Monday, December 3, 2007


A friend of mine sent me a link to this story in the Star today.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people I meet who say with pride that they've never collected unemployment--yes, unemployment, not EI-- benefits. If you've never had to, bully for you, but there's this common misconception that UI is like welfare. It's not. It's insurance. Everyone who works for someone else pays for it, whereas most recipients of welfare are on welfare precisely because they're unable to pay for things. And as this article makes clear, it's not individual citizens abusing the system, it's the government. Max benefits have gone up by $10/week in ten years! That's fucking criminal.

I've collected UI every year since 2003. I just opened a new claim, upon the expiry of my old one, the other day, in fact. And this winter, I'll also be taking advantage of a program my employers have, topping up my benefits to 80% of my weekly wage for up to ten weeks. I don't feel a single pang or twinge about this. It's my right--and it's every citizen's duty, as far as I'm concerned, to collect UI whenever they're eligible. If not, that money's just going into someone else's pocket, Jack.

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