‘People are hurting’: Deer Island residents seek government assistance after fire
Published Thursday, March 8, 2018 9:06PM AST
Former employees of the lobster processing plant that burned down last week on Deer Island, N.B. are continuing to raise Employment Insurance concerns.
Workers met with company and Service Canada officials Wednesday hoping to hear that there would be no waiting period for E.I and that the length of benefits would be extended.
Former employee Darrell Tidd says workers have not received those assurances.
"It's a week ago today that the fire took place and that's been reiterated to us,” says Tidd. “That's all well and good, but people are hurting."
When the fire occurred, local MP Karen Ludwig was on a Far East trade mission with the aim of selling local product. such as lobster. She says the government response has been fast.
“Within less than a week we had a lot of the key departments lined up,” she says. “To be able to have Service Canada as well as post-secondary education training and labour to meet with the employees, to me was a significant step."
Canadian workers at the plant are still concerned about the fate of their fellow employees who have come from away.
"All the temporary foreign workers, they're not eligible for E.I.," says Tidd. "They have nothing right now."
Tidd has been emailing his concerns to federal cabinet ministers, all the way up to the prime minister.
"Whether they respond or not is another question," Tidd says.
Federal and provincial government officials say Paturel plans to rebuild the facility, but that commitment was not included in a company statement.
Paturel says it will be months before there's a plan for a permanent solution.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.