Where you live in Canada is important if you need to use the employment insurance system. In areas of high unemployment, it takes less work to qualify for more benefits. An individual in the North West Territories, Yukon, Nunavut and three other areas in Canada will qualify for at least 37 weeks by working 420 hours or 10.5 weeks of 40 hours each. On the other hand, people in southern Alberta and 14 other areas of the country need to put in 17.5 weeks (67% more) to get only 14 weeks (62% less) of benefits. Maximum benefit entitlements are also greater in high unemployment regions. The graph below shows how long you have to work, minimum and maximum benefits for four areas of the country. In southern Alberta, even maximum entitlements are less than someone in the Yukon gets as the minimum. Check out this table for statistics on the whole country.
One result is that this system contributes to chronic high unemployment in certain regions of Canada. Few people want to move large distances to find work and there is less incentive to do so. People will naturally stay in an area where about 2.5 months of work per year results in 8.5 months of benefits.