"That means we are going to have to encourage more persons with disabilities to work, more seniors to work, more aboriginal people to work, including young people. We need to get rid of disincentives in the employment insurance system to people joining the workforce."
Disincentives like retirement ages?
I'm presently looking for work that matches my education and experience. I work at one of your "no bad jobs" that pays me at more than minimum hourly wage, but not by much. I am employed casually meaning I never really know how many hours I might get in a week. I have only once hit 40. It is very possible that I will look at next week's schedule and have no hours. This has happened once already. Many employers hire this way, or via temp agencies, through short-term contracts. EI fills in the gaps.
With my advanced education and several years of interesting experience it takes me somewhere between five and eight hours to apply for a job at my level. I must tweak my CV and write new cover letters, and sometimes prepare extra materials to meet little MHRM/MBA braingasms like 'motivation statements' (what the hell was my cover letter for?). I need to research organisations I apply to because I want to at least sound like I am familiar with them. If I were working the low-paying full-time plus hours, it would be much more difficult to find the time to search and apply for other positions. Jim, I'm not sure when you last had to look for a job like the rest of us, but EI provides the time to search and apply.
I guess I'm lucky I'm single and in pretty good health and don't need much in terms of living space, so I can survive on the sporadic hours and unpredictable income I get. These allow me the time to search for other jobs and apply to them and do things like try to publish my research (and let Taylor and Frank reap the profits of my labour), which will hopefully build my CV enough to land something a little more secure and better-paying. I'm also lucky the student loan people have given me a payment reprieve because I cannot afford to repay my loan at my current wages. Note that I am only just surviving. It is not fun and it is not an experience I would wish on anyone else.
I'd be in a real spot of trouble if I was disabled, or in poor health, or had young children, or an invalided partner. Even at predictable full time hours, I could not provide for anyone else and have enough trouble doing it even for myself. If you tell me I have to change provinces, relocate a thousand kilometres away to take shitty work in a strange city or town, I might lose my family due to the stresses that long absences and unfamiliar cause. And who knows what that'll do to my mental health even if I managed to keep my family. And that's assuming I have the financial means to relocate. If you ask the elderly and the disabled to take jobs, you're going to have to create some criteria about who can actually work and who cannot. Knowing your party, I doubt you'll be consulting medical professionals on that one. Those folks won't give you the answers you want.
I wonder what you'll do if if people cannot find employment. They won't you know, because finding employment is not just contingent on ability to work. There's a whole economy that ebbs and flows, creating and shedding jobs in deepening cycles (yes, the thing your leader apparently went to school to learn about). Are there workhouses along the way? Will you create special employment categories that allow corporations to employ Canadians under what are now illegal conditions? We don't trust you.
The EI you want to curtail saves people and families by keeping them in communities and among people they know and love. Take those things away and you destroy lives.
But then I don't suspect you give two obsolete pennies about people's well-being. What you're doing, whether you frame it that way or not, is destroying the middle-class and creating a nation of corporate serfs "doing what they have to do to get by." This I suspect will please your corporate masters' and China-drunk party leader's desire to turn Canada into a raw materials and energy maquiladora.
We're angry, Jim.