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Letters  

Looming worker shortage

Kelowna and the whole Okanagan valley doesn't get it, there are very few places in Canada where there is such a huge gap between the wages paid for a given job and the cost of living. Only minimum wage cannot be lower than anywhere else. 

The worker shortage has been decades in the making, local business has relied on the "sunshine tax" forever,  the chickens are coming home to roost. Tradespeople have never done very well in this valley, there is a general disrespect for the trades, which stems from the old "farmer vs picker" attitude. This is why so many go to the oil patch, then they can support a family in this overpriced valley. Any young person with the ability is far better off going to university, as there is more respect for a 4 year B.A. than for a tradesperson with combined 20 years of apprenticeship and experience. Until this old mindset changes, we will see our young trades grads go to where their talents are respected and paid appropriately, that's not here.

An old friend told me when I moved to West Kelowna 12 years ago: "This is Greedy town, where the wages are low and the prices are high". Granted, wages do go up when there is a true shortage but as soon as worker demand is met, wages go right back down, or there are the predictable layoffs. 

As for the "sunshine tax", where is the rebate for the October to April period, when there is almost no measurable sun here? Oh, I forgot, the right people are in some nice warm, sunny locale for that period. 

Andrew Kiesewetter



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