Fed up with empty political promises
I have meticulously read Building for Our Futures, a provincial highlight for our fiscal future. It reads like a great catalyst; however, when I approached government members for training opportunities through Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, I regrettably met with deaf ears and a nonchalant attitude. This “no help” attitude is despite what appears on its website: “The Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour has a mandate to ensure the province has highly educated graduates and skilled workers for a fastgrowing economy”.
Government members do not seem to be conscious or concerned that far too many voters are unemployed and are greatly suffering from the lack of employment in our province. Many young people who purchased new homes within the last few years are facing great financial difficulties and may soon have to forgo their mortgage payments and live off their parents’ pensions.
Wait now - our provincial economy must be booming, as the premier, accompanied by his bobbleheads, makes financial commitments through daily photo opportunities and press releases to promise some new developments such as long-term care facilities in Corner Brook, Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor and underground mining in Voisey’s Bay. The question is, is this real, or are these developments simply idle political promises that will never see the light of day? I’m thinking these are simple political shenanigans with the hopes that political polls will become more generous to the governing party and spare it political disaster in the 2019 election.
Within the past few years we have had much wanted, and unwanted development in our province that should have given financial rewards to many tradespeople. The greatest, of course, would be the disastrous hydro project originating in Muskrat Falls. One would think that every worker in our province would have gained employment on such a vast hydro project that has well escalated over the beginning Nalcor budget. While this extravagant project did erect far too many ugly metal towers over our landscape, it did produce employment. Unfortunately, the reports of accidents and deaths of some workers have verified that many of the workers were not from this province. I may now have an iota of knowledge about the development of project plans and the awarding of contracts but I do believe that we should employ/train our own before we seek workers from another province. Not to be unappreciative, but I believe we need to feed ourselves first.
More recently, the commencement of the construction of the long-term care home in Corner Brook makes me antsy again, as it appears private companies, with mainland connections, will bring in mainland workers while our own unemployed workers are forced to watch. It is shocking when politicians can concoct such schemes with no consideration of the financial difficulties that they cause the local population. We have skilled workers in our province who are paying union members and who have not received any employment in more than a year. Must we take this despicable blatant cockamamie bedlam from the people we allow to control our fortunes and our future?
As another case in point, to work offshore on one the oilproducing platform, a worker needs to have completed several short training programs. There are many jobs available. However, the mandatory training is very expensive. When approached to be sponsored to complete these needed programs, the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour wrote me a standard letter that offered me no hope and no help. Yet in Building for Our Future, page 5, under Skills Development, reads: “$13.1 million for employment and training programs.” The audacity of the government continues with no “meat on the bone”; “The provincial and federal governments are finalizing new Labour Market Transfer Agreements. These new agreements will provide additional funding to support and training programs to assist individuals, including persons with disabilities, in their efforts to prepare for, find and maintain employment.”
This reads nicely as a script but it smells odious. For me, simple action speaks volumes whereas vain promises are insulting and belittling.
Government members do not seem to be conscious or concerned that far too many voters are unemployed and are greatly suffering from the lack of employment in our province.