Welfare air could create more problems that it solves, if the province chooses to forge ahead with the idea to ship long term welfare recipients from cities down South, up North.
The idea does seem a little ridiculous, especially when there is plenty of people in the North that are jobless, on welfare and are quite willing to fill these vacant, high paying positions.
Why can’t the same re-training initiatives the province is proposing to Southern city slickers be available to those already living in Northern communities?
It seems a little unfair to offer ‘exclusive’ employment and retraining initiatives to people based entirely on their post code doesn’t it?
Besides the inequality issue, there is also the social impacts the welfare air program could bring.
While the program could ‘pay for itself’ by shifting long term unemployed off welfare and into paying jobs, I have to wonder if the province has really considered all the reasons why some people are stuck on welfare in the first place?
I agree with Carole James, New Democrats’ social development critic. Addictions and mental health problems are some of the reasons people are on assistance.
Couple those with the realities of Northern living and the outcome for some of these people may not be so rosy.
It is fine for the government to set targets for welfare recipients, but is it fine to set targets where people could be doomed to fail from the get go?
Many Northern communities also have limited services and health care …. how then can these communities cope with the social problems of those living in a city like Vancouver?
To fix something, you can’t just transport the issue to another location.
The province seems to think that this initiative will solve not only the welfare issues of the long term unemployed in the lower mainland as well as the shortage of workers in the North, but that is not realistic.
In any case, if the program is going to be offered, it shouldn’t be exclusively offered to a minority.
Welfare recipients who are willing and able across the entire province could benefit from the program.
The government needs to rethink the welfare air initiative and make it a program for all British Columbians.
We all need to benefit from social programs offered by our government.
Once again it seems that those in the lower mainland are going to benefit, while those in the North go unnoticed.
It seems the old saying ‘there is no hope past Hope’ is ringing true again.