Where’s the Turnip Truck?

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: It is not about wages, Erin McGrath-Gaudet (Canadian Federation of Independent Business). Are you serious?

The minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, has remained flat for almost four decades. P.E.I has lowest wages and wage growth in Canada.

Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and P.E.I have all increased their minimum wages. The CFIB fought them all. In fact, in its fight, a CFIB member wanted to terminate minimum wage laws entirely — “I feel that the minimum wage should not be controlled apart from the needs of the market place.”

In 2012, the feds allowed TFWs to be paid 15 per cent less than their Canadian counterparts. It only changed in 2013 due to public pressure.

The CFIB and Restaurants Canada are founding members of Canadian Labour Watch Association. The CLWA “has advocated against federal and provincial policies that are favourable to unions, and has supported individuals and companies that seek to decertify a union or avoid unionization” (quotation not my own).

Liam Dolan, chair of the Restaurants Canada board, said in a recent group’s press release that “the labor shortage crisis [is] the number one issue affecting their business.” However, according to the group’s own survey completed for the first quarter of this year, 15 per cent of its members stated a shortage of unskilled labor as a negative impact on their business... next to last.

What was the first? Of course, it was labour costs at 65 per cent. I guess those minimum wages, which haven’t improved in almost four decades, are really weighing them down.

Many CFIB members receive lower corporate tax rates, lower power rates, grants, subsidies and tax breaks at the taxpayer’s expense. Moreover, we are expected to subsidize your employees’ incomes through tips.

The proof is in the pudding, Ms. McGrath-Gaudet. And many Islanders don’t like the taste.

David A. McGregor,


Organizations: Canadian Labour Watch Association, Restaurants Canada board

Geographic location: Canada.Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba Alberta Canada

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