Are transfer payments
the backbone of our country?
Canada is a very large land mass, to say the least. We have many cultures from coast to coast, yet we remain united as Canadians. But we do have
some serious disparities to overcome. Provinces out west are flourishing as those back east have been struggling to get by. Alberta is filthy rich
with oil while the east coast is scraping by on what remains of the fishing industry. These disparities are beginning to rip our country apart.
Looking at our unemployment rates, you might be surprised. Manitoba has one of the lowest unemployment rates in our country, yet one of the highest
numbers of people living under the poverty line. How? They have one of the highest ratio's of employed to unemployed, yet more people living in
poverty. Minimum wage. Another regional disparity I believe we need to take a second look at.
Back east, we have had very high unemployment rates. From seasonal work to lack of job security, being unemployed is common sight in our area. Many
people survive off of these transfer payments, which in our country, aren't too shabby. Is it fair though? We have less job opportunities and less
people living in poverty. Makes me scratch my head.
I've always thought that more job opportunities would equal better pay. Employers would have to pay their workers better salaries since they could
easily walk out the door into another employer at any second. But it seems to be quite the opposite. Since there is such a large population looking
for employment, there is no need to increase wages. Alberta, I believe, has one of the lowest minimum wage standards in the country. So more people
are working full time jobs, but not getting the pay they need to feed their family.
More work, more poverty. Not right.
Due to our regional disparities, should our government step in the way it has? Well surely we can not turn our back on those who depend on these
transfer payments. This is vital to the survival of many families, removing these funds is not an option. But I am against the current statistics.
People who work, should not be living in poverty. Manitoba should not employ more people than the rest of the country and leave more people living
under the poverty line.
We need to take a second look at minimum wage. Minimum wage should be at least $9 an hour. This alone would make a huge difference in our
disparities, poverty level, employment opportunities, etc. This would hopefully take families who work full time jobs out of the impoverish state
they currently live in.
I come from the east coast, my family has lived off of these payments, and I still think it is completely wrong. My mother now works two jobs and
normally works 50-60 hours a week. For years she lived off of transfer payments and never had to lift a finger when she was more than capable of
working. Today she busts her ass going from job to job. I am proud of her for it, and she is much more satisfied with the sense of accomplishment
she gets from her employment.
Not everyone is capable of doing what she has done, so I do support the payments for some. She no longer has any dependants which permits her to work
full time. But this system is being raped by many, more than any of us can even imagine.
So my answer to all of our disparities is make it mandatory for employers to offer decent wages. When we have a province with a low level of
unemployment and a high level of poverty, we know something is seriously wrong.
What do you all think?
[edit on 12-11-2006 by chissler]