GUEST COLUMN: Prosperity is out there for those who want it

An NDP MLA is going to spend a month trying to live on the $610 welfare rate for employable men.

Noted last week in one of the daily newspapers that an NDP MLA is going to spend a month trying to live on the $610 welfare rate for employable men.

Noble gesture, but pointless other than to garner media headlines.

Nowhere in the story did it say that he was giving up or donating his $8,500 a month salary while living in poverty.

Additionally, he gets to spend one night a week at home with the family, eating good food, being clean and, I’d guess, getting some snuggles.

There isn’t much of that available to the real guy on welfare, and he doesn’t have, at the end of the month, a well paying job to fall back on.

As for trying to live on $610 a month: take out the $375 (minimum) needed for a room and there isn’t a lot leftover for food, let alone anything else.

I know if I tried it there would go the cigarettes ($300 a month), wine and beer, regular trips to Canadian Tire for stuff I don’t need but just ‘gotta have.’ Perhaps for health reasons alone, I should give it a try!

Flippancy aside, $610 a month is an appallingly small amount to live on, but remember, this is for employable single men.

It should be seen only as very short-term assistance to ward off starvation while you find and get a job.

And based on Sunday’s front page story about Dawson Creek having zero unemployment and businesses crying out for more workers, there are jobs available.

Found it revealing that the mayor of that northern city was in Vancouver recently and tried to convince a few of the “Occupy” bunch to find work in his town. No takers!

Also no job takers down here when farmers need to harvest their crops … they have to rely often on imported labour from Mexico, yet we have many who sit around collecting their meager welfare rates, complain about it, and do nothing to get out of the malaise of poverty.

But, low incomes aren’t just faced by those who are too lazy, unwilling to work or, due to mental health issues, stuck in the cycle.

What about those who spent their entire lives working, but never saved?

They hit 65 years of age, are out of a job and have to look forward to living the rest of their lives on CPP, OAP and GIS, which in total isn’t much more than $1,500 a month.

That number takes the ‘golden’ out of your retirement years.

At a family Christmas gathering this weekend, conversation led to the likelihood that today’s generation of workers might be the last to be able to afford the lifestyle so many of us enjoy – big houses, multiple vehicles, all the trappings of comfort.

Then I reflected on what is happening now in the resource industry in Northern B.C., and the potential for even more jobs if the Site C dam is built.

Back in my youth, the Bennett dam was constructed, and that ensured prosperity for so many, plus it provided the power source that resulted in tens of thousands of other jobs created when industry and commerce flocked to our province.

The future, while it will always have its ups and downs, will for those willing to work hard be as strong as it has always been.

– Mark Rushton

Just Posted

UPDATE: Home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’ by authorities in Campbell River

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

UPDATE: Fire in abandoned Campbell River house deemed suspicious

Reports of homeless people using vacant home at 666 8th Ave.

Campbell River man in medically-induced coma after serious dirt bike incident

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $3,000 by Monday afternoon

Campbell River firefighters respond to four structure fires in a week

North Campbell River fire deemed ‘suspicious’

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read