Depending on where you live in Canada and your political leanings, the Harper government's proposed changes to the Employment Insurance system have either received positive or negative reviews, particularly after it was revealed that some recipients could expect the dreaded "random knock at the door" by one of Service Canada's EI inspectors. You may remember that this news came to light just as it was revealed that three of Canada's eminent Senators were being investigated for their spending ways.
In light of all of the bad press that the Harper Conservatives have received on their exuberant pursuit of EI fraudsters and those who "abuse" the system, the government is sparing no expense. To that end, at least some Canadians, myself included, recently received this bit of taxpayer-funded propaganda in the mail:
The form letter was enclosed in both English and French and is intended to reassure Canadians that despite the recent changes to the EI system, nothing has really changed so don't worry your pretty little head.
This brings to mind the untold millions that have been spent on the now, very tired Economic Action Plan signage and advertising campaign that has been in effect since 2009 which cost Canadian taxpayers $21 million in fiscal 2011 - 2012 alone on top of the $53.2 million spent in 2009 - 2010. I'm particularly fond of the most recent iteration of the television ads where the government seems to take credit for exploiting Canada's natural resource wealth:
In the online version, the ad has been viewed a whopping 31,933 times! Time and effort well spent, don't you think?
As an aside, just in case you wondered who was responsible for Canada's current economic health, here is a screen capture from the Economic Action Plan that quite clearly shows where the credit is due:
Should you for some reason have lost count, on the first page alone, there are 13 references to the "Harper Government".
Looking back at the original subject of this posting, the government's own records show that, out of the estimated $17.5 billion in EI payments made by Ottawa last year, only $128 million was labelled as "fraudulent claims", or 0.73 percent of the total paid out. Canada's next-to-useless Senate spends nearly that much in any given year!
While I'm not minimizing the problems with the current EI system, I am disappointed to once again find out that my tax dollars are being used to promote the Harper government's agenda. I guess the government's spending on those nonsensical partisan ten percenters has been curtailed so they have to find another creative way to waste our money.