Thursday, April 2, 2015

It May Just Look Like We Are Getting Away Without Snow

Despite snowfall warnings we are still looking at bare grounds this morning. And it DID snow most of yesterday, but the previous warm weather has warmed up the ground so the snow could not accumulate.

While we are going towards spring and warmer weather the political climate in Alberta seems to go to much lower temperatures. As a result of the shortfall from oil revenues the sitting PC Government has brought up a budget containing higher fuel taxes,  a progressive income tax and even a re-introduction of health care premiums which the same party abolished in 2009. Albertans have already expressed their dismay with this budget. And one could really ask why the government hasn’t gone ahead and raised CORPORATE taxes instead of letting the population pay the bill. After all we are talking about the almighty oil and gas industry which has skimmed billions in profits over the past 30 years. But that’s how it goes when government is in the pocket of the industry.

Just another example of that was the excessive hiring of Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW). And in this case it mostly was the hospitality and gastronomic industry which lobbied the government to allow for a 4-year program which led to hundreds of thousands of TFWs coming to Canada. They work for minimum wages and thus was a guarantee against rising costs for businesses. But now 4 years are over and thousands from the first wave of TFWs have been told to go home to their countries of origin, which has caused an outcry from industry claiming they have to scale back their businesses without this precious cheap source of labour. They also claim that they cannot find replacements.
Of course they could raise wages but somehow business owners seem to think that paying decent wages would ruin their business. Living of $10.30/hr. is totally impossible in Alberta. The reason why TFWs were able to exist is simply that they are living 20 or so people in one place, have no cars and live the most frugal way imaginable. Naturally, no Canadian wants to live that way, which is the reason that businesses cannot find Canadians willing to slave for such a poor wage.
Maybe the momentary shortage of labour will finally lead to increased wages. I think we can live with burgers costing 1 Buck more than before.

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