Jim Flaherty's philosophy of employment - Macleans.ca

Jim Flaherty’s philosophy of employment


While deferring to Human Resources Minister Diane Finley for further details of what the government plans to accomplish with its unexplained budget bill amendments to employment insurance, Jim Flaherty hints at new expectations for the unemployed.

“There’ll be a broader definition and people will have to engage more in the work force,” said Mr. Flaherty, who then pointed to his own résumé from his student days at Toronto’s Osgoode Hall Law School. “I was brought up in a certain way. There is no bad job. The only bad job is not having a job. So I drove a taxi. You know, I refereed hockey. You do what you have to do to make a living.”

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney offered similar sentiments last month.

The federal government wants to reduce disincentives to work and create a “greater connection” between the EI program and the temporary foreign worker program, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told the National Post editorial board this week. “If you don’t take available work, you don’t get EI,” he said. “That’s always been a legal principle of that program.”

Under the proposed reforms, unemployed Canadians who are receiving EI would be required to accept local jobs that are currently being filled by temporary foreign workers … “Nova Scotia provincewide has 10 per cent unemployment, but the only way Christmas tree operators can function in the Annapolis Valley is to bring in Mexicans through this agricultural worker program,” Kenney told the National Post.

The budget bill includes a reference to “suitable employment,” but the definition of suitable has not yet been explained. More from the Star.


Jim Flaherty’s philosophy of employment

  1. I find it fascinating that the watchword of this govt is ‘revenge’.

    Or maybe it’s ‘punish’.

    Everyone who ever got ahead of them, or did better, or maybe earned a nickel more than they did….now’s the time to ‘get back at them’.

    Employment insurance is just that. Not an ‘entitlement’, an ‘earned benefit’

    Something people paid into, so if would be there if they needed it.

    Now that’s not good enough….Flaherty’s student jobs are the criteria.

    EI is supposed to allow you money to live on while you search for other work.

    Applying for any and all jobs isn’t productive….the first thing an employer will tell you is that you’re ‘overqualified’. The second thing is that they know you’ll leave the minute work becomes available in your field.

    Unless you have no qualifications at all, 6 weeks in the bush cutting down Xmas trees isn’t as useful as sending out resumes and going to interviews.

    • Exactly. While you’re busy doing “joe jobs” you aren’t available to look for work in your chosen field – which means a temporary reversal is much more likely to become permanent. Long-term that isn’t healthy for the economy.
      There may be situations where this is a good idea – for example, seasonal workers who simply don’t take alternate employment in their down time when it’s available – but for many, this has the potential to be severely limiting.

    • In addition to that, the “job market” for career-type jobs tends to punish you for remaining for too long in unrelated positions. I know that I’ve had that problem. I’ve spent many years doing what I have to do to pay the bills, but that means that my resume is also full of jobs and experience that don’t lead me to something approaching lower-middle class comfort. It’s also why I had to return to school and do things the right way (co-op, U with better reputation, and so forth). There is a specified path into things for many positions or types of positions. Fortunately I’m now on a path to being able to work in the field that I was trained for a decade ago.

      I can see the (somewhat facile) thinking on this proposal. I can also see how it will appeal to many voters. It’s somewhat like the pixie sticks of policy: cheap and easy.

      • Flaherty and Kenney are going to wind up with duct tape burkkas if they don’t stop this kind of nonsense.

        Nobody thought this through at all.

      • I hear you. I once had a job interview that went along the lines of, “You know computers? Then you can`t know accounting. You know accounting? Then you can`t know computers. You speak three languages? Then you can`t know computers or accounting. You`re too stupid to do our accounts payable.”

        The other problem with taking just anything is that it signals employers that you`re willing to put up with just about anything. If you`ve worked for $12 per hour once after you get some qualifications, you`ll end up working for it forever, even once you`re back in your field.

  2. The fact that they one guy’s student job and a seasonal tree cutting job were the examples given make me think these people haven’t really thought through their plan.

    • It’s kinda cute though that we still sorta expect the government to have thought through their plans though, isn’t it?

  3. So does this mean that we are no longer indignant that educated, skilled immigrants are driving taxis instead of putting their skills to use in their fields, as it seems to be perfectly acceptable for educated, skilled Canadians to do so?

  4. I think it probably means that Brooks is running low on Somalis.

  5. Posters are looking for the logic behind this — there isn’t any — it’s just the Cons playing to some of their base (those who feel they’ll never be jolted out of their current comfortable circumstances — like politicians.)

  6. hhhh

  7. the reason why we cant find jobs is because all the good jobs are taken by these politicians relatives…..Its a long time since Jim F had been broke…

  8. “The federal government wants to reduce disincentives to work and
    create a “greater connection” between the EI program and the temporary
    foreign worker program…”

    I’ll bet they do, now that the foreign worker program is allowed to operate at 15% below market rates for comparable work. In other words, a 15% pay cut for low-wage and seasonal workers in no time at all. Deliberately engineered by the Conservative Party of Canada.

  9. Has Harper ever held a real job? Not politics where you wander around all day talking to people, but a real job where you actually work.

    • He was a big-wig at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation before he became PM, so I suppose we can`t say he has no work experience. At least if you define work as getting a paycheque.

  10. I suppose Mr. Flaherty never had massive students loans and other debts accumulated while going to school. Perhaps if the government forgave my student loans and the other debts I accumulated while in school I would think there were no bad jobs but since I have a mortgage sized debt load to contend with I don’t think driving a taxi will cut it. This comment coming from the same government who just made it so employers can pay temporary foreign workers less than Canadians.