Monday, May 25, 2009

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan: Dink Of The Day

It amazes me that the man in charge of Ontario's finances, Dwight Duncan, could be so completely out of touch with reality. Quoting Duncan today at the meeting of finance ministers:

"Hit with massive layoffs in the auto sector, Ontarians still need 420 hours of work to qualify for EI, which Duncan said is too many.
"The rules that are in place now were set a time when the economy was very different," he added

Yes Mr. Duncan, the rules were set at a time when the economy was very different. It was set at a time when unemployment was 2% higher than it is today. And the three years following those changes saw an unemployment rate higher than today. As a matter of fact Mr. Duncan, under that system, Ontarian's now need less hours to qualify, as the Ontario unemployment rate under both you and Dalton McGuinty has sharply risen, lowering the number of hours needed in your province to qualify for benefits.

Then again, as finance minister you should have known that, but apparently didn't.

And that makes you, Dwight Duncan, the Dink Of The Day.


Ted said...

National unemployment rate in the mid-1990s were 2% above the national unemployment rate under Harper today. The Ontario unemployment rate today is, I believe (but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on this... as I'm sure you will ;-)), higher than the Ontario unemployment rate in the mid-1990s.

A significant other difference is that the national and Ontario rates in the mid-1990s to which you compare, were on their way steeply down, whereas now they are both steeply on the rise.

Not that this automatically makes the argument sound or unsound, but the argument should be made on accurate numbers.

paulsstuff said...

Yes, Ted, the Ontario unemployment rate today is higher. And because it is higher Ontarian's need less hours to qualify for E.I. Some areas have dropped from 900 hours to the 420 base.

At the time the federal Liberal's began making a review for upcoming changes in 1995, the rate was as high as 10.2%. at the time the new rules were brought in mid-2006 the rate was at 9.7%. aside for four months 1n 1998, the unemployment rate remained higher until mid-1999 than it is today.

And for much of 2002 and 2003 the rate was at or near where it is at today. And during those two years much of the increase in unemployment came through the Ontario auto sector, as plants began cutting third-shift production, which had a ripple effect on parts suppliers.

Dave Hodson said...

OK, so unemployment is on the rise, as more and more people are losing their jobs. However, if increasing numbers of people are losing their jobs, is it not logical to assume that many of those newly unemployed people are people who have held their jobs for a good length of time, or at least longer than the required number of hours to qualify for EI, whatever that number happens to be?

If that's the case, then why the big Liberal push to lower the qualifying number of hours? That new generation of unemployed workers should qualify under the current system.

Now consider a worker who is already unemployed. If he cannot find another job, he's not going to work any hours to qualify for EI again, whether the standard is dropped to 320 hours or not?

It seems to me that by lowering the qualifying threshold, you easily make the program susceptible to increased abuse, without really offering much benefit to the rest of society--ie those recently unemployed who already qualify, and those currently unemployed who will not qualify either way.

paulsstuff said...

mid-2006 = 1996

robins111 said...

Yah but but you don't understand, then they were not auto worker, financial sector empoyees, so it's not a fair comparison.

Good post, Dink of the Day, I like that, do you mind if I use it sometime?

paulsstuff said...

"Good post, Dink of the Day, I like that, do you mind if I use it sometime?"

Not at all. I borrowed it from John Derringer on Q-107FM

Agent Smith said...

This is a good idea ie dink awards. From time to time however you may want a special category to cover specially heinous crimes against taxpayers - an uber dink category if you will.