It’s just another number

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

T.S. Eliot

To their credit, the Times & Transcript actually ran a story about the$740 million in EI paid out to New Brunswickers in 2003. Between 1990 and 2003 the province received a total of $10 billion in EI benefits.

Then, almost unbelieveably, they state that “The EI program is expected to undergo a major overhaul this year with all parties calling for increases in benefits.”

Now, those of you that read my blog know that I certainly don’t favour slashing the EI program but there is something desperately wrong in this country if ‘all parties’ are calling for increases.

That little $10 Billion that has been spent since 1990. What the Times & Transcript doesn’t tell you is that represents over $30,000 for every working New Brunswicker.

$10 Billion to pay people not to work and an order of magnitude smaller amount to try and find ways to get people to work.

This is the #1 economic policy issue facing Atlantic Canada and ‘all parties’ are calling for more pogie.

I call on all of these elected MLAs and MPs to have the moral courage and conviction to call for $10 Billion in economic development for Atlantic Canada. To use surpluses from the EI program to create jobs not provide more incentive not to work.

$740 million/year, $10 billion over 10 years, $30,000 per person. Just another number.

I usually don’t lean too far to the right (somebody once said I have the head of a Libertarian, the heart of a Canadian and the soul of a New Brunswicker), but this little ditty from a cheesy U.S. band goes through my head when I hear about this issue:

They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause their easier to please.

They’re feedin’ our people that government cheese.

The Rain Makers (1984)