The new employment insurance rules came into effect Sunday and we will soon see how much impact it has on this part of the country.
Last week there was a protest against the changes in New Brunswick by seasonal workers who fear they won’t be able to manage to get by after the tinkering with the regulations ... but so far not much has been heard from workers in this province.
When the new regulations were announced there was some grumbling from the labour unions and some cheering from business groups, but not much since.
That’s likely because the impact in much of this province will be minuscule at most.
The biggest change is that workers will have to be prepared to accept a wage cut to get a job with a “reasonable” amount of travel. The word reasonable is one used by federal officials.
In most of the rural parts of this province — where many seasonal workers reside — there aren’t many — or any — spare jobs for anyone. In rural parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, if there is a decent, full-time position available there are likely dozens lining up to get it.
Few people in this province want to depend on employment insurance to get by ... and get by is what the system offers.
None of these seasonal workers are getting rich and the vast majority of them would rather be working 12 months of the year.
That just isn’t possible in most parts of this province outside the few urban centres.
The rules are in place and the federal officials are happy to be seen as sticking it to seasonal workers in Atlantic Canada.
Fact is, not much is likely to change — good or bad.