There appears to be a troubling trend emerging in the province from the fallout of what seems like reneging by Premier Jason Kenney on the UCP’s Health-Care Guarantee, and perceived war on public-sector workers with education feeling the bite as well.
With the belt-tightening of the provincial budget which was announced earlier this year, it looks like thousands of jobs in education and healthcare will be on the chopping block by the end of 2023. There seems to be little sympathy from the oil and gas sector, who have had their own struggles in recent years trying to sell a commodity at a discounted price with all sorts of hurdles hindering it, some of which are beyond any provincial government’s control. Most notably, a lack of pipeline capacity in Canada that would enable shipments to markets south, east and west of our borders.
Look all over social media and there seems to be camps firmly entrenched as if oil and gas and the public sector are enemies of each other.
No one should take pleasure in the hardships of another, especially with the symbiotic relationship both have.
Public sector workers’ wages are made possible by taxpayers of a robust economy.
Whatever one’s job (or lack of job), families send their children to school and their whole family unit to see the doctor.
For those people in the public sector who were scolding oilfield workers to ‘save their money’ or ‘retrain’, it would be a natural reaction for the industry to show the same lack of empathy for hardships in a different chosen sector.
But the question that has to be begged is why? Why are we almost celebrating the fact a major bread-winner no longer has a job for their family?
Can there be efficiencies found in upper management in healthcare and education? Most likely, but can’t the same be said about oil and gas that could have saved at least some jobs from the chopping block when you take a look at the salaries and overhead?
What of new technologies that have left those in oil and gas replaced by that technology and now do not have a job?
There are many mitigating factors why any sector of jobs are struggling and no one should be taking personal joy in those struggles.
It is not an us-against-them attitude we should be having in a struggling economy. People should be looking after each other now more than ever, instead of playing a game of one upmanship over another in who is worthy of their suffering.
Perhaps this polarizing provincial view needs to have Taber gazed upon as a community coming together.
The Taber Food Bank just finished its Stuff-A-Bus campaign. MyVictory Church is holding a Christmas Shopping spree for low-income families. The Taber Legion just had its Santa’s Gone Loonie initiative where kids could shop for their parents for single dollars.
TANGO members from Taber returned from Guatemala giving hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical/dental services for free to the Third-World country.
Not a month goes by where a local church or service club has not filled some sort of social service gap in the community.
Volunteer coaches are spending time away from their families, so you can enjoy watching yours on the court or at the ice arena.
Whether it was the previous NDP or current UCP government, hold them accountable. But not at the expense of your neighbour’s hardship down the street. This Christmas season, we need to be there for each other.