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Blog Proposition Vote Compass 2019

Proposition 22: Employment Insurance

This is one of the worse questions of the bunch in that the VAST majority of people probably have no idea what is even required to qualify for Employment Insurance. Even just a list of the simplest stipulations of the program would help voters decide whether they think it should be easier.

Since what I would actually prefer is that everybody could qualify for employment insurance (a basic income, if you will), obviously I think it should be much easier, but I also spent about 6 months on EI about 4-5 years ago now. Having a work contract end and no job lined up immediately after, I was one of the ones who easily *qualified* for EI, but one of the worst aspects of the program is that any money you make while on EI needs to be reported, and you get correspondingly less from EI as you start to make money.

This is incredibly annoying because it literally gives you no incentive to work at all unless you’re making more money than the maximum you’re eligible for under EI, which when you’re trying to pick up work part time here and there, I can tell you is always less.

Summary: All in all, this question is missing a lot of information, especially for a commonly misunderstood program like EI.

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Why Basic Income is so Important

Canada’s prior experiment with a BIG [(Basic Income Guarantee)], the Mincome experiment in Manitoba in the 1970s, found that a BIG did not cause people to stop working — with two important exceptions. The first was women with infants at home, who effectively used the BIG to purchase maternity leave. We should expect a different response from women in modern-day Canada, where maternity leave benefits are much more extensive. But where child care and other supports for working parents are insufficient, we may see responses to a BIG that will show us those cracks in the system.

The other group whose employment levels decreased under Mincome was teenage boys. A closer look reveals that with a basic income guarantee, male high school students were more likely to make the decision to stay in school until graduation. Given the Ontario government’s aim of increasing graduation rates and the need for a highly educated population, it will be important to understand how people’s labour market decisions interact with other important decisions, like the decision to improve their skills and buy a better long-term future for themselves and their families.

> We Should Applaud Ontario’s Plans To Pilot A Basic Income Guarantee | Laura Anderson

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Applying for a Job (January 6)

Some days, you spend hours with your face right in front of a computer monitor, but at least there are ends-of-day like today that make it mostly worth it. I would love a job where my Chemistry, science and technology skills and knowledge are required, but my job search focus right now is in communications and media.

Below is why I think I would be a good candidate for a media/communications focused job. If you know somebody who is hiring that might be looking for somebody like me, please share this with them, I would REALLY appreciate it! Thanks!

This letter is in reference to the job posting at [REDACTED] for [REDACTED]. I am submitting this letter because I think that I, Rob Attrell, am an excellent candidate for the position. The combination of my experience and education will show that I have the requirements needed to excel in the role.

Going to university, I wasn’t aware how important communications would end up being to me. I studied Chemistry at the University of Ottawa from 2006 to 2011, completing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. On its own, that doesn’t qualify me for the position, but it was a formative and necessary experience.

I learned many important skills during my studies and research that lend themselves to work in communications. First and foremost, my projects over the course of these degrees have given me a lifelong appreciation for the time and detail that goes into professional work. While preparing my Master’s thesis, I wrote and edited several major documents for both print and electronic media. That includes a textbook chapter, several academic papers, and two thesis documents. This work typically took many weeks or months of planning and working with colleagues to come up with a polished final product.

Of course, in addition to the tangible work done during my degree, there are many other important skills I learned and improved at while in graduate school. Time management, self-motivation, problem-solving, and multitasking were critical to my success in class and in the lab. To this day, I apply those same attributes in all of my work, both at NSERC in my last full-time position as a planning analyst in Corporate Planning and Policy, and with my extra-curricular and freelance activities. I am constantly adapting my skill-set and looking for new and interesting things to learn, and projects and problems to tackle.

For the last 4+ years, since the end of my degree, I have been devoting a whole lot of my free time to learning the principles of communications. I write regularly for my own interest on a personal blog, and I been creating more varied media like video and podcasts for the last 2 years as well. I am very involved in social media, and I’m always quick to try out the newest social medium or technology. I have been studying and learning web design, user interface/experience principles, and programming to maintain all the sites I’ve been managing since 2011 as well.

I have spent a lot of time in the last few years working on strategies to gain traction in social media, as well as coming up with consistent branding and developing high-quality content. I also currently write freelance every weekday morning for a Canadian technology website called MobileSyrup, which enables me to keep up with technology and writing, while also working on ongoing projects and developing my skills.


Thank you.