Actions taken by the new provincial government, with a leadership headed by Rachel Notley, have been welcomed as a positive start with the cancellation of education cuts and the reversal of the harsh decision to close the young offenders institution in Calgary.
The decision to raise the minimum wage has also met with a large measure of approval that would have been further enhanced without the inclusion of a phasing-in period.
There is an urgent need to reverse the continuing loss of jobs and to alleviate poverty. The removal of the need for food banks must surely be a top priority for those who support and voted for the new provincial government. Many small businesses are suffering in the present economic climate and are in need of assistance.
The loss of jobs at large companies can be mitigated by sharing out the work while maintaining at least basic pay levels. One could ask why any company can justify job losses and any reduction of pay levels when still making a handsome profit.
The replacement of badly-needed provincial infrastructure represents an important opportunity to provide jobs.
The government can commence an immediate program of public works to tackle the most urgent requirements of the provincial infrastructure and create jobs. This work can be spearheaded by the public sector involving the trade unions to ensure proper rates of pay, the safety of workers and the maximum benefit to the general public.
Many small and not so small companies and their workers would also benefit from this course of action, which could be extended into areas such as affordable housing. Work on vastly improved transport links would also provide jobs while improving efficiency, safety and production in the province.
The majority of people overwhelmingly support the present method of organization in our health service and would soon appreciate the benefits to be gained from better planning and organization in other fields.
What is required is a government long-term provincial plan of production to maximize the amount of wealth produced and ensure an equitable distribution.
There are reputedly approaching $700 billion of accumulated profits or dead money that is not being put to any good use in Canada at this time.
Statistics Canada showed that Canada’s corporate cash store was already at $626 billion in the last quarter of 2013 and was larger than Canada’s federal debt at the time.
Keith Norman Wyatt