More jobs. That is one thing that all candidates seem to agree on. Thunder Bay needs more good paying jobs. More jobs will solve all the City’s ills and that is true but what jobs?
The manufacturing industry used to produce lots of jobs. A single plant could employ thousands of people. In its heyday, Ontario produced everything from cars to television sets. Washing machines to automobile tires. That was then.
Today, there is very little manufacturing still going on in Canada. Almost everything in your house and mine is made in countries that pay their workers a tiny fraction of what a Canadian worker would get to do the same work. Those jobs aren’t coming back. Not unless we are prepared to work for less than minimum wage. A lot less.An article in the The Economist dated July 29, 2010 stated the average Chinese wage to be a mere $US197/month. I doubt Canadians will give up on the cheap electronics, furniture and clothing they have grown accustomed to very easily.
If you eliminate almost the entire manufacturing industry, what does that leave? What’s left is heavily subsidized by the various levels of government. Thunder Bay has a lot of jobs that are either directly or indirectly funded by government. Are more of them the answer? They are funded out of our taxes and more government funded jobs may raise taxes and many people think our taxes are high enough already, thank you very much.
The citizens of this city, this province and this country have to realize that there is a very, very high cost for these low, low prices that we now enjoy. You can triple the budget of the Community Economic Development Committee. It won’t make a difference because the jobs we need are long gone.