Letters to the Editor

A long journey for tradespeople

I read all the gnashing and wailing and the pathetic attempts to pass the blame for the fact that Canada does not have enough journeymen tradespeople

Well the B.C. Liberals in particular can stop looking anywhere else because the buck stops with them.

It is a fact that because of the concerted effort by Gordon Campbell to destroy the unions and the trades programs they supported goes right to the root of this problem.

As a young man, I attended trade school. But in those days it was different.

Trades training was administered by the various trade unions and they had a goal not only of training qualified apprentices and journeyman tradespersons, but keeping wages and benefits high, otherwise known as a good living wage, so that people would want to do the training to acquire a well-paying profession.

Trades training now is either non-existent or trains people to the minimum standards so as to keep them non-union and lower wages – just what pleases the companies, and they don’t particularly care where they get workers from.

In fact, they can pay them less if they do come from somewhere else.

I hope they are happy.

They are, after all, victims of their own success, literally not having any skilled journeyman workers to fill critical jobs.

This is what happens when companies are allowed to control education and skills training.

It is as always cheaper to bring in workers from other jurisdictions such as China or Europe.

It is the federal and provincial governments’ first and highest responsibility to train our Canadian workers and children to do all levels of skill training and higher education jobs, no matter the cost, which in reality is not a cost at all, but an investment in the future of this country and truly the most gainful use for our tax dollars.

 

Wayne Clark, Maple Ridge

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