Monday, January 26, 2009

One Last Chance to Influence

Tomorrows our last chance to influence the budget, and the oppositions view that this should be in there and to show them that we're serious. So if you have time tomorrow morning before they go sit on their bums give your MP a call or send them an email reminding them of how you feel about the need to bring equality to the EI Program for the 2.3 Million self employed in Canada. Then watch it if you can.


  1. You could be the parent of a serious movement.

    I have thought for many years that as a highly productive member of Canada's economy when I was an employee who could (but did not) collect EI, and as a grateful and willing taxpayer for nearly 40 years, I am just as deserving of EI when I am self-employed and unable to work.

    As a small (and I mean small) business operator I responsibly take on my 2 employees as employees and not "contractors". As a matter of personal ethics I pay my share of their benefits because they deserve it. Consequence, I pay into the system and they have the EI benefits they earned but I do not. Come on legislators, level the playing field.

  2. I just read the Canadian Press article in the Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay and boy did you touch on a sore spot. After 25 yrs of working for a company 5 years ago my husband bought his own dump truck. Since that time he's been on another company's payroll doing highway paving across North Western Ontario. There is absolutely NO difference in these two scenerios--work like a dog in the nice weather and don't work in the cold weather. He doesn't have any employes working for him, he is considered a sole propriotor and pays taxes based upon his earnings. Now to me there is NO difference in a mechanic working for a company who is expected to supply his own tools and the work my husband is doing. He is essentially bringing HIS TOOL to work for someone else. Upon reading this article we talked about how in past years, when the paper mills around town still owned their own trucks, that a couple guys he knew and their trucks were contracted for hire by a mill. Their deal was the truck got paid X amount for the rental of it and the guys got paid X amount for being employed. this way they were allowed to have EI deductions taken off their checks and could apply for benefits when they got laid off. The other statement my husband said and one that was refered to in the CP article was to the concern of "how do you know when someone has laid themself off". My husband said an owner/operator is told to go find work for that truck no matter what the season but yet this was never told to the company when he was with them for 25 yrs. Many times that company used another company's trucks to bring in salt for example, while their own company trucks sat in the yard and the drivers at home. The gov't never told THEM to go find work for the trucks and get the guys back to work! The other thing with trucking is these drivers, owner/operators or company guys, are MANDATED to only work so many hours a day/week by the government. The gov't is restricting their incomes!! All for the sake of safety of course but in this business they have a short traveling distance (from the pit to the paver), they're not cross country drivers and don't suffer from the same fatigue as long haulers do. The other question I would have for the gov't is, WHERE do they think someone living in this neck of the woods is going to haul gravel or pave a road in the dead of -40?? THERE IS NO WORK in the winter!! In the 5yrs my husband has owned his truck, he has been paid by another that not being employeed?? Another issue that has come up is compensation. Here in Ontario at least, owner/operators are asked to submit upon hire to a contractor that he does in fact have his own self-pay medical insurance and disability insurance. These truckers pay into everything else INCLUDING OHIP so why not EI?? And lets not even talk about the cost of operating these 'tools' of the trade--sky high fuel prices, insurance, a new CVOR tax being imposed, repairs, maintainance...PLUS they work out of town and incurr room and board expenses! They sure are paying a LOT and not getting much in return, all for the sake of working.

    I will definately keep up with this blog and will watch the budget speech this afternoon. the only consolation is there may be infrastructure work that the real north of Ontario deserves and needs.

    Thanks for all your efforts!!!

    Kathy & Archie Gillis
    Thunder Bay, Ontario

  3. Thanks for that pewrsonal perspective Kathy, Hopefully you caught the Newsworld interview. I have called into question the CFIB's points about it not working here on this blog and on Facebook. The changes is coming, maybe not today but it will be changed to allow the self employed to opt in if they wish. I'm not going to drop this ball, it's got legs so myself and others like you are going to run withit till we get equality.