Bill C-38 is jam-packed with provisions that will impact us for generations

To the Expositor:

I recently emailed my local MP Bryan Hayes about where he stands on Bill C-38. Here is a portion of his response: “I am currently in support of Bill C-38. At the end of the day, this bill remains focused on jobs, growth and long terms prosperity, because that’s what matters most to Canadians.”

This bill is many things. I question what jobs will be created or lost if this passes. This bill is jam packed with dozens of pieces of legislation that will have many effects on Canada as a whole. The environmental impact will be felt for generations if this bill passes. I would like to talk about a few things that have already changed and connect a few dots.

The entire nation’s ocean contaminants program is being dismantled as a part of massive layoffs at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (1). This leaves us blind as to what state our waters are in. In late April, the federal government announced that employers could usher in highly skilled temporary workers such as engineers and electricians in 10 days instead of the current 12- to 14-week approval process, noting red tape will likely be reduced in processing other categories of temporary foreign workers as well. This also set out new wage rules that permit employers to pay temporary foreign workers up to 15 percent below the average paid for that type of work locally, sanctioning the creation of a two-tiered “us and them” labour market (2).

Let’s take a moment and look at this prime minister’s biggest project, the tar sands. He has promised us years of steady “Canadian” employment and prosperity. In truth, 71 percent of the ownership of oil sands production was foreign, while the foreign-based companies controlled 24.2 per cent of the sector’s production. Some notably Canadian oil companies, such as Suncor, Canadian Oil Sands and Husky, are predominantly owned by non-Canadians. The data also shows us that more than half of Canada’s oil and gas revenue goes to foreign entities (3).

With the dollar being the bottom line for how this government creates it policies and the voice of our protective agencies being wiped out, I see a grim future ahead. I ponder how many jobs have been created by the burst oil pipe in Alberta (4), and if these will be the type of jobs we can expect to have available to us.

I urge Mr. Hayes and all our MPs to look at each piece of legislation contained in Bill C-38 and ask what impact each document will have on the next seven generations. We can only pray that those elected to represent us keep this in their minds and hearts as they cast their votes. When I think what matters most to me, Mr. Hayes, my list of importance goes children, health and happiness. Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity are a bit further down the list. As Canadians we all know work is important and how our work affects our well-being as individuals and our whole society, present and future, is an important factor. When we have jobs that ensure an environmentally sustainable future, then we will all prosper.

Karrie Oliver

Sault Ste Marie