No incentive to take low-paying jobs

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The sole purpose of Canada’s economic action plan is to encourage people to get out and look for work, any work, because any work is better than no work, so they say. They also say that, “We continue to take important steps to ensure that you will always benefit from accepting work.”

The old employment insurance system and the new both allow you to earn a few dollars to top up your EI, but here’s the problem: you must earn it in less than 35 hours a week. Therefore, if you qualify for top EI benefits you will receive $485 a week and if you accept a minimum-wage job at 35 hours a week you will earn $350 and EI will drop you like a hot potato, so I don’t think people will be bowling each other over to get to those minimum-wage jobs.

Maybe Federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley could shed some light on that.

Roy Goodland


Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    October 17, 2012 - 08:51

    @Ordinary Fishers - I read your post several times, I do not see how it pertains to anything that I posted. I simply stated that if an employer can afford to buy housing for immigrant workers and also pay them minimum wage to boot. They should be able to pay local workers more than minimum wage to attract and keep employees.

    • a business man
      October 17, 2012 - 09:04

      Wrong. Hiring local workers has many more costs that foreign workers do not. With foreign workers, employers do not have pay CPP or EI. With foreign workers, employers do not have to provide notice prior to termination. With foreign workers, employers do not take the risk of unionization. With foreign workers, employers ultimately undertake less risk and have less obligations. Frankly, as an employers, I would CHOOSE a foreign workers to avoid paying CPP or EI. I would chose a foreign workers so that I can terminate anyone anytime I want. And most importantly, I would chose a foreign workforce so that I know I will not have to deal with unions. Plus, personally, due to my own self interests, I would rather see the wages paid be spent OUTSIDE of newfoundland.

  • David
    October 16, 2012 - 21:44 dignity, ambition, self-esteem, pride, work ethic. Nope, no incentive at all. At least not around here.

  • The ordinary fishers have to fight back to gain control
    October 16, 2012 - 12:08

    FOGHORN LEGHORN who stated " I have to somewhat agree, some of these employers have actually purchased houses for these workers to live in while they are living in Newfoundland and Labrador. Somehow that additional cost doesn't factor in to providing a better wage to their potential local workers..... go figure"? The people involved in the fishing industry have allowed the Federal Government, the Provincial Goverment and the big Fish Harvesters to shaft them out of their industry. They stayed silenct for far too long, all the while the damage was being done to them by the Governments and the big Fish Harvesting Corporations who have become the beneficiary of the fish, along with the foreign fishers who Canada carries out International Trade to sell of Agriculture and Manufactured produce for the rest of Canada. If the fishers want their industry back they will have to grow a backbone and demand that it be given back without any interference from Ottawa. The fishery should be administered by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, not Ottawa afterall the bulk of the fish comes from the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    October 16, 2012 - 11:18

    @ Shame - I have to somewhat agree, some of these employers have actually purchased houses for these workers to live in while they are living in Newfoundland and Labrador. Somehow that additional cost doesn't factor in to providing a better wage to their potential local workers..... go figure?

  • Craig
    October 16, 2012 - 10:31

    The only problem with EI is that people have come to use it as a way of life. What is wrong with getting a full time job where you don't need to go on EI. If you can only get a minimum wage job then you need to get some education or skills that enable you to get a better job. If there are no better job in your area then move.

  • Tiffany
    October 16, 2012 - 10:16

    Simple solution - take every single individual OFF social assistance and put them to work, educate them, pay for their schooling and let them choose what higher paid position they want to work in. It will be cheaper to school them than what it is to continute to let them take advantage of this program. The social assistance program is there for those who NEED it not choose it. You're killing a bird with two stones here - saving the government millions each year while taking care of the minimum wage positions.

  • shame
    October 16, 2012 - 09:05

    Doesn't matter, they've already started bringing in foreigners like crazy to take the minimum wage jobs that local newfoundlanders are fed up with having to settle for. Shame on these companies who would rather hire foreign workers than pay Newfoundlanders a respectable wage when they can certainly afford to.

    • don jessy
      October 16, 2012 - 12:24

      I see a lot of blaming the victims here. Studies have shown there are very few people who actually choose to be unemployed. Given a choice between work that provides a living wage(something that will pay ALL the bills), and a govt less-than-subsistance EI? The comments here suggest a value system in the society that supports people. Our politicians and the greedy CEOs on the other hand waNT TO PROMOTE IDEAS THAT FILL their POCKETS with taxpayer subsidies...everything from importing workers to foce down wages, local and federal subsidies for every normal business expense from tax free infrastructure to reduced rates to business for utilities. It is time business pays its fair share, and quit asking the public for handouts. Provide a GOOD PRODUCT OR SERVICE and pay living wages, or go home(to whatever country your importing slavery from.