Editorial: Consider jobs on Labour Day

Job-creation promises will be made by all parties, with outcomes that will matter very much.

There are a lot of hard-working folks around here who deserve a bit of a break this Labour Day long weekend.

And it’s worth pointing out that a lot of those people are working for all of us when they advocate for job creation and retention, workplace safety, improved working conditions and better salaries and benefits. The efforts of labour leaders impact any of us, regardless of whether we work a union job.

There are other leaders, too, whose work affects our work: our political representatives. The next provincial election is coming in the spring and jobs and the economy are top-of-mind election issues.

Job-creation promises will be made by all parties, with outcomes that will matter very much. We know that low oil prices have led to tens of thousands of job losses in Alberta, many of those affecting workers in Nanaimo and B.C. as a whole.

So as the Liberal government touts its jobs plan and its figures that show B.C. leading the country in job creation and employment rate, we’re glad to see those numbers and aware that B.C. needs to remain a leader on jobs right now.

Shirley Bond, B.C. minister of jobs, tourism and skills training, gave a jobs plan update this week and said moving forward, the plan will have a renewed focus on key sectors – agrifoods, forestry, international education, mining and energy, natural gas, technology and green economy, tourism and transportation.

The NDP is expected to unveil its own jobs plan in the lead-up to the election, but it hasn’t yet, beyond its Power B.C. strategy of creating jobs via energy-efficiency retrofits to buildings. Considering the NDP’s opposition to certain job-creating energy projects, the jobs pillar of the party’s platform will be one to watch. Notably, the NDP is promising $15-an-hour minimum wage, a move significant enough to change workplaces and lives one way or another.

Whatever our hopes this Labour Day weekend, let’s think about how hard we work and how much work there is still to do.