Employment Insurance: No such thing as a bad job


Is a bad job better than no job? How far would you travel, where would you move to get work? And since workers pay into Employment Insurance, should they have any qualms about accepting EI payments while they search for, wait for ... the right job? Who decides how many times you draw on EI? Who draws the line on what employment is acceptable and what job is not worth pursuing? As Ottawa prepares to tighten eligibility for Employment Insurance, we're debating work everyone needs and jobs many don't want.

Part One of The Current


It's Wednesday, May 16th.

Jim Flaherty insists there are no bad jobs, adding he himself once drove a taxi.

Currently, taxi drivers agree - adding that if really strapped, they might even consider a job as Federal Finance Minister.

This is The Current.

Employment Insurance: No such thing as a bad job - Panel

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty issued a warning to Canada's unemployed workers on Monday, telling them to quit being so picky and get ready to take the jobs that are available if they want to qualify for Employment Insurance.

In the past, unemployed Canadians have been allowed to hold out for a "suitable" job ... something in their field, close to home that pays about what they were making before. But the federal government is expected to bring in changes that will tighten the rules substantially giving unemployed workers a choice -- take a job you might not like or lose your employment insurance benefits.

The proposed changes have sparked a fierce debate about just how choosy people getting government benefits should be and what we owe to people who are trying to get their careers back on track.

For their thoughts on those questions and whether there is, indeed, such a thing as a bad job, we were joined by three people. Neil Cohen is the Executive Director of Community Unemployed Help Centre in Winnipeg. Sean Aiken is the author and founder of The One-Week Job Project, which saw him work 52 jobs in 52 weeks in an attempt to find his career passion. He was in Vancouver. And Diane Watts is a researcher with the non-profit REAL women of Canada in Ottawa.

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar, Shannon Higgins and CBC's Winnipeg Network Producer Suzanne Dufresne.

Other segments from today's show:

The Great Animal Orchestra: Bernie Krause

Simon Fraser University Men's Centre

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