Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told a phalanx of reporters Monday that this country needs workers and there is no such thing as a bad job. This comes as the Conservatives are attempting to reform Employment Insurance.
Canada’s unemployment rate stands at 7.3 percent and 58,000 jobs were added in the month of April with most of them being full-time work. But the unemployment rate remains stagnant because unemployed workers are being too fastidious about the work they choose, at least according to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty
The finance minister believes there is no such thing as a bad job, people need to rethink about jobs they consider degrading and seniors, handicapped and aboriginals need to be encouraged enter the labour pool because Canada is facing severe labour shortages in certain sectors of the workforce.
Flaherty suggested that one way to avoid any shortages in the labour force is to reduce the disincentives to work in the current Employment Insurance (EI) system and eliminate benefits to those who refuse to relocate or take a job that is outside of his or her training.
“There’ll be a broader definition and people will have to engage more in the work force,” Flaherty told reporters, according to The Canadian Press. “I was brought up in a certain way. There is no bad job. The only bad job is not having a job. So I drove a taxi. You know, I refereed hockey. You do what you have to do to make a living.”
New Democratic Party MP and Finance Critic Peggy Nash urged caution to Canadians about Flaherty’s hard stance against EI and said workers who take jobs outside of their talent “is a colossal waste of skills.” She also noted that EI is not a government funded program.
“If you are a computer software developer, will you be working at Tim Hortons? If you are an unemployed teacher or nurse, will you be working in the agricultural sector picking fruit?,” asked Nash.
Meanwhile, Liberal MP and Industry, Science and Technology Critic Marc Garneau feels the finance minister’s remarks are “insulting.”