06/14/2012 05:08 EDT | Updated 08/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Labour organizing opposition to EI changes

The P.E.I. Federation of Labour is asking, "Why does Stephen Harper hate Prince Edward Islanders?" That's the question it is using to mobilize Islanders to fight changes to Employment Insurance. The federation is organizing a forum on the issue next week.

Federation president Carl Pursey says Employment Insurance changes hit Islanders harder than most other Canadians and create economic and social hardship on P.E.I. and throughout the region.

"I think he hates the whole Atlantic region ... because job cuts in the federal civil service where we got a way higher proportion than any other part of the country, we're hit harder there" he said. "With the EI stuff, we're the highest rate in the country for unemployment and he is bringing in all these drastic changes."

Pursey hopes Islanders will attend the forum, and come up with a plan to convince Ottawa to reverse its decision. "We are getting the latest information out of Ottawa that we can get to inform people of what's going on, and we'd like to hear stories from some people that are already affected," he said

The forum will be at Murphy's Community Centre in Charlottetown on Monday.