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Clark rings hollow

Ms. Clark's exhortation to trades people, "come home to B.C." rings hollow. Obviously, she and her advisers are completely out of touch with the reasons behind the B.C. tradesperson shortage. This problem is not new. When I was in high school (36 years ago), my father advised me not to go into the trades, as "trades are not respected in Canada, especially B.C.".

It starts with the school system. When I graduated high school, the people who crossed the stage with bursaries and scholarships were the academics and the sports heroes. There was nothing for the metalwork, woodwork, automotive, electronic, etc. students. Apparently, recent changes have been made to qualify trades students for certain education awards.

The next problem is with the perceived value of a trades ticket (Red Seal). In many of our public institutions a person with a B.A. can land a middle management position, which usually qualifies for the "$75K" list. To get this B.A. usually takes 4 years of post-secondary university study. The really amazing thing is that the field of study is often not even slightly related to the job that person will do. On the other hand, a tradesperson often puts in much more time in full-time education, plus an apprenticeship period. In this same public institution, a Red Seal tradesperson makes about $55K. Many employers still will not recognize additional relevant trades qualifications with appropriate compensation.

In light of the time and effort a serious trades person commits to obtaining a qualification, the wages, especially in B.C., especially in the "Sunshine Tax" valley are absurdly low. Not every person is cut out to be a university student or a successful entrepreneur. The unfortunate result was that a couple of generations of young people were turned off from going into the trades, as a university education gave you much more bang for the buck. A living wage is getting a lot harder to get, as only a select few get real wage increases that keep up with inflation. It is almost mandatory for a single wage earner, supporting a family and a mortgage, to commute to and from Alberta. Now that the boomers are retiring en masse, there will be very few passing on critical knowledge, which cannot be learned in a classroom.

Andrew Kiesewetter, West Kelowna



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I'd love to come home Christy

'Come home to your province'. I almost forgot why I had to leave. Wait, was it the low wages, lack of work, and high cost of living. Maybe. Maybe I got tired of hearing about LNG, hydroelectric, and mining projects. Maybe it’s how much skilled trades are wanted in B.C. I look at job boards and it suggests otherwise. There aren't any of technical posting that require skill or ones that actually pay a livable amount.

'Come home?' To what? It’s not that I love living away from my wife and young children for weeks at a time. It’s not that I hate the Okanagan. What could it be?

Stop making promises and spewing rhetoric about the 'what ifs', unless you can actually sit down and face the 5000+ people who have to commute to the patch from the Okanagan alone to make a decent living; one that keeps our homes in B.C.

Neil Hogan



Knew what they were doing

The timing of the Williams closure is beyond reprehensible! They knew exactly what they were doing to their people. Instead of handing them their layoffs, pink slips and last paycheques on the last payday, they worked them until the day before the next, getting all they could out of them, knowing full well what the plan was, as well as collecting all they could from their customers. This was nothing less than premeditated theft of services and should result in prosecution. They grabbed all they could stuff in their pockets and blatantly and knowingly ripped off the people that made their fortune over 68 years. No wonder they've disconnected from any means of contact. They know exactly what they did.

Bob Ardies



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Please return

To the people/person that stole my bag from my van on Longley Crescent, please return. You can keep the money, but would like the bag back, my passport, a fresh prescription that is no use to you (but expensive for me) and my laptop (it's old and of no real value but the information on it, the battery is gone so it always has to be plugged in). Once again please return the bag, no questioned asked. Drop it off like you picked it up. If van is not there just leave at front door. May bring you positive karma in spite of your negative deed.

Norm St.Onge



No thanks, we’ll stay

Dear Ms. Clark

You want the people working in Alberta from B.C. to move home. When we come back here B.C. stands for Bring Cash.

Albertans don't have a carbon tax, we don't pay outrages MSP premiums and there is no sales tax. If you sell property here there is a real estate transfer fee? Your income tax rates may be a little lower but they don't make up the difference in all the hidden fees you have to pay in B.C..

ICBC is another cash grab for your government and don't forget your toll charges.

No Thanks. We will stay in Alberta.

J. Walker



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