Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Response to CFIB Comments in CP Story

I know many readers of this blog have read the CP story from Monday across Canada. I just sent the following letter to Corinne Pohlmann of the CFIB in response to her remarks.
I feel I straightened her out.

Hello Corinne;
My name is Chris Hopkins and I am the self employed small business man who started the Campaign for Equality in the EI Act for the Self Employed. I have been meaning to comment back to you directly regarding your remarks on this subject with CTV news. Firstly I am of the belief that everyone is allowed their point of View.
I don't believe CFIB speaks for the self employed. certainly not the majority of us. Your organization claims to have 105,000 members yet there are at last count 2.3 million Self Employed.
Your comments that your membership would rather invest their money instead of paying into EI. I'm sure some could afford to do that but most of us don't have the money to invest in the first place and with today's market "invest in what". Again you aren't speaking for the majority of self employed when you made that remark.
Thirdly, as far as administering the change, you state that your organization feels it's unworkable. Again I disagree.
If a self employed person decides to "opt in" and pay into the fund for at least 6 months, the facts will speak for themselves when they apply for benefits.
What differences to you see id a regular claimant and a self employed claimant if they are applying for Maternity or Medical benefits? Do the self employed fake illness and pregnancy?
As for regular unemployed claimants, a accounting from their accountant showing business failure, bankruptcy filings and bank accounts go a very long way to proving the need of this individual.
On top of that many self employed business people have employees, likely in the 100,s of thousands. if the business fails those employees are eligible for EI benefits, why shouldn't the business owner and employer have that same social safety net? If CFIB closes down you'd get benefits? If my business goes bankrupt why can't I put in a claim.
I'm not doing all of this work for myself, I believe it's too late for my business, It's pretty much toast and by my own feelings one would have to pay into the fund for at least 6 months before making a claim. That isn't going to be feasible in my case.
So, please take the time to research the whole problem and the solutions before you and your organization pontificates on the subject, against the 2.3 million self employed.

Chris Hopkins

Further news this Tuesday, Senator Nick Sibbetson from the Western Arctic is now a supporter and will be speaking to others in the Red Chamber about this campaign.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Chris- I'm very interested in this topic. I would love to be able to contribute to EI. I worked for 25 years before I became self employed. I paid into EI all that time. Why does that not count now that I am self employed? Why does my contribution to the economy through fed/prov taxes and hst - not to mention business expenses - not count? I'm lucky that right now my business is doing well. But if it were to stumble, would it not be in the government's better interest to help me get back on my feet and start contributing again, instead of making me crash and burn? One good illness or injury would be all it would take to do me in.
    As for the comment that the self-employed would rather "invest" - I have been. And every month when I get that statement I get to watch my "investment," which is my retirement, erode.
    Thanks for getting the ball rolling. - Margaret