Neoliberal Government Policies in Canada

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Topic and Specific Case: The topic that I have chosen is the impact that the shift to neoliberal government policies has had on workers in Canada. I have chosen to explore this topic through looking at the restructuring of unemployment insurance in the 1990’s neoliberal era when it came to be called employment insurance (McBride, 2005, pg. 90). Tentative Thesis: I plan to argue that the transition from the Keynesian based unemployment insurance to the neoliberal employment insurance has had a negative impact on workers in Canada. Tentative Answers to the Questions Asked Relevant to my Topic: 1.Has this policy increased or decreased workers’ power and quality of life? The restructuring of unemployment insurance has definitely decreased workers’ power and quality of life. First, this is because it became more difficult to qualify, such as with the increase in hours of work from 15 hours a week to 35 to be eligible for coverage (McBride, 2005, pg. 92). New workers, part-time workers and women, who were in part-time jobs more often than men, suffered significantly from this change (McBride, 2005, pg. 92). This negatively affects workers because when they are not protected from unemployment, they cannot always afford the basic necessities they need to live. Also, because workers have a more difficult time getting help to support themselves if unemployed, employers have a lot more power in the workplace. Employers know that workers are more likely to stay in their jobs even if the circumstances are less than ideal. Second, in the new program benefits were reduced (McBride, 2005, pg. 92). This meant that even if you were able to qualify, which was already difficult enough, what you were getting out of the insurance became inferior to ... ... middle of paper ... ...Social Policy and Practice in Canada. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Lin, Z. (1998). Employment Insurance in Canada: Recent Trends and Policy Changes. Canadian Economic Observer, 11(7). McBride, S. (2005). Neoliberalism and Canadian Policy. Paradigm Shift: Globalization and the Canadian State. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing. McBride, S., Shields, J. (1997). The Post-War Canadian State. Dismantling a Nation. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing. Porter, A. (2003). Consolidating Neoliberal Reforms: Globalization, Multi-Earner Families, and the Erosion of State Support for the Unemployed. Gendered States: Women, Unemployment Insurance and the Political Economy of the Welfare State in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Steger, M. B. (2003). The Economic Dimension of Globalization. Globalization: A Very Short Introduction. London: Oxford University Press.
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