Region asks Ottawa for changes to EI

Niagara's Regional Chair has fired off a letter to Canada's Minister of Employment asking Ottawa to make changes to employment insurance requirements. 

The move follows a council resolution last week to ask the federal government for a new category of EI benefits for families who are searching for missing loved ones.

Council unanimously backed the resolution after the father of  Ashley Simpson, who disappeared last spring from BC,  told Niagara’s regional council the emotional and financial toll of searching for his daughter has devastated his his family.

He left his job to search for his daughter and hoped to collect EI,  but was told searching for his daughter wasn't a good enough reason to quit his job. 

Ottawa provides EI benefits to those with missing children if the disappearance is crime related. 

Simpson's case did not fall within those parameters, although he did win on an appeal.  However he was unable to leave the province to help search for her, as he was told he needed to be looking for work.