Schizophrenia – government style

The dictionary defines schizophrenia as a mental disorder that causes a separation between the thought processes and the emotions. In the last couple of weeks we have witnessed government-style schizophrenia around the issue of Employment Insurance. On the one hand, in the new budget, they reduced the number of hours required to qualify for EI and other changes that will result in an additional $300 million per year (or some such number) to flow to seasonal EI workers. On the other hand, a report commissioned by Human Resources
and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), the department that manages the EI program, recommended that the government promote ‘out-migration’ from communities with high unemployment.

The report, prepared by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards (funded by government and unions), is entitled Labour Market Seasonality in Canada: Trends and Policy
. After reviewing seasonality in the Canadian workforce, the report concludes that seasonal work is a significant drain on many communities in Canada – particularly in Atlantic Canada. Among its recommendations, the report states:

In very high unemployment regions, out-migration is a necessary evil and should be promoted.

So, the political realities of seasonal EI (the emotion) mean that government has to sweeten the EI system and make it more attractive to work seasonally while the economic realities of seasonal EI mean that government-commissioned studies are recommending we pay (or incentivize) people to leave these communities.

Sounds a lot like textbook schizophrenia to me.

Read the report by clicking here: