Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Letter to Iggy and Senior Liberals

I'm the guy who started the Campaign for Equality in the EI Act for the Self Employed, it's gained alot of strength these past few days and got a wonderful amount of very positive press.
I was disgusted with the budget just presented as it does nothing for any of the 600,000 unemployed who paid into it yet are deemed ineligible. They can't get any of that skills and training dollars because they aren't drawing and can't draw EI. There was nothing pegged towards the self employed not even his maternity benefits promise in September.
Michael I can only hope that you stand by your word that this budget had to Help the Vulnerable! I don't see it, there's nothing. There's more money for banks that made huge profits off Canadians for years now they get our tax dollars also! More money for the foreign auto sector who are part of the problem certainly not part of the solution. They, the Harper government got this wrong, way wrong and now it's up to you and the rest of the official opposition to stand up for all of the vulnerable Canadians that were completely discarded in the trash , again by Harper. man up and either force amendments to change what needs to be changed to help those Canadians most in economic need or defeat it and lets get on with a real government for Canada.
Chris Hopkins
EI For The Self Employed

Gross Disappointments

Well now, I had to use the term Gross Disappointment for what has just been put to the House of Commons and Canadians. Other than tagging on 5 weeks of benefits for those already drawing EI, there is nothing there for either the Self Employed or the 600,000 unemployed Canadians who paid in yet are deemed ineligible by the current governments rules.
It made me sick to my stomach when I realised that they are helping the very people that caused this downturn and caused the layoffs and 100,000 unemployed but squat for the uneemployed. I can only hope that Iggy will keep his word that for his support the budget must address the VULNERABLE, because it isn't there. He also said he would not support broad based tax cuts, though small they're there. How on earth do these guys think that they'll have a surplus in 4 years. Do they really think we're that stupid.
We will keep fighting, I don't see this as a set back, maybe I should have started it earlier but I will march on and hopefully you will also.

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.