Craziness in Canada

2008

Running a small company or an independent consultant practice (a one man/woman shop) is no easy task. In fact, it often seems like you've got everything stacked up against you most of the time.

After all, you've got to market yourself, find clients, provide services, and play billing department and then collection agency when you're not paid. Let's add one more woe: a government looking to make your life even more difficult by upping your expenses, something small business owners in Canada will be only too aware of.

There is talk of legislation in Canada that would require such companies or one-person shops to take out mandatory workplace insurance. At first read, this sounds like a reasonable requirement, one to which most responsible business owners already adhere.

However, take a closer look and you'll notice that the law would require these companies to actually kick in to the government kitty. In other words, your current, private insurance would not exempt you from having to pay a separate, mandatory insurance premium governed by the government. This would a) render your private policy useless, and b) give the government a complete monopoly over insurance premiums and coverage benefits.

It certainly makes sense to require workplace insurance (these are one of those things I like to refer to as the "cost of doing business"), and, hell, it even makes sense to offer a state-controlled policy for companies or people who cannot afford a private policy.

But it makes no sense to force the many Canadian companies to change their current plan and fork over more cash to a different plan. In fact, it almost sounds like an extortionist plot.

Without a total jettison of the law, let's hope that someone in charge comes to their good senses and allows those who already enjoy coverage to continue to do so.

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