Editor: Recent reports from the business community and the federal government have confirmed my worst fears as to the exploitation of employees for the treadmill of ever-increasing profits for the business community. The federal government has usurped $57 billion from the EI deductions paid by employees and employers. Recent changes have authorized the federal government to cut off benefits to unemployed workers if they refuse to take employment up to 70 per cent of their previous wages and within a 100 miles of their workplace.
To put that into prospective, an employee earning $11 per hour would be reduced to approximately $8 and gas for 200 miles per day would cost approximately $36 — leaving them with approximately $28 per day.
The EI system was working just fine and was running an annual surplus. Allowing for the fact that most of this country’s natural resources are in rural areas and our climate is such that the resources which provide the GDP of this country are seasonal in nature.
The business community is largely dependent on providing service and supplies to the workforce of this country. They have their year-round jobs because of the products which are gleaned from the workers in our rural seasonal economies. The notion that only business employees are hard-working Canadians is false.
Marion E. MacCallum,