Hon. William Rompkey (Labrador):
Mr. Speaker, I have sent the following letter to the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Ms. McDougall):
Fishermen and plant workers on the Labrador coast feel that they are discriminated against under the U.I. regulations. The benefit period now ends May 15. Yet ice is in the bays on the Labrador coast until the end of June. During that time it is impossible for Fishermen to fish and, therefore, for plant workers to work . ..
. . . Labrador fishermen feel they are economically punished because of a fact of geography. Through no fault of their own and because of forces beyond their, or anybody else's, control they are without income for six weeks every year.
What other group in Canada is systematically denied income every year simply because of geography?
... In the long term what is needed is an income support plan for fishermen separate altogether from U.I. But until such time as that is introduced we must make U.I. work, inadequate as it is.
The Fishermen on the Labrador coast are among the most disadvantaged in Canada. They have struggled for centuries to eke out a living .. . But the fact remains that at the present they need a cash income during the winter months including the period from May 15 to June 30. The fishermen of Labrador are asking for simple justice when they ask for the extension of U.I. to the end of June.
Subtopic: UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Sub-subtopic: LABRADOR FISHERMEN'S BENEFITS-REQUEST FOR EXTENSION