The BC and Canadian governments must stop using wage subsidies to market the hiring of persons with disabilities
Wage subsidies in Canada do not work in providing long term employment for persons with disabilities and improving attitudes towards hiring them. For the most part, the job ends when the subsidy ends. Supposedly, there are safeguards to prevent employers abusing subsidies, but they are rarely enforced.

Apart from it being disturbing that employers are paid to hire qualified and often experienced workers simply because they have a disability, offering these inducements to employers to sweeten the deal to hire them has a tendency to cross ethical boundaries not to mention a tendency to attract employers who want to abuse the system and not be accountable in giving proper experience.

There is already a segment of the general population that believes that people with disabilities should be paid less than the general workforce, because they believe they are not as apt as others. So wage subsidies are a type of compensation. In a way, a subsidy is also like saying to employers “here we don’t want you to lose money in hiring the disabled” and thus this reinforces the wrongful perception that they are not as able and productive as other workers – that they are risky hires.

Still, despite all this, wage subsidies are still being used to market the hiring of persons with disabilities in Canada. They have been used here for decades without showing that they improve employment for persons with disabilities.

I was the “beneficiary” of a broken system that rarely had any checks and balances to hiring persons with disabilities. I began my career with 5 consecutive wage subsidies. [Two with the same disability agency. I also had 2 subsidies with government departments after they had just done a mass layoff of government workers. I was the cheap temp and was told that I was just keeping the seat warm until the next subsidy hire. The other subsidy was with another disability agency that was caught with wage subsidy fraud by a proactive employment caseworker (I found out there were a handful of caseworkers before this one who saw the fraud going on but did nothing.), and I was pulled out and placed elsewhere. Most times, I was only paid the subsidy portion and the employer never topped it up.] Wage subsidies were my option of last resort when I couldn’t get anything else. I hated them because they did not work, and because I felt I was being used by the employers who got them. However, I was out in the workforce for a period which allowed me to put something on my resume and money in my pocket, gave me a sense of purpose and dream about the future, be independent and contributing, have a social life and meet people, and to collect unemployment afterwards. However, having too many short term jobs right from the start had hurt my future career prospects because many employers saw red flags from a job applicant with too many short term jobs and long gaps in unemployment. I had found that having a patchwork career history from an outsider’s viewpoint did not match up to how a degreed professional’s work history should have looked like – a progressive career stream. Further, because of where I had worked, my resume screamed out disability and made employers even more suspicious. Disability discrimination created this but my red flag career history did not help me to get interviews. You can only hide or minimize so many red flags in career gaps and underemployment as well as explain so many short term jobs before drawing unwarranted suspicion — that is if you get an interview. Now with applicant tracking systems (online applications) that can screen out applicants with too many short term jobs and long employment gaps, experiencing underemployment, or not having the “right” current and previous job titles, securing employment has become that much harder for many persons with disabilities.

Many persons with disabilities will accept wage subsidy jobs as a job of last resort because the alternatives may be worse – employment gaps, financial problems, and welfare. There really is not much out there when you need to put food on the table and a roof over your head. They cannot wait for change to happen in improving the employment situation for people with disabilities. Life must go on.

Many of them may never be the beneficiaries of long term sustainable programs to get employers wanting to hire persons with disabilities. They will be too rusty, too old, and perhaps will not even be around while they wait for employers to change their attitudes towards hiring them.

It has been well known in the disability employment services community that, for the most part, wage subsidies do not lead persons with disabilities to securing long term and meaningful employment. When some disability employment service professionals have to apologetically say they can only offer you wage subsidies, you know that they even do not believe in them.

Attitudinal barriers from employers is the number one barrier facing persons with disabilities in employment. Offering subsidies to persons with disabilities is only reconfirming their misconceptions that persons with disabilities are not worth it or as capable as those without disabilities. However, the government, employers, and other influential stakeholders have not offered any effective alternative so that many persons with disabilities do not feel forced to continue to use wage subsidies in order to survive.

#BCElxn17 #BCPoli #BCPoverty #NotRealWorld #VanPoli #PovertyReduction #RaiseTheRates #EndTheClawbacks #AffordableHousing #LivingWage #FoodSecurity

Prepared by the BC Disability Caucus



BC Disability Caucus

Other links:

Imagine you’re either a person of colour, a woman, non Christian, LGBTQIA, an indigenous person, etc., and a prospective employer acknowledges that you’re qualified for the job, but won’t hire you “unless they get a wage subsidy”.

You would probably scream “HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION!” right?

But as you’re reading this, there’s an employment program for people with disabilities that seems okay with this. https://www.facebook.com/BCDisability/posts/1988799498032018:0

Research shows Wage Subsidy’s don’t work http://ow.ly/QExc30dE0V5

BC Liberals Disability Jobs Plan – A Joke? https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/bc-liberals-disability-jobs-plan-a-joke/1839309299647706

Online Applications Are More Likely to Screen out Job Seekers with Disabilities https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/online-applications-are-more-likely-to-screen-out-job-seekers-with-disabilities/1809502839295019

Beware of fake job postings https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/beware-of-fake-job-postings/1832875820291054

Is it offensive to sell persons with disabilities as great workers because they work harder as they are grateful to have a job? https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/is-it-offensive-to-sell-persons-with-disabilities-as-great-workers-because-they-/1812688175643152

The Mental and Financial Cost of Being Perpetually Marginalized and Excluded from Employment As Persons with Disabilities https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/the-mental-toil-of-being-perpetually-marginalized-and-excluded-from-employment-a/1812276292351007

Wrongfully Screening Out Job Applicants with Disabilities https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/wrongfully-screening-out-job-applicants-with-disabilities/1808691592709477

Many B.C. disabled job seekers have no opportunity to access disability employment services funded by the Opportunities Fund https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/the-bc-and-canadian-governments-must-stop-using-wage-subsidies-to-market-the-hir/1902225193356116/

How would you respond as a reference if an employer called you up to ask if a job applicant had a disability? https://www.facebook.com/notes/bc-disability-caucus/how-would-you-respond-as-a-reference-if-an-employer-called-you-up-to-ask-if-a-jo/1839865192925450/


More Guns, Less Drugs

I remain amazed at the thought process that leads to a society bent on adding more guns as a remedy to gun violence, while still believing that by closely monitoring Doctors, borders and our neighbourhood drug dealers they’ll be able to reduce the number and amounts of drugs on our streets.  In my opinion neither of those proposed strategies will fix either of the problems.  I believe there are far too many guns in America, so adding some to the hands of teachers is ridiculous, and I believe addiction won’t be solved by removing drugs from our streets.  Other countries in the world have resolved, or at least dramatically reduced the impacts of these two problems in many places, and we will only solve them in our Cities and Towns if we pay attention to those successes.  More guns to solve a gun violence problem, and fewer drugs to resolve addictions issues haven’t worked to date, and the notion that it’ll start to work any time soon is crazy thinking.


Facebook: Divorce or Reconciliation?

Please all, what’s the big hype all about?  I’ve freely given my private information to an American Corporation and I’m surprised they’ve used it for their benefit?  Really, WTF?  I heard that some in the USA are calling for a Senate investigation into Facebook’s business practices, and with the other side of their mouths they’re planning to equip school teachers with guns.  Why on Earth is anyone incensed at what seems to be a normal corporate business practice and quite OK with more guns being proposed for a society already riddled with them?


Quoted text:

There’s no need to quit Facebook – just start lying; Worried about exposing your data, but don’t want to delete your account? Here’s a crazy idea that just might work To delete or not to delete, that is the question Facebook users are now asking while weighing the pros and cons of breaking up with the social-media giant.


For any other product, this would be a cinch. If you have a pair of shoes that always give you blisters, they quickly get mothballed. You don’t keep stumbling around town in agony. You realize the shoes are a bad fit and you move on.

But the fact millions of users can’t bring themselves to erase their Facebook accounts shows just how deeply this behemoth has wormed its way into our lives.

Facebook is hurting us and we don’t care. When a company such as Cambridge Analytica is able to secretly harvest personal data from 50 million FB users, my first thoughts should be: “Wow, I need to protect my privacy. I need to escape this cesspool of fake news. I need to flee the mind-control marketing and ads that are often targeted with such eerie precision, it’s as



if Mark Zuckerberg was hiding behind my couch and heard my wife say we need to steam the carpets. I need to get out before I become a stooge in a future Russian propaganda campaign that tricks me into believing my neighbour is a satanist or Justin Trudeau is the greatest prime minister ever. I need to be free.”

But what I actually think is, “I can’t delete my Facebook!”


That right there is the FB Paradox. It’s why the new #DeleteFacebook movement, however noble, will never reach critical mass.

Maybe we were fools to voluntarily surrender our data in the first place.

Maybe we should have realized sharing personal details with a global corporation was a terrible idea.

But the truth is, it’s too late now. I can’t quit you, Facebook, not when leaving feels like abandoning family and friends.

How will I keep tabs on distant relatives with whom there are no other established lines of contact? What am I supposed to do – pick up aphone and call? How will I see the photos of nieces at Disney or learn a former colleague is off to a new adventure in the Middle East? How will I know when someone I haven’t seen since Grade 11 is poking me?

How will I add a smile emoji when my dad accidentally wishes someone a happy birthday by writing on his own wall?

So instead of “to delete or not to delete,” is there a third option?

I believe the answer here is a resounding “maybe.”


Now, look. I’m no tech expert. I won’t pretend to grasp Facebook’s proprietary algorithms, or even know what “proprietary algorithms” means.

But if the central fear is that Facebook is now treating our data like a rented mule, what if we changed the rules? What if we corrupted our own data to make it useless?

Stay with me. What if you tinkered with your settings and monkeyed with your birthday, your sex, your city, your job, your relationship status? What if you started “Liking” stories you hated and clicked on ads for products you’d never buy? What if you fictionalized your digital existence until the Real You and the Facebook You became strangers?

If you did that, your data would be worthless.

Which would make it priceless.


Granted, this may be confusing to those on the periphery of your friends’


I mean, if I suddenly tell the world I am actually a Caucasian lesbian senior who lives in Albuquerque and volunteers with the NRA, my inbox is sure to clog up with a few baffled messages. But for the people who really know us – the inner circle nobody wants to lose – this act of personal disruption would be obvious.

Our loved ones would know this was just a clever ruse to throw off any evil and faceless data miners who may be inclined to aggregate and weaponize our info in the years ahead.

“Why did you just say you’re now single?” my wife will ask.

“I did it,” I will reply, “to protect you!”

Ultimately, this is all about managing the FB Paradox.


On Monday, despite the ongoing scandal, the Angus Reid Institute released a survey that found only 10 per cent of Canadian FB users plan to delete their accounts.

But 73 per cent want to “make at least some change to how” they interact online.

I can think of no better way to change than to don a disguise. Go nuts and turn into someone else. Do it for the peace of mind.

As always, Facebook only knows what you tell it.


Vinay Menon

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