Iam not at all surprised to read that Green Party leader Elizabeth May says she was a repeat EI user. May seems to me to be just the sort of person who has an exaggerated sense of entitlement.
“When I needed it, I used it,” May says of the federal Employment Insurance program.
Apparently, she worked for her parents in the tourism industry from 1974 to 1983, and when the business shut down annually between Thanksgiving and the following Victoria Day weekend, May said she sometimes collected EI.
May did what many who work in seasonal industries have done for generations in Canada, and apparently, it is a fairly common practice in the Atlantic provinces.
But is this right? Should seasonal workers pay 1.83 per cent of earnings from the end of May to mid-October then collect 55 per cent of their average insurable weekly earnings for a period ranging from 14 to 45 weeks? And do this repeatedly, year after year?
I say no they should not.
It is a reasonable thing to have a national employment insurance program—backstopped by tax dollars—to protect Canadians when they lose their jobs; it is quite another to use that program to subsidize year-round employment for healthy, able bodied workers—even those who are not trying to find employment.
We may have done this sort of thing in the past for political reasons, but that does not make it the right thing to do. Most Canadians work very hard and pay a significant portion of their earnings in tax. Why should these tax dollars be paid out to those who chose to repeatedly work only part of a year and sit on their duffs for the rest?
Perhaps Elizabeth May sees some sort of justice in that, but I do not.