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On Saturday, October 27, thousands of people in Campbellton, New Brunswick; Summerside, Prince Edward Island; Thetford Mines, Quebec; and Truro, Nova Scotia protested against the negative impact of the Harper government’s changes to the employment insurance program on workers.

Workers, representatives from groups supporting unemployed workers, union organizations, community groups, as well as NDP, Liberal and Bloc Québécois MPs assembled in the four provinces to demand an end to the Conservative attacks. Instead, they requested the establishment of a true employment insurance program that meets the need of unemployed workers.

CUPE members were out in full force at each of the protests. 

My fellow brothers and sisters, I congratulate you for the solidarity you showed toward those who are unemployed, their families and their communities by having participated in these October 27 protests. The battle is not over, however. We must maintain pressure to convince the Harper government to overturn this decision,” said Paul Moist, national president of CUPE.

Workers in seasonal industries targeted

It is not only unemployed workers and their families who will be affected by this unfair reform. The entire local economy will suffer. Since workers will be forced to find lower-paying jobs farther from home, seasonal industry employers will no longer be able to count on a qualified workforce when work begins again. The quality of public services offered by municipalities and school boards will also be affected without the availability of these workers.