Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014


Conservative Party Platitudes

Blue collar poverty is rampant in Canada

Submitted by Myrtle MacDonald, Chilliwack


nother vague letter from  you is very discouraging. If your party care about working people as you think you do, you will realize that those people who are paid by the hour do not have full time work seasonally. 


They do not get benefits such as sick leave, dental care, holiday pay, and they have to supply their own tools. Often they are stolen. If they have to go to more than one site each day there is no transportation, when they have vehicle repairs there is no help from their employer. There is little or no line of credit from the bank, and no bank loans are available. 


If the line of credit is only $100, vehicle repairs of $1000 are impossible. Then the employee cannot get to work, and someone else on the waiting list is hired. Without a pay cheque the rent cannot be paid. Absentee landlords have no mercy. Eviction comes within a few days.


If your party really cared, they would provide mini-loans to keep the laborer working, and do it quickly. There are many skilled construction workers working overtime and holding more than one job, who cannot manage on $15-18 per hour. They are seriously underemployed. When they have a part-time job, there is no help from Welfare when there is a slow period. Food from a food bank is available once a month. There are many skilled workers who are hungry much of the time, in Canada.


There are more Canadian children who live below the poverty line than there are middle class children. Most children can't take music lessons or get into sports because the fees are high. For the government to give a deduction from income tax, is only of help to parents who earn enough to pay income tax and who can pay up front, and wait a year for a refund.


So, what are you going to do to acknowledge and correct this poverty?


I propose that the government require, or even subsidize employers to give full time permanent jobs with full benefits to employees. I do not suggest that pension plans be required. RRSP is adequate, but the employer should help pay that.


To help employers pay their employees full time, I suggest job descriptions that outline: 1) maintenance, 2) planning (for example ways to cut down on waste and pollution) and 3) record keeping tasks to do during slack hours and seasons.


I also insist that government put money into Solar energy and Geothermal Energy. I don't mean plans. Planning and talk are endless and getting useless. They are also too massive. Give help for small scale installations. I mean a rebate or bonus when an installation is actually being made.


I am sick of our government allowing the expansion of oil sands and fracking schemes. We do not need pipe lines to export crude fuel.


We should: 1) refine it in Alberta not in Kitimat and 2) hire companies with many employees, to clean up the terrible mess, polluted water and destroyed land that the criminal oil companies have been allowed to get away with in Alberta, and plant trees, and 3) Switch from exporting raw materials to manufacturing finished goods, for home use and export.


Raise taxes for the upper middle class and the rich, and lower them for the rest. It's useless to keep saying you will lower taxes. Learn some sense from Sweden and Finland. The tax revenue should be much higher than it is.


Please I want to hear and read sense from politicians, not vague ambiguities and platitudes.



Myrtle Macdonald, M.Sc. Applied (in Nursing Research and Education), McGill University. She is a retired registered nurse living in Chilliwack and now working with the local chapter of the BC Schizophrenia Association. She worked as a street nurse for many years in places like India and Montreal. She turned 93 in June and is one of the Voice's most popular contributors.



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