The case of Marlene Giersdorf

Diane Finley talks to the Post about the case of Marlene Giersdorf, the Prince Edward Island woman who has been cut off from EI benefits.

Q And what’s your reaction to what you’ve seen so far?

A Personal circumstances will always be taken into consideration in determining someone’s eligibility. For example, if they don’t have transportation to another community where a job is, that will be taken into consideration. Child care responsibilities and costs will be taken into consideration because we want to make sure that when people work, they’re better off than when they don’t. That being said, Service Canada officials can only take into consideration the information that they have. If the claimant doesn’t provide all of the relevant individual circumstances, then Service Canada can only go with the information they have.

Q In this particular situation, do you know if the individual did provide that information to Service Canada?

A Service Canada has made multiple attempts to talk with her, to review her file, to go over the options, to get all of the information. But it had no success in reaching her and I really encourage her to get in touch with them.

Ms. Giersdorf, meanwhile, says she’s tried to contact Service Canada and also that she’s been protesting just outside a Service Canada office. And then there is bit of back-and-forth.

Last week, Queen said there were half a dozen jobs in Montague the woman could have applied for; however, Geirsdorf said they were all beyond her qualifications. Officials also say there is more to the EI case than meets the eye, but can’t discuss it.