Two stories that I came across recently confirm who is really being affected by the recession. First, a report from the Community Foundations of Canada is
pointing out that the youth unemployment rate has hit a 30-year high. Youth
unemployment rose to a staggering 16.3 per cent over this past summer. Even
those youth who are able to find work are getting far fewer hours.
In the meantime, Statistics Canada data is showing that "Young people,
low-paid workers and families with children have borne the biggest share of job
losses in this downturn, while those aged 55 and over had modest employment
gains." Talk to anyone in their early 20s and they can tell you stories about
themselves, or their peers who are under or unemployed.
I concluded by criticising pending government cutbacks as a kick-em-while-they're-down strategy, because programs like education, post-secondary education, affordable housing and income supports are being threatened with cutbacks.
I'm sure glad that the Alberta government is gearing up for a kick-em-while-they're-down strategy towards our youth, impoverished and families by planning to cut the social institutions that we have set up to help those people in our society who need it most.
Silly me, I wrote about this before our premier came out and delivered the biggest boot to the head of the unemployed, saying "The A and B Crews are working and the C Crew is at home until they change their attitude."
Well, Ed, it is clear who needs the attitude adjustment. You've earned your monicker of Steady Eddie, because we have a youth unemployment pandemic and you have done NOTHING to improve their situation. Which is par for the course on how you manage to handle pandemics.
The premier's flak Tom Olsen tried to clarify by saying that the premier meant to say these people got used to $80,000 a year jobs with no training and now aren't prepared to go out and get an education.
He's got a bit of a point. This government blessed oil companies with low royalties, low taxes and corporate handouts for the past decade allowing the oil industry to boom unchecked. We were desperate for workers - oil companies chased after our youth with promises of big bucks and big trucks. So, you can't really blame them for somehow getting the idea that life was easy. Many kids were poached from high school without a second thought for their longterm wellbeing and sent off to the rigs and the pits. For some, the work-hard, party-hard lifestyle and easy-come, easy-go cash flow resulted into some pretty nasty drug addictions.
Now, you're blaming them for having no job and no education. You have got to be kidding me! You tell them to go back to school, yet you're cutting finding to education, tuition is rising and student loans are becoming smaller and harder to get. Meanwhile, you're cutting oil royalties and corporate taxes to 'stimulate' the economy?!?! It seems to me the only things being stimulated are the oil executives and shareholders.
Ed, you better hope they don't learn how to vote.