Editor: To say the least, I was disappointed in the guest opinion letter published on January 30 — “Islanders should take less, contribute more to EI, other programs.” For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would write such a letter about this province and then add that he grew up in Charlottetown. Is this a double of Sheldon Cooper?
Islanders should know something about the Fraser Institute. David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary Blog, says “the Fraser Institute strives to change Canadians’ political attitudes so they will place far-right political parties like Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in power, and keep them there.” He adds, “We are also subsidizing those wealthy individuals, organizations and corporations that bankroll the Fraser Institute’s propaganda efforts to work directly against the interests of ordinary Canadians.”
Regarding the article in The Guardian, I did my own calculations based on one year in P.E.I. using averages, a work force of 84,000, weekly pay average of $683, employee EI deduction of $13 per week, employer share $18 per week, which results in P.E.I. paying EI premiums to the Receiver General (CRA) of $13,541,000.
Drawing out of the EI plan based on 9,600 beneficiaries for 35 weeks, @55 per cent of $693 (or $381 per week) equals about $12,800,000. So, P.E.I. pays in a little more than it receives in dealing with employment insurance. This means the program is “in” control in Souris and not “out” of control as stated.
What is worse by far is that during the 1990s, the Liberals used the UI surpluses to pay against deficits. Additionally, Gregory Thomas of the Canadian Taxpayers Association, states “Mr. Flaherty’s 2010 budget closed down the old federal EI account, with its $57-billion surplus ($57,859,571,696, to be exact), transferring the money into the government’s general revenues.” That’s the story that should be covered — not trying to dishonour this province.
Please note that people work hard in P.E.I. where the costs are high and the pay is low.
P.S. Mr. MacKinnon, please don’t tell anyone else that you were raised in P.E.I.
D. C. Campbell,