I find it a bit odd that despite Brad Wall's claim that Saskatchewan's population growth leads Canada, he is in Asia to recruit more people to move to Saskatchewan for the temporary foreign worker program.
Brad Wall claims that Saskatchewan's population growth is people choosing to come back home. Is it? Well, not really. If you look at the numbers, the major source of Saskatchewan's population growth is actually third world immigration. But they're coming to work for booming potash right? Well, not really. They are largely coming in to work at "undesirable" jobs, at minimum wage. Well that's good isn't it? To staff undesirable jobs. Well, yes, but "undesirable" is relative. These are jobs that should pay more than minimum wage, to work the late night shift, or do unpleasant cleaning and manual labor in a "booming" economy, but shipping in foreign laborers just drives down the "market value" of these jobs, and Brad Wall previously used "market value" as an excuse for why he didn't need to raise minimum wage, or index it to inflation. Yes, he eventually flip flopped, and raised the minimum wage, but his claim of a "market wage" is a bit hypocritical, with him asking the Conservatives to bring in even more foreign workers, artificially keeping the minimum wage down.
Also difficult for First Nations people, with a 50 per cent adult unemployment rate, and representing the second fastest growing segment of the population, foreign workers being brought in to keep wages down makes it difficult for them to end the cycle of poverty. Oddly, interprovincial migration is near zero, but Brad Wall always implies population growth is from Saskatchewan residents coming back home; apparently, just as many young Saskatchewan people leave as arrive.
So perhaps a good time to be a small business owner, at least in late night fast food or gas stations, as Brad Wall is keeping your labor costs down. But this does hurt people, either for students, who see wages lower than what they should be and less available shifts, and for the underemployed, who will find an entry level wage lower than it should be. Perhaps Brad Wall doesn't understand, being a career Conservative politician. NDP leader Cam Broten might. He put himself through college, first working as a tree planter, eventually becoming the manager. He then got a master's degree. And consulted for a while. Brad Wall seems to lack any empathy for the working class, or students, and perhaps his political silver spoon explains some of it.
Either way, Brad Wall claims Saskatchewan is "booming" population wise because of the economy. Yet the number one source is third world immigration as Wall begs Harper for more "temporary foreign worker spots" from people who would take any chance to come here, even menial labor, to provide for their children. This is at minimum wage. Which Brad Wall is keeping down. These are jobs that local people, possible the fast growing First Nations population, would consider, if the wages were even close to above the poverty line. Seems its a bad time to be a low income earner or student in Saskatchewan. Perhaps that's why interprovincial migration is still near zero, with Alberta still paying better. Come to think about it, perhaps that's why the City of Calgary grew by more people than the province of Saskatchewan during Wall's reign? And now has more people than all of Saskatchewan?
It's time to tell Brad Wall enough is enough, he should admit we don't need that many late night fast food locations, and if businesses want to staff undesirable shifts, they'll just have to suck it up and pay a wage that makes the shift attractive, rather than finding yet another foreign "temporary" worker, who seem to be a very "permanent" solution to Brad Wall's plan to keep franchise business costs at a minimum. But then he'd have to admit, that save for impoverished foreign workers, and the First Nations birth rate, Saskatchewan wouldn't be growing, at all.
Nick Henselmeier - Saskatoon