The longest commute

I have openly mused about the unwillingness of Atlantic Canadians to ‘commute’ for work. I find it a little bizarre that a place like Moncton can have job shortages while communities 30-60 minutes’ commute around the community have unemployment rates of 15% and in some cases higher.

But maybe Atlantic Canadians don’t like to drive to work because they prefer to fly.

There is an interesting emerging trend for tradespeople based in Atlantic Canada to commute out to Alberta work six months and then come back to Atl. Canada and not work for six months (or pick up odd jobs).

And now the unions are getting involved actually providing training for tradespeople here when there are no jobs here for that type of training. Never fear. They can work in Alberta.

PEI Union trains workers for Alberta

P.E.I.’s Carpenters Union has been running courses in how to properly use scaffolding, and it plans to run another in the near future. Most of the participants don’t stick around to work on the Island, instead heading for jobs in Fort McMurray, Alta.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am actually glad they can live here for a few months (although many end up taking their families and moving west). But my preference would be to find jobs for them here.

Or maybe in an ironic sense that should be Atlantic Canada’s raison d’ĂȘtre. To be Alberta and Ontario’s labour market incubator. Those provinces would keep the subsidies rolling. We would keep training their next generation labour pool. Churning out university grads. Training tradespersons. Cranking out workers as fast as Ontario and Alberta could take them.

There’s an interesting and innovative approach to economic development!