05/09/2013 08:45 EDT | Updated 07/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Looking forward to EI research, PM tells premier

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is looking forward to seeing research the Atlantic premiers are sponsoring on employment insurance changes, P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz says he was told Tuesday.

The Atlantic premiers are united in their opposition to EI changes recently introduced by Ottawa. Those changes require EI recipients to travel further to find work and be willing to accept work at lower rates of pay in order to qualify for benefits.

"I mentioned about our meeting of Atlantic premiers last week and how we are going to do some research to demonstrate to the federal government why the changes are negatively impacting our local economy," said Ghiz.

"He said he was welcoming to see the research that we had. And we had a cordial chat on it and I don't think I changed his mind but I was able to get our points across and keep the dialogue open."

Ghiz met with Harper while in Ottawa giving a speech on the health care innovation working group he chairs with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

Ghiz said he also discussed labour market agreements and infrastructure, in particular the need for a new electrical transmission cable between P.E.I. and the mainland.