In our nation today we have a huge outcry over the government changes to the EI (employment insurance)system. I can’t speak from experience because I’m retired and when I was working I never once applied for the insurance. However, I believe the changes are badly needed, the system has been abused for too many
years. I’m not sure when it was first introduced, maybe in the early 1970’s, but I do remember young able bodied men laughing and saying they were joining team Canada. In other words were going on the EI, it was called UI back then -Unemployment Insurance. To give you an example of how the abuse worked. In the 1980’s we operated a small cafe and I took care of the books payroll etc. One young girl came to work for us, she lasted exactly eight weeks and quit. she applied for EI and I had to complete an employment form to send in. A few weeks later I got a phone call from the EI office claiming I had not completed the form correctly, I had shown this girl had only worked eight weeks. You see in those days you needed ten weeks to qualify for EI. I was wrong, first of all she had not quit she had to leave because of stress!!!. Secondly she had actually worked her ten weeks not eight as I had shown. She had started work on a Thursday and worked two days, I didn’t count the two days but apparently that was considered a week? Okay I said but that is still only nine weeks, wrong again, I hadn’t added her vacation pay, that counted as the tenth week. What I was up against here was a young girl who knew the system inside out.
I realize there are some people that have little choice but to apply for EI, but there others who feel its a right. Sure its nice to sit home all winter living off the government but it has to end somewhere eventually. It seems that time has arrived, not only here in Canada but over most of the Western World. The financial debts of so many states such as Greece-Spain-Ireland are just the tip of the iceberg. The USA has a massive debt of Trillions, does anyone really understand the word Trillion??? Our federal government has a huge deficit as have just about every Canadian Province. People want more and more for doing less and less. So why does this bother me??after all I’m retired, I have my pension and no mortgage payments, why should I worry?????? I worry because I’m proud to call myself a Canadian and I’m thankful for all that I have achieved in this great land. When I applied to immigrate to Canada in 1966, I already had a job waiting for me in Dartmouth NS. At Canada House in Belfast I came in for an interview hoping to be approved. I have never forgot one particular thing the interviewer said to me. He said “Son when you get to Canada you will have to work for a living, there are no handouts like here in the UK, if you don’t work you don’t eat”. I arrived in Canada January 1967, there was plenty of work and I didn’t know anyone who couldn’t find a job. Now in 2013 I look at the state of this great land and it makes me sad, we have squandered so much and created an attitude that the government should look after us. Why do we have EI when we have to bring foreign workers in to pick our crops, or work in our fish plants. I know not everyone will agree with my views, but I offer no apologies, its my sad view of Canada today. Oh!!!! Canada.
God Bless and keep reading.