Spirit River resident takes issue with Notley’s MLA report, especially over small business statement

To the Editor:

Who’s minding the hen house?

Our MLA and Provincial Minister of Energy, Marg McCuaig Boyd in her Oct. 24th MLA report in ‘The Signal’ must be wearing rose-coloured glasses with her head in the sand, for her to praise small businesses in our communities, in our riding of Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley.

(McCuaig-Boyd’s report was also published on Page 13 in the Oct. 25 edition of the Smoky River Express.)

Spirit River and Rycroft are not even named in this article; perhaps she’s anticipating the upcoming change in electoral boundaries.

Yes, it’s vitally important to praise small business!

But how can you praise small business while at the same time Marg’s very own government makes it more difficult for these businesses to survive, with the NDP’s imposition of a carbon tax and mandated minimal wage increases as well as high property taxes, in small communities?

I addressed high property taxes in my last letter to the editor, on Oct. 10, 2017.

The carbon tax has increased small business operating costs that are difficult to pass onto the consumer, while mandated minimum wage increases also add increase expense to small business operating costs, making it more difficult for small businesses to be profitable.

Marg only needs to take a stroll down Main Street Fairview to see that a jewelry store and Friedel’s Men’s Wear is now permanently closed, along with other stores.

The majority of jobs with minimal wage are entry level jobs that allow, for the most part, our children to first experience the work place, with its responsibilities and attaining a work ethic while being paid a wage.

As these young people obtain more skills through post-secondary education or experience, they move onto higher paying jobs.

And yes, we must have fair, long term wages for our mentally and physically challenged folks, but these people form a small portion of the work force.

Thus, small business and those businesses paying only minimum wage must quickly adapt to the Alberta NDP minimum wage hikes or perish, as noted above.

Food franchise chains are quickly dealing with this problem, through automation, so that they now have fewer entry-level, minimum-wage positions at their franchises; meaning that there are fewer jobs for our kids.

Small businesses, on the other hand, are laying off workers due to the increased minimum wage, that these businesses can no longer afford to pay.

Our “cozy communities” may soon become empty, Marg, if steps are not soon taken by your government.

David Lahoda

Spirit River, Alberta

Share this post