of the obsolescence of the employment insurance program. The Bloc Québécois has been asking for a comprehensive reform of this program for a long time and the current situation only accentuates the urgency to act,” added Louise Chabot.

She points out that parks, forests, outfitting and tourism are sectors that have been hard hit and where there are a large number of seasonal workers.

“In the absence of a comprehensive reform of employment insurance now, the government must assume its responsibilities by putting in place emergency measures, such as a reduction in the number of hours to qualify, an increase in the number of weeks benefits and an extension of the qualifying period. It’s the bare minimum,” concluded Ms. Chabot.

To see in video

source site-41