Curiosity is terminal

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Offshoring Skills

Yesterday Politics and its Discontents had a post about finding products that are made in Canada, as a way of keeping jobs in Canada.

I have long been alarmed about the offshoring of jobs. I was alarmed by the Free Trade Agreement in 1988. I remember reading about it and being struck at the time by a quote from one of the American negotiators, (Yeager, I think his name might have been) "Canada has no idea what it has signed."
I watched the Battle in Seattle in 1999, and my heart broke to see all the people who cared, not for profits and money, but for survival, being arrested, and brutalized and denigrated as just so many dirty hippies.
I have watched us sell raw logs, and the jobs that go with them. Now we dismantle sawmills, pulpmills and papermills and we ship the whole plants to China, along with the jobs.
And when we lose those jobs, we lose the spinoff jobs that go with them. We lose vacations, and team sports for the kids, we lose a few dinners out a year/month/week. We buy fewer toys: boats, bikes, RVs. Maybe we lose homes.
It is no different for our minerals. Away they go, along with the refining, smelting, processing. How is our steel industry?

The thought this always leads me to  is that the more we don't DO anything with our resources here, the more we will forget how. We will not just have lost the resource, and the value-adding job, but the skill.

What is that likely to look like in 20 years?

h/t Lorne

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Yo! Christy! No means NO!

So the airhead masquerading as a premier has told Alberta that the Northern Gateway Pipeline is dead unless BC gets a bunch of money.

Not as far as a whole bunch of BC'ers are concerned.

The people who spoke to the JRP here in Atmon (Almost The Middle Of Nowhere) don't want it at any price. The people who live near the route and the port don't want it at any price. Some of us have been reading the proposal, (which is too vague on too many points) and paying attention to the arguments, and attending the JRP hearings (and listening to them online, too) and even attending the protests, which if you aren't a bobblehead pretending to be a premier you know are happening all over the province.  And those of us who have actually been participating in this process (flawed as it may be) DON'T WANT IT AT ANY PRICE.

So quit telling the world we have a price. We don't.