Officials take look at zones for EI rules, hoping to avoid political pitfalls
A federal department is redrawing the boundaries that determine how workers in different areas qualify for employment insurance.
Changes to the 64 EI regions, as they're known, would send political ripples through the country as some workers benefit while others find themselves with tougher hurdles to clear to get benefits.
Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the access-to-information law show how fraught the process can be, noting complaints that haven't subsided after the last change five years ago.
Employment and Social Development Canada is working on a fast-tracked review of the current boundaries that help decide the number of hours workers need to put in to qualify for EI benefits and how much they can receive depending on where they live in the country.
How the department determines where to draw the lines separating EI zones will be different from previous reviews, with the internal documents detailing a plan to emphasize some factors over others, including putting less reliance on unemployment rates.
If all goes according to plan, the department anticipates making recommendations by September 2020, one year after this fall's federal election.