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Demonizing the unemployed

In brief, with regards to the new EI “proposals” Diane Finley and the Conservatives have come forward with, no one should be particularly surprised at what they’re proposing. All the signs pointed to this type of thing when they were in a minority government, spouting off about how they wouldnt increase EI benefits to folks because they were milking the system as it was. They were in essence trying to demonize those folks who’ve lost their jobs the same way they’ve demonized people on social assistance/welfare in the past – as if getting some money from a system that Canadians have paid into – you know “insurance” – was a terrible thing.¬† They were laying the ground work for this¬† type of a move if/when they got their majority, and now that day is here.

They have not gone as draconian as initially rumoured, but the new proposals are still an indication that instead of trying to help people and be sympathetic to people who lose their jobs, they are telling people to “suck it up” and take whatever they can get – (ie Flaherty – “any job is a good job”).

On the other hand, they’re allowing employers to pay migrant workers less if they employ them.. but in the same breath they’re critical of Canadians who won’t take those unskilled jobs that is “forcing” employers to hire migrant workers.

The Conservative venom is starting to leak out slowly, as their majority term goes on.

8 comments to Demonizing the unemployed

  • Tomm

    I never said anything about the US. I too lived in the US for a couple of years. Crappy grade level education, high cost of homes, nasty traffic, and high cost of health care all drove us home again. They now have even larger problems that Canada has to avoid at all costs.

    But avoiding the pitfalls of the US doesn’t mean we don’t reform the EI system.

    Unions are not what they use to be. They have ceased to build our society.

  • Tomm

    Beerbob,

    Good point. If corporations, farmer’s or others don’t pay their taxes deal with them directly. Nobody should get away without paying their legal and fair share.

    But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. What do you think the value to our country is of creating new private sector jobs?

    Also, one more thing, perhaps we could strip away the mandatory requirement that exists in many places to belong to a union.

    • Beerbob

      Let’s just say, in the interests of argument, that you look south. It’s really creepy the way that Stevie and his cronies are so serious about trying to turn this great country of ours into a low-rent copy of the U.S. I’ve spent some time there, and seeing families (yes, with their children) begging at the fast-food drivethrough just puts a chill down your spine. I was in Memphis, Boston, and San Jose, and I saw it in each of those cities. In 2010, Wal-Mart’s sale of tents increased by 37% year over year. They’re not being used for camping.

      The greatest increase in the percentage of the population of the U.S. entering the middle class was associated with the highest participation of employees in unions. It peaked at nearly 30%, but just having union businesses around kept everybody’s pay up. All that’s happened over the last thirty years there is that there are a few more hundred foot yachts at various marinas and a huge increase in the number of people living in tents, rotten teeth, obesity from low-grade corporate food, and general misery.

      I worked a temp job a few years back, and I met a fellow that had worked in a GM plant in Windsor for a year or two, before being laid off. Like you, he hated the union. He said that the workers were paid too much, and that the union had too much power (because he couldn’t keep his job by inserting his tongue up the arse of his supervisor, I suspect). He would then whine about the low pay we were getting in the temp job. I suggested that he shouldn’t have a problem with our pay, since it was half of what the line job paid, with no benefits. He didn’t talk to me anymore after that. That’s called stovepiped thinking, and it’s more common than you could imagine.

      Have a look at this: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

      It’s quite revealing.

      So, you’re either one of our fortunate ones, or a deluded wannabe. If you like the U.S. so much, why not move there? It’s already the way that you like, so you don’t have to keep on voting for the reforms, and we can get back to running a modern country. Remember, though, you’re going to have to pony up about twenty grand a year for your family’s health insurance, and that nearly seventy percent of personal bankruptcies are medically related, with most of those happening to people who already have insurance.

  • Tomm

    “Demonizing the Unemployed”?

    not even close. asking adults to take control of their own lives? Now we’re talking.

    • Beerbob

      Good point. We could actually save quite a bit of actual taxpayers money. Not EI contributions, which are a cash cow for the government, and now are just another tax specifically levied against employees and employers.

      Get rid of the corporate handouts, and specifically farm subsidies. They’re adults too. I know, it’s not fair, because most of them are cons.

  • Tom

    This new EI policy is a win-win for the Reform party. Their fundamentalist social conservative faction will be happy (lazy, godless sodomites will be forced into slave labour) and their greedy capitalistic faction will be happy (reduced wages and benefits for workers? Oh yeah, baby!).

    So this is perfect policy for the Reform party, uniting their two largest factions. Unfortunately, it will prove a disaster for the vast majority of Canadians.

  • the rat

    I have real sympathy for those that lose their jobs over and over again, often from the same employer and usually at the exact same time every year. How unlucky! Still, wouldn’t you think they might look for some other, less predictably unstable job after the first few times they were surprised with a lay-off? If I were a cynic I’d almost think they like it…

  • Redrum

    There’s another wrinkle to this that’s not generally known / talked about:

    if a claimant DOES bite the bullet & apply for, interview in good faith, & accept one of these twice-a-day job alerts they’re going to receive (which’ll include ones the employers actually want more efficient & experienced foreign workers for), so as not to be cut off EI…

    and he/she finds it really IS a bad fit for them (even if it DOES fit within the new ‘suitable & reasonable’ rules) and quits…

    well, that’ll be deemed as a ‘no just cause’ voluntary leaving, which’ll not only disqualify the balance of that claim (they won’t be able to go back on EI) but also erase all the hours they’d accumulated over the past year…

    so they’ll have to start from scratch & get a whole 700 (or 420, depending on region) more insurable hours before they can start a new claim (which’ll likely req. them to take an even lower payer job, sooner, next time).

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