The Page – June 12, 2019

If you are like many businesses around Alberta, you were not happy with the move to a $15 per hour minimum wage. That wage hike was an idea of the NDP government.
Jason Kenney’s UCP has wasted no time in rolling back the minimum wage. It’s probably a good thing.
On the one hand, there are indeed many people who had to work two and three jobs to make ends meet. $10 and $12 per hour just doesn’t add up to a lot of money at the end of the month.
But on the other hand, when the wage went to $15, instead of smiling faces getting bigger cheques, there were many people getting their notice the business could not afford to keep them any longer.
We don’t know if anybody was keeping track in Alberta on what was happening with jobs. But we have looked this up in the past in other places. More and more American states and cities are bringing in the $15 or so per hour minimum wage. Even so, there isn’t much good and honest information out there as to what is happening.
Despite what is happening in other places, Alberta businesses still struggle with a slow economy. That $15 an hour sure doesn’t help many businesses.
But there is something else going on, too. In places like High Prairie, some local entrepreneurs say they want to try opening a new business, but they are worried about the labour force.
Says one fellow, who wants to remain nameless, “I don’t think I can hire the people I need to start with. And second, I don’t think I will be able to keep them. Business owners I talk to say hiring and keeping staff is the single biggest problem they have. And it doesn’t matter what you pay, they just quit.”
It’s entirely possible this is a combination of things. Among them the low wages paid in the past and the idea people can sit at home and almost make as much money from the government as they can at work.
Then there are employers who don’t really know how to run a business properly, plus they don’t treat their staff decently. There are other issues like high business operating costs.
But we have to say, we haven’t heard any business owners at all happily saying the $15 an hour minimum wage “really brought the workers out.”
The $15 for most people is staying for now. But student wages will be allowed to drop to $13 per hour beginning June 26.

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We remember once upon a time a judge asking a Calgary lawyer, “What the heck were you thinking?”
The lawyer was in Banff. For some reason, including a few too many drinks, the lawyer stole a Corvette because he needed a ride back to Calgary.
And in due course, here he is zooming down the Trans Canada Highway at a ridiculously high speed. He gets busted, and eventually is in court before the judge.
The judge asks, “It seems to me if you are doing something bad, as in drinking and driving in a stolen car, you would not want to attract attention to yourself. So what’s the deal here?”
The lawyer had no answer.
Which brings us to a fellow in Slave Lake. The fellow was in court a few weeks ago. His caper started when he and another fellow were shoplifting. The pair drove off in a yellow truck. Cops shortly spotted the truck, and the two shoplifters, all sitting in the Walmart parking lot. When one of the pair saw the cops, he jumped out of the yellow truck and jumped into a blue truck. The blue truck sped off.
But then conveniently stopped at a red light. With the cops closing in, a third guy jumped out of the blue truck and ran away, with cops in hot pursuit.
The driver of the blue truck and its passenger was told to stay put at the lights, but he took off when the cops chased the guy on foot. The blue truck was found shortly after by police.
And guess what? The fellow who originally was in the yellow truck and ran to the blue truck was a passenger in the blue truck.
And he had the stolen stuff from the store!
Whew! Got all that?
A search of the blue truck found some baggies of meth and cocaine. So the cops got a search warrant for the fellow’s house. They found enough to make a case for trafficking, including fentanyl.
The fellow faces four and half years in jail.
An observer may well ask, so you were packing around drugs. And then went and shoplifted some stuff. Then led the cops right to your stash. There must be a story someplace in here.
All we can say is, gosh fella, what the heck were you thinking?

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Hmmm! One wonders how that works out in dollars per hour? Making money dealing drugs vs years in jail. Twenty cents per hour, 75 cents?

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