I know, I know: I’d gone “dark” for a while… It still amazes me: a year after I left full-time work in order to try to catch up with life, I still can’t seem to get things accomplished. So, Lucille Ball was right when she said: “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” Why didn’t I know this when I was still making lots of money?
Well, as our provincial elections loom in Ontario, I never got to touch on the PCs Huda-bacle around “foreign workers”. It’s old news and I don’t want to re-hash what a poor turn of strategy that turned out to be. They became shark bait for the Liberals and it really just became a fun sitcom to watch from the sidelines.
But the whole affair did remind me how we’ve witnessed the employment hardships of new immigrants. When my husband owned a gas station/convenience store, he employed mostly new Canadians. One held chartered accountant status in his native Guyana, and here he was working for minimum wage in a convenience store. There are engineers driving our taxis, doctors mopping our schools’ floors, professors washing dishes. Mind you, my husband also unknowingly employed a Pakistani refugee who was in trouble with Immigration Services for using somebody else’s Social Insurance Number, so yes, there is certainly abuse.
The PCs completely misguided Ontarians with the way they bashed the Liberal plan to give a tax credit to companies that hired new immigrants for a year to give them Canadian work experience and certification allowing them to work in their profession. When we have workers who are professionally accredited in their home countries, we should be doing everything we can to support and integrate them into the workforce. Otherwise, we have no right to complain about the shortage of doctors and teachers. There are few things that I can say stuck with me from my years of schooling, but for some reason, the few things that did were lessons I learned in Economics: the economy thrives when we minimize not just unemployment, but also underemployment.
And while you may or may not be curious, the other things that have stayed with me from 10th grade Economics were: 1) There is no such thing as a Free Lunch and 2) What goes up must come down. These are immutable laws of economics and of life that have kept me somewhat grounded and pragmatic (or is it pessimistic?) through the years.