When you’re on welfare you are required to attend job training programs. The government wants welfare bums like myself off the dole and in the work force.
So, they give a private corporation a huge amount of public money to do just that. JobWave BC, which is owned by WCG International HR Solutions, has employment centres around the province. They help you with resumes, cover letters, and what they call “barriers to employment”, such as lack of housing, health issues, and lack of transportation.
It’s an example of the privatisation of welfare, whereas welfare services are contracted out to private bidders who are offered financial incentive to get people off the welfare. So, this private corporation makes a profit off of a public service. At the end of the day they are working not for the public good, but their shareholders.
The intake appointment was a group meeting. This ultra-casual, long-hair, “cool-guy” identified himself as the “meeting facilitator” and that he was also an “actor, writer and theatre producer.”
Everything about his demeanour exuded a casual, easy-going façade.
“Make yourself comfortable,” he said. “There are cookies, candies, and coffee out front. And if you go out there make sure you tell the secretary how good looking she is!”
I could tell he wanted an easy, conflict free day.
“So, let’s get this started,” he chimed. “What do you all know about Job Wave?”
“I know they donated over $25,000 to the BC Liberal party,” I deadpan.
“Okay… I didn’t even know that,” he says.
He continues on about how JobWave wants to remove barriers to employment such as housing, health issues, food costs and so forth.
“I think it’s very hypocritical that you mention those barriers as though you care about them,” I said. “Especially when this company actively supports the very political party that has created so many of those problems to begin with. It’s obvious you guys are more concerned about filling your own pockets than helping people.”
At this point his face flushed. Probably regretting that he opened up the floor to questions.
“Why don’t you use your obvious intelligence towards getting a job instead of asking these political questions,” he says. “This is called job wave, this is not a place to talk about politics.”
I felt as though he was doing his best to hold back his seething condescension towards people on assistance until he finally had one of them challenge him. According to his thinking you don’t have the right to raise valid points and questions on publicly funded services unless you’re not on welfare.
I felt like he was saying: “I’m the big guy with a job and you’re just some loser who can’t’ find work so shut up and hand out resumes.”
The right to be informed and question institutions and officials isn’t limited to those who have money. You aren’t less of a citizen because you don’t have a lot of money.
Oh yeah, they politely ask if we’re interested in signing this form so they can pimp out “success stories” in their corporate propaganda.