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April 01, 2009

That's What You Wanted -- a Consultation on Maternity and Parental Benefits for Self-Employed Workers, Right?

Carol Goar has an excellent article in Today's Toronto Star, commenting on the current state of the country's EI system. "Something that's worth whining about."

As part of her analysis of what needs to be done, she catalogs what the government has delivered to the 1.4 million Canadians who have lost their jobs:

  • Five weeks of additional EI benefits to workers who already qualify.
  • An extension in work-sharing agreements, allowing employees who split a job to use EI to supplement their wages for 14 additional weeks.
  • An extra $500 million for retraining.
  • Consultations on maternity and parental benefits for self-employed workers.

What caught my eye was the final point: "Consultations on maternity and parental benefits for self-employed workers."

It seems to me that parents were promised more than a consultation back in the glory days of early fall. When did that campaign promise get watered down to something so completely uninspired - and where do the self-employed parents who were convinced to vote for Harper as a result of this key promise go to get a refund on their vote?

BUT WAIT!

Maybe the red tape was part of the Harper master plan all along. Check out the fine print beneath below the sweeping promises:

From http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1091/105194

“We will lift this barrier and give equal opportunity to the nearly one million Canadian women who are self-employed,” Harper said after meeting with the self-employed owners of a Ottawa salon and day spa.  “To help provide security for all those who are self-employed – and particularly women – a re-elected Conservative Government will permit self-employed Canadians to access maternity and parental Employment Insurance benefits.”

"....Exact premium amounts and required payments post-claim will be set upon implementation, following a review by the newly created Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board."

Unfortunately for Canadian parents, that last little bit didn't make it into much (any?) of the media coverage of the big promise. And I certainly don't remember reading it in any of the campaign literature. Do you?

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Comments

Just noticed that Impolitical has also been nominated. I'm going to be voting for her. She is my blogspiration.

Cool! Thanks for letting me know. I never clue into these things until after the fact.

Hi! A quick note to let you know you've been nominated for Best Feminist Political Blog at the Canadian F-Word Blog Awards:

http://www.acreativerevolution.ca/node/1747

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