[This month's Kosher Cooking Carnival is here]
Another sign that Canada is not “United States North”:
On July 1, 2010, Ontario is going to move to a “Harmonized Sales Tax.” The plan is to merge and expand an existing 5% federal GST tax and an 8% provincial PST, to charge people a 13% HST on almost all products and services, including many of those which had been exempt from GST or PST in the past.
This broader and more expensive tax provides enough to complain about, but it’s not my point today. Rather, my point is this: The tax collectors who previously worked for the province will now work for the federal government, and therefore some 98% of the 1,250 affected workers will receive six-month severance packages for ‘losing’ their provincial jobs.
Challenged on this, the government simply said, “Our word is our word; their contracts require this severance package.”
This is so Canada.
I’m not referring to the policy of honoring the union contract; the American government would do that as well. But the idea that the workers can actually come out ahead is very Canadian. If this were the US, the government would hand the workers the severance package, fire them, and hire new, untrained workers.
This US policy of firing the old staff and hiring new people would serve several purposes:
1. It would satisfy the union contract;
2. It would take more than a thousand people off the employment rolls;
3. It would lower the payroll since the new workers would not have seniority, and
4. It would guarantee that anyone who needed to interact with the tax collectors would be faced with someone who was new to the job and didn’t know what he was talking about.
Can’t understand why they do things so differently up north.