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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

DALTON HOOKER -- Why is it nobody wants jobs like these anymore? Why should I and other hard-working taxpayers’ foot the bill because you are too picky?


Back in the day, working on the ranch at Big Lake
Which is it – There are NO jobs, or Just No “GOOD” Jobs?

Two days ago, the Federal Liberal government announced 9 billion dollars in financial aid for post-secondary students and recent grads.

Why? Because there are NO summer jobs available for them.

So, applicants will get $1250.00 a month from May to August. Some will qualify for up to $1750.00 per month. To keep things fair, those who are already working but earn less than these amounts can apply for top-up. Kind of makes you wonder why any student would actually seek work this summer, doesn’t it??

And yet, farms in Canada cannot find local labour to harvest their crops. Instead, we import up to 60,000 temporary migrant workers from other countries like Mexico each year.

Thanks to coronavirus (COVID-19), when these workers come into the country, each has to complete a 14-day quarantine. The federal government is giving Canadian farmers $1,500 per worker to cover the wages owed during the quarantine. When the harvest is done, these workers go home.

I know this is making me sound like an old curmudgeon, but when I was young my mom worked her tail off each summer picking fruit in the Fraser Valley – strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. She took me and my two brothers to work with her each day. 

We picked berries too (mind you, we probably ate most of what we picked). Even so, each of us had the opportunity to earn a little dough too. We were not the only ones; you may have had similar experiences. If so, please share details below.

When we moved north to the Cariboo, I picked pine cones. I also served as a “mule”, packing heavy sacks of pine cones out of the forest for local women who also picked cones. I would get two dollars for every bag I packed out. When I wasn’t doing that, I cleaned barns or stooked hay-bales for area ranchers -- anything I could do to earn some money. 

A lot of work like this is still out there today (there would be no need for migrant workers otherwise) for those willing to do it. So, why is it nobody wants jobs like these anymore?


Are we a nation of sissies?

If so, why should I and other hard-working taxpayers’ foot the bill because you are too picky?

Yesterday, I noticed a young fellow down the block aerating a lawn. Asked him if he was interested in doing my yard while he was in the area. He jumped at the chance. My next-door neighbour hired him too.

In very short order, this fellow earned $120.00 cash for just a few hours work. Good for him.

Another young guy I know has just decided to start a tree service business. Hard work, but pays well.

I wish more of our young people had this same entrepreneurial spirit. 

If we are going to pay them anyway, could students be working out in the forest to grub and clear underbrush? Could they clean-up roadside garbage? Most of them all have their own transportation.

Surely, we can at least get something of value for our tax-money. 


Dalton Hooker is a former long-time radio broadcaster. He also spent three terms as a councillor in the City of Quesnel. He, along with his wife Monique, make their home in Prince George.




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