MPs ignore plight of workers

Letter writer takes issue with changes to the EI program and thinks federal politicians are out of touch with Canadian workers

I don’t not claim to be right for others though I am sure many would choose to feel the same way as I do about certain government decisions.

It should come as no surprise that our local MP Colin Mayes is in favour of making it more likely people will be driven to accept lower and lower wages to utilize EI benefits for the unemployed.

Mr. Mayes is very easy to talk, as politicians never receive wage cuts, have the benefit of automatic cost of living increases, spend taxpayer money how they deem fit, vote for their own raises and enjoy taxpayer-funded pension plans that leave MPs in the position of being wealthy for life while the rest of us toil for lower wages, no benefits, no rising cost of living benefit and higher taxes.

How much is the EI surplus now Mr. Mayes? It is a well known fact that the system has been amply and massively overfunded for years and continues to be. I do not see premium breaks to the workers or employers.  I do see a government that seems to only favour continual cuts for big corporations at the expense of the working person.

Maybe you should look at the actual percentage of people who abuse the system and not automatically judge all people who may have need of the EI benefit plan. I feel you would find it would be less than five per cent as you would find anywhere in life.

How many politicians are coming to light, of abuse, of the system? Spending taxpayer money to live a lavish life far beyond the idea of covering basic costs to ensure the politician can do what is needed for his/her constituents? I do not see you voting for these fellow MPs to have their benefits cut.

Maybe this is just a ploy to get Canada into the Third World mode of people having to take less and less money to survive so government can show big business and corporations that they compete globally with the atrocious conditions, poverty wages and no environmental protection that are seen by Third World workers.  After all should people have to receive less wages (70 per cent of their normal wage) or be excluded from EI benefits, when that employment ends, they can be forced to take 70 per cent of that lower wage, and then should they need to find another job for 70 per cent of the second job in no time they will be able to find jobs for minimum wage or less.

This should make employers happy as workers will not have to receive any benefits and will have to settle for employment that will not carry them to cover the cost of just living.

This should maximize the shareholders profits of business while creating many lower-paying jobs for the average person thus creating more profitability for big business. At least in the short run.

Well Mr. Mayes let’s look at the reality of the Okanagan. Basically most do not make wages here that sustain the lavish life of our MPs and unless you are already retired or wealthy.

It is a place of low wages, high costs of food, gas, housing etc. The average wage seems to be about 15 dollars.  If we can get everyone to accept 70 per cent of that wage for their next job, and then 70 per cent of the job after that we will soon be able to get many down to the minimum wage in a matter of a few years.

It is very easy to sit up on a pedestal and judge the average person, when you choose not to wear the average persons’ shoes, look at long-term implications and have to make it through life, knowing you won’t have a ludicrous amount of pension monies coming to you the moment you decide you don’t want to do a job anymore. Maybe politicians should be like the rest of us.

Working until they are 67 before getting benefits, or receiving no pension benefits, should they be fired from their employment or quitting because they don’t want to do that job anymore.

After all what is good for the goose should be good for the gander.

This would maybe motivate politicians to seek to understand the true situation, of the average person, before wanting to be understood for their own personal reasons.

Show some courage and make it a fair playing field for all Canadians, including the politicians.


Mark Sandberg



Vernon Morning Star