17 responses

  1. Beijing York
    01/02/2009

    EI does not reward people unwilling to work. You’re only eligible if you lose your job through lay offs. It’s also an insurance system as pointed out by Jan. Workers have paid into the plan to have protections.

    As for Solberg and training, did he not familiarize himself with the dozens of training programs that exist at Human Resources when he was minister? Again, no amount of re-training is going to help if there are no jobs to go to.

    Didn’t Harper insult unemployed voters with a quip about moving to Alberta for a job during the last election? I can’t believe we are headed for one of the hardest recessions yet with Harper at the helm.

  2. janfromthebruce
    01/02/2009

    And to build on Raphael Alexander’s above post, it is why instead of blowing up EI, it needs to be placed out of reach of the govt of the day, and run like an insurance scheme. I think the Cons are pissed that they don’t they the kitty to spend on their own pet projects.

  3. Raphael Alexander
    01/02/2009

    E.I. is a Liberal slush fund that started with Paul Martin and ended with a $54 billion surplus. They also made it more difficult to get E.I., necessitating the so-called coalition’s manifesto that proclaimed an easier way to collect. Some selling point. Advertise easier E.I. rates and pass it off as something the Conservatives did.

    As for E.I., it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars since it takes 6 weeks to collect, and then only provides 55% of your income. If you live on that you might just be ready for welfare anyway. And now, guess what? E.I. payroll deductions are going up to $90 extra this year. So while you’re busting ass in the economy, the government is increasing that $54 billion surplus, thus completing the Liberal Martin legacy of steal and spend.

  4. Jay
    01/02/2009

    Well, I think the cons want people to lose everything they have during recessions. It allows richer people to buy up property really cheap amongst other things. Remember it was Harper himself who said its a good time to buy stocks when asked if we were going into recession. A lot of complaints on the neo-con side has more to do with them not being able to take advantage of people who lost their jobs/homes, etc than helping them. Canada couldn’t have elected a worst government in a recession period. If the cons get their way, the rich WILL become richer and everyone else will be thrown under the bus.

  5. Northern PoV
    01/02/2009

    Funny – if one were to produce a “hierarchy of the deserving” (a most Conservative concept I am sure) surely the recently employed, (and now unemployed due to a global recession) would rank fairly high.

  6. Jymn
    01/02/2009

    I was without notice laid off a few months ago. In this economic climate – or maybe it’s my age – I am having no luck securing employment at even half of what I used to make. And, I can tell you EI benefits barely cover the necessities. I don’t think Harper and the Con’s philosophy is helping at all. I just wish these people would work as hard on stimulating the economy and opening up the job market as they do trying to denigrate those who have succumbed to job cuts.

  7. Mark Francis
    01/02/2009

    EI has been spent on re-training for years. There has to be jobs to re-train for though, right?

    “True conservatives” — whatever… I thought many of those CEOs were exactly that.

  8. janfromthebruce
    01/02/2009

    “Seems like reasonable points for a program that was set out to establish bridge-funding *between jobs* that would provide for a family or single person.”

    More realistic people who know the history of EI would suggest that EI was created to protect people from capitalism’s “built-in troughs”, like the Great Depression of the 1930s. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_insurance#Canada. They call that the business cycle. In the mid 90s, there was this bull belief that we would have never ending growth and have little turbulence (neoliberal policies), and with that crap, EI was rejigged, to fit the “new global economy” of “just in time workers”. It became leaner and meaner.
    The fact of the matter is that workers and their employers pay into this insurance scheme, and it should be administered at arms length from govt – to keep their hands out. It’s the same as the skimming off of surplus pension benefits by businesses.
    Scott and I are on the same page on this one.
    Historical note:

    Since that time period, EI has been greatly reduced by both conservative and liberal govts combined, so that it’s a lot harder to collect. The liberals as we all know, used as a cash cow and drained it. Since 1990s, the federal govt does not top up this fund, so they should keep their grubby paws off of it.

  9. Say What
    01/02/2009

    Mark, true conservatives are as angry about what some CEO’s receive as pay and benefit packages, as anyone.

  10. Say What
    01/02/2009

    That was why he included re-training, Scott.

    One government program called EI cannot hold up an entire industry that is in trouble.

    Do we know that a stimulus package is going to help the auto sector?

    Why would we put money into that, if they suspect it is going to be useless?

    A troublesome question for many these days?

    We only hear the loud demand for financial funding through loans or plain old bailouts, since we are so tied to what happens south of the border.

    No one seems to have the answer to your question about where this industry is going to find itself. That does not surprise us either.

    But, however it goes, those employees will receive EI, and can buffer their next move, whatever that is for them.

    Many families have had to swallow that very difficult pill when their jobs disappeared or failed them.

  11. Mark Francis
    01/02/2009

    Meanwhile, CEO pay is way up, outstripping GDP and profit growth:

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1098627.html

    In the first 9 hours of this year, these Captains of Industry each make more than I do all year.

    Neocon monetarist policy is based in part upon having an excess labour pool. Even neocon darling Milton Friedman advocated EI-like plans to deal with this.

    In recessions the problem is even more marked.

    Solberg just wants Canada to have a convenient, mobile and cheap surplus labour pool.

    Those CEOs need more money, you know.

  12. Say What
    01/02/2009

    What Monte Solberg *did* say:

    “Without a doubt EI should be changed. It should provide incentives for workers to stay employed and for employers to keep them employed. There should be incentives to re-train and to relocate for new jobs. Benefits should be the same across the country. There should be rewards for those who remain employed. There should absolutely be a two-week waiting period.”

    http://www.ottawasun.com/Comment/2009/01/02/7897751-sun.html

    Seems like reasonable points for a program that was set out to establish bridge-funding *between jobs* that would provide for a family or single person.

    • Scott Tribe
      01/02/2009

      As someone else said, “Retraining is great if there are actual jobs to go to, but that is the bad thing about depressions, there is little or no “paid work” available”.

      Can you explain to me what exactly the government could offer as incentives to all these plants that are closing down in SW Ontario and moving to the US or Mexico to prevent them from closing.. or how exactly the workers could stay employed if the company did so? The government’s stimulus package to the auto sector is also not going to prevent thousands of job losses… so I think you and Monte are being non-sensical with that approach.

  13. Anonymous
    01/02/2009

    Actually, we know what Monte is doing. Not much as it turns out. It’s all on his suspiciously leadership-run-styled site, http://www.montesolberg.ca:

    “Today Monte is a columnist for Sun Media, frequently appears on television as a political commentator, and is a popular speaker. As a speaker he draws on his experience as an MP and Minister and speaks on; Why Canada Needs Citizen’s, not just in name but in deed.; on the Challenges and Opportunity of Labour and Skills Shortages, and also Why The Future Belongs to Canada.”

  14. Anonymous
    01/02/2009

    What’s Monte doing now anyway? On pension? Collecting EI? Lobbying?

  15. penlan
    01/02/2009

    I read that this morning & was appalled. Really got my blood boiling. It’s not like he’s “leeching” off the govt. now is it? After all “we” are STILL paying him his income & will till the day he dies. He hasn’t a clue – just like most of the rest of the Cons. Scumbags – kick a person when they’re down. GRRRRR!

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