Sorry, Not Enough “Human Capital”

Restaurant Canada wants Alberta’s $15/hour minimum wage reduced for youth, liquor servers and people with disabilities.

Mr Kenney says he’ll consider a reduction for youth and alcohol servers.  No word yet on his position on people with disabilities but given his rhetoric (see below) we can assume people with disabilities will be on the receiving end of a “differentiated” minimum wage as well.

Mr Kenney defended his position with this:  “Take all the government programs you want. None of them replace the value of a job. The greatest social program is employment. And the greatest creator of employment for young people – for people with modest levels of human capital, for first-time hires – is the restaurant and food services industry.”


A lecture on a modest level of human capital, from Mr Modest himself

There are a lot of problems with this rationale, not the least of which is the reference to “people with modest levels of human capital”.  When asked to explain what he meant by the phrase, Mr Kenney rejected the notion that he was referring to people with disabilities; he said he was referring to people with lower levels of education and training.

Mr Kenney’s not-so-cogent rationale

Let’s take a look at Mr Kenney’s rationale starting from the top:

“Take all the government programs you want. None of them replace the value of a job.”

This is bombastic.  Surely Mr Kenney is not saying government programs offered by the departments of Education, Advanced Education, Health, Seniors, and Children’s Services are not as valuable as a job to the children, students, seniors, people seeking medical care, and their families regardless of whether they have jobs or not.

“The greatest social program is employment”.

Oh dear.

Mr Kenney is a conservative, he of all people should know that corporations are legally obligated to serve the best interests of their shareholders, not their employees.  If corporations were in the business of providing social programs, they would not lay off employees at the first sign of an economic downturn and Albertans’ employment statistics would not yo-yo up and down with the boom/bust cycle.

“And the greatest creator of employment for young people, for people with modest levels of human capital, for first-time hires, is the restaurant and food services industry.”

Mr Kenney listed three distinct categories of potential employees.  Let’s examine them one by one.

“Young people”:  Restaurant Canada reports the food services sector is not the greatest job creator for young people—it provides just 1 in 5 youth jobs.  This tallies with a recent federal government report on youth employment which identified the retail trade and accomodation sector, not food services, as having the highest youth employment.

“People of a modest level of human capital”:  Here’s where Mr Kenney stepped on a land mine. When asked what he meant by this he said he was talking about people with lower levels of education and training.  “A 14-year-old taking his first job doesn’t have the same human capital level in training, education and work experience as a 30-year-old experienced worker with a university degree.”

Of course not, Mr Kenney, but it’s highly unlikely a 14 year old high school student will be applying for the same job as a 30 year old university graduate, but if he does and he has the skills necessary to satisfy the job requirements, he should be paid the same minimum wage as the 30 year old because “human capital” as defined by Investopedia means the economic value of the worker’s skill set, it has nothing to do with his age.

“First time hires”:  It is true that the food services sector is the number one source of first time jobs, but this does not explain why first time hires should be paid less than their co-workers who’ve done a stint behind the counter at A&W.

What are we really talking about?

In The Art of Logic in an Illogical World Eugenia Cheng says one way to tease out what someone is really saying is to ask yourself whether there’s a sense in which the statement can be true.

The furor over Mr Kenney’s comment concerns what he meant when he said, “people of a modest level of human capital” should be paid less because they have “less training, education, and work experience”.

The only sense in which Mr Kenney’s statement can be true is if employers hire people (not youth and not first time hires) who lack the training, education and experience to do a job and refuse to give them the training, education and experience they need to do the job, forever.

This is not how it works on the ground.  Employers do not make a practice of hiring people who will be in over their heads–forever.

This is nothing more than an illogical and pathetic attempt by Mr Kenney to deflect attention away from our suspicion that when he referred to “people of a modest level of human capital” he was talking about people with developmental disabilities.

Notley’s minimum wage legislation addresses the only characteristic young people, first time hires and people with developmental disabilities have in common—a lack of bargaining power.  It prevents such employees from being exploited by unscrupulous employers.  It should not be repealed by politicians courting votes.

But while we’re on the topic of human capital, Ms Soapbox couldn’t help but notice that when compared to Rachel Notley (who graduated with a BA in Political Science, earned a law degree from Osgoode Hall, worked as a lawyer and served 10 years in the Alberta Legislature, the last four as premier) Mr Kenney is woefully underqualified for the job.

By his own definition he is a person of modest human capital.

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51 Responses to Sorry, Not Enough “Human Capital”

  1. [image: kenney.jpg]

    On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 5:59 PM Susan on the Soapbox wrote:

    > susanonthesoapbox posted: “Restaurant Canada wants Alberta’s $15/hour > minimum wage reduced for youth, liquor servers and people with > disabilities. Mr Kenney says he’ll consider a reduction for youth and > alcohol servers. No word yet on his position on people with disabilities > but ” >

  2. Gary Feltham says:

    “People of modest human capital” may be an inelegant phrase, but it is a common one in economics. For example, the OECD defines it as thus: “the knowledge, skills, competencies and other attributes embodied in individuals or groups of individuals acquired during their life and used to produce goods, services or ideas in market circumstances.” I am not sure how people find this sinister and labeling Jason Kenney, with years of experience in leadership, politics, & foreign affairs, as having modest human capital just seems petty.

    Having lower minimum wages for youth is a common feature in many countries including Greece, Portugal, the UK, and Australia. And the rationale for lower minimum wages for youth is supported by many studies. Let me cite just one: A key conclusion from this study is that “… increases in the level of (youth) minimum wages exert a substantial negative impact on the employment rate for young individuals.”

    Other studies point to the benefit of youth of entry-level jobs in learning real-world skills such as working with people and just showing up on time. [Famous people such as Jeff Bezos & Jay Leno got their starts at MacDonalds.] By having a high minimum wage for youth all one is doing is denying some of them the benefits of an entry-level job. Some may consider this somehow progressive–as for me, I side with evidence-driven policy (which is all that Kenney is proposing).

    • Bill Malcolm says:

      Evidence-driven policy you say? Greece and Portugal are bust financially, eaten alive by having been suckered into borrowing more than they needed, and then being unable to pay back the principal – treated as the third world has been for decades by the same ultra capitalist throng. It’s a way to take over assets for nothing. Greece and Portugal now do what they’re told by the same right-wing capitalists who currently run the UK and Australia, because they’re bankrupt and not allowed to operate their own affairs. We don’t know what they would do if they could call their own shots rather than cashing in their birthright to pay off “banks”, while their wealthiest citizens have long since fled abroad taking their money with them. Rats and sinking ships …

      The UK has been on an austerity binge started by that financial and social genius Cameron, if you’d bothered to keep up – I have relatives there who tell me social services have been drastically cut since 2011. The Brexit vote was in response to cold-handed government and the tentacles it’s spread. In Australia we have seen successive governments of such savage reaction that refugees are imprisoned on tropical islands offshore, while the forces of capitalism happily dig up ever more coal to sell to the Chinese. To hell with the environment. Yes, Australia is such an example of fine service to its citizens and the world. But it’s rich – for now, provided its citizens are happy to disregard the social abuses made nominally on their behalf.

      On the basis of these four countries and such flawed analysis of the like as may be obtained from captive “scholars” working in institutes like the Fraser, bought and paid for by the economic elites, you attempt to show us that black is white. It’s a common enough tactic among those with a blinkered outlook and conservative tendencies, and with no shame at writing nonsense for money.

      So what we have in your “scholarly” defence of such manipulations as “entry level” minimum wage is the standing of the English language on its head. What is the the definition of minimum? Perhaps you can enlighten me as to its meaning? Can it be qualified? It’s rather like the word unique, is it not? Something is either unique or it is not, which of course doesn’t prevent people trying to say things like “most” unique, or similar claptrap – they merely do not understand the word and its correct usage. Using this tendency for people to not understand meanings, we now have the capitalist class modifying the meaning of the word “minimum”. Why, there’s now minimum and less than minimum, lovingly spoken of as “entry level” minimum. How wonderful! Note, “more than” minimum hasn’t occurred to people trying to run poorly conceived businesses that will likely never turn a profit in the classic sense. Restaurants have traditionally been top of the class for failure. Corporate businesses selling coffee and burgers want to make more money on the backs of workers by cutting wages, it’s no more complicated than that. Kenney is just a spokesman for these interests; he couldn’t care less about actual people.

      So, my definition of minimum wage is now actually this vulgar misappropriation of meaning to “entry-level” minimum wage. Let us call it what it is, cynical manipulation of “facts” by “economists” and “scholars” slaving away to appease their ultra wealthy patrons notwithstanding. Entry-level minimum wage IS minimum wage.

      Let us agree that brainiacs like Kenney and the forces of reaction will do anything to craft the population of Alberta into thinking that only the oft-repeated mush of conservatism is valid for a right-thinking citizen. And unfortunately, they seem to be winning over the average nitwit to whom mere thinking is a chore – like Ontario, the citizens seem ready to happily shoot themselves in the foot. Regrets afterwards will not be entertained with any expressions of solicitude from me.

      • Bill, you’ve raised many good points here. I’d like to address the comment about the misappropriation of language. As you said, the minimum wage is the minimum wage, period. An employer who underpays his employees by calling it an “entry-level” wage or a “differentiated” wage is trying to obscure the fact he’s taking advantage of workers who have no bargaining power.
        What I’d like to know is whether restaurants that raised their prices to offset the cost of the $15/hour minimum wage will reduce their prices if Kenney is elected and brings back the “entry level/differentiated/first time hire/modest human capital” exception to the minimum wage.
        Also while we’re on the topic of evidence based policy making, it’s important to note that restaurant receipts stayed high in Alberta despite the recession and the introduction of the $15/hour minimum wage. Sadly, some food service workers said their tips dwindled “…over the last couple of years due to both the recession and customers recognizing their higher pay.” Frankly anyone who can afford to go out to dinner should not stoop to stiffing the staff because they got a small pay increase. Here’s the link:

    • GoinFawr says:

      “By having a high (sic) minimum wage for youth all one is doing is denying some of them the benefits of an entry-level job”

      So getting paid less than everyone else simply because of your age is a “benefit” to your mind?

      O’Brien called, he wants you to know that your quackspeak is double plus good!

      • GoinFawr: what’s really sad is how pervasive this behavior is. I’ve been told some law firms in Victoria were paying their articling students zero wages because they were “doing the students a favour” by letting them article for free. In reality the firms were taking advantage of the fact that law students can’t practice law until they’ve completed a year of articles. It was a shameful abuse of power.

    • Thanks for your comment Gary. You raise three points I’d like to address. First, I’m not disputing the OECD definition of human capital I’m questioning what Kenney meant when he used the phrase “modest level of human capital”. His explanation centered on the difference in training, education and experience between a 14 year old high school student and a 30 year old university grad. This is self-evident and doesn’t answer the question in the context of Restaurant Canada’s position that the minimum wage should be reduced for youth, liquor servers and people with disabilities (PwD). Kenney addressed youth and liquor servers. When asked about PwD he talked about 14 year olds and 30 years olds. Is he saying he will not reduce the minimum wage for PwD? If yes say it, if no say that. Don’t mince around. I think he’s trying to avoid the topic because he knows that cutting the wages for PwD will be perceived as more heartless than cutting the wages for youth or liquor servers. It’s my position that people should be paid on the basis of the job they perform, not on who is performing it. Otherwise we’re back to the 1950s where employers said they could pay women less than men because they had husbands to support them.
      Second,you’re right, there are arguments in favour of and against paying youth less. But given my belief that it’s the job that determines the wage, not the age of the employee, I side with those who pay all people the same minimum wage.
      Third, my comment about Kenney at the end is based on his definition of human capital. He said those with modest levels of human capital shouldn’t get the same compensation as those with higher levels of human capital. He defined the difference between modest and higher level of human capital as different levels of training, education and experience. This yardstick can be used to determine who is better qualified to run Alberta. Given that Kenney dropped out of university, has held two jobs, one with the Canadian Tax Federation and one as a federal politician with cabinet experience, but he’s never held the top job in any government and doesn’t appear to understand the difference between provincial and federal jurisdiction as it pertains to the energy industry, Notley is the better candidate for the reasons I gave in the blog.

  3. Edison says:

    Susan I share your suspicions with regards to when Kenney talked about persons with modest levels of human capital, whether he meant that they included people with developmental disabilities

    I think he did indeed, which prompted me to post the following on social media

    “Hey Jason, why don’t you ask Wayne Gretzky if he considers Joey Moss as someone with “modest human capital”?”

    Haven’t gotten a response yet

    • Edison says:

      My blank comment below was to make a correction where “social capital” should actually have been “human capital”. I had put brackets around the comment which resulted in the empty post

      • Edison, I corrected the reference to “social capital” for you. It now reads “human capital”. Thanks for pointing this out. I do not edit anyone’s comments unless it’s clear they want to make a correction.

    • Edison I wasn’t aware of the Wayne Gretzky and Joey Moss story and googled it. What a wonderful example of the intrinsic value of every human being. Not only did Gretzky help Moss get the position as locker room attendant, he offered to pay Moss’s wages. Contrast Gretzky’s actions with Kenney’s bafflegab about people with modest levels of human capital…no wonder Kenney hasn’t responded to your post.

  4. “The only sense in which Mr Kenney’s statement can be true is if employers hire people (not youth and not first time hires) who lack the training, education and experience to do a job and refuse to give them the training, education and experience they need to do the job, forever.”

    Sadly, more and more the attitude among employers is that you must come to them “pre-experienced” with all the skills and certifications they desire. The idea of training people to acquire specific skills for a job has become passé, and employees are more often expected to pay out of pocket for most training. Even more ridiculous is that employers have abandoned the idea that skills are transferrable.

    When I was out of work a few years ago, I found that the only interviews I was getting were literally for jobs doing exactly what I had done in the past, with exactly the same products – in spite of the fact that I had a range of expertise that was far broader than that.

    There are some truly broken attitudes in the world of corporate hiring these days.

    • MgS I too have noticed that corporations have become less willing to look at job applicants as individuals as opposed to someone who checks off the right boxes. I can’t figure out whether this is because employers lack the foresight and imagination to envision what kinds of workers they’ll need in the future or they prefer to slough off the task of interviewing candidates to the HR department which runs each application through a computer program that looks for certain trigger words before putting the application into the “interview” pile.
      This is very short sighted. I’m reminded of a young lawyer I know who works for a huge law firm in Washington DC. Unlike her peers who had undergraduate degrees in economics, political science and commerce, her undergraduate degree was in Latin. She’s one of the smartest lawyers I’ve ever met and one of the reasons my company continued to use that law firm.

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. Is Jason Kenney proposing a two tiered minimum wage? Or even a three tiered minimum wage? It seems so. This does not make sense. Restaurants Canada also has an agenda, which is corporate profits, before worker’s rights and benefits. They seem like they are a partisan group, kind of like the Fraser Institute. If a business can’t afford their workers a proper wage, they should not be in business, because they have other issues. Not all minimum wage workers live at home either. Also, people can still take training and not get a job in what they were trained in, because they lack related work experience. Or they may get laid off from their job. They need an income to survive. Jason Kenney is a career politician. He has already making all kinds of ludicrous and contradictory policies. If you write to a Postmedia publication, like The Sun, and talk about the UCP, and how they mirror the Alberta PCs, and their bad antics, that began when Peter Lougheed was not the premier, they will edit your letter, so that key facts are omitted, or not publish it. The Edmonton Journal has recently posted snippets of Jason Kenney’s policies on YouTube. This was at a leadership rally or convention. They are farfetched policies, that will fool people who do not know better. Sad.

    • Dwayne, you raise some important points about Restaurants Canada. Their website says they’re a national non-profit association representing 30,000 businesses which employ more than 1 million people. It’s clear from their advocacy work that they represent employers, not employees. It’s also clear from a recent post by David Climenhaga that their loyalty to their employer/members surpasses their loyalty to their country. Clemenhaga says Restaurants Canada was founded in 1944 to oppose wartime measures like rationing and menu price-controls brought in by William Lyon Mackenzie King to help Canada fight Nazi Germany. Why? Because they cut into profits. What a lovely legacy. Here’s the link

  6. Dwayne says:

    MgS Going to get any type of training will not guarantee people a job. Employers want years of work experience. People can also get laid off from the job they have and need income to survive.

  7. Elaine Fleming says:

    I don’t see the rationale for paying people differently because of their age, or a disability, or whatever, if they are doing the same job. Is it only because young folks or the disabled are more vulnerable and easier to take advantage of? Shame on Kenney and shame on these restaurant owners he is sucking up to.

    • Elaine, you nailed this one right on the head. Some people think the young and the disabled should be grateful for any little crumb tossed their way. People used to say the same thing about women in the workforce (they work for “pin money”). It took years to change that attitude and it’s still not where it should be given women are paid 87 cents for every dollar men earn. The only way we’ll ALL get pay equity is if we push back against politicians who say it’s acceptable.

  8. David Hay says:

    good one and nice punchline 🥊

  9. J.E. Molnar says:

    Hosing minimum wage workers to prop up greedy ‘bosses’ is so UCP.

    Exploiting women, the poor and the disabled by ratcheting down minimum wages is such a wretched human policy that only a political Neanderthal whose heart is two sizes too small and who shills for business bosses would ever pledge such an odious policy.

    We’ve seen this exploitation movie before straight from the Jason Kenney/Stephen Harper playbook. The same tactics were employed to reduce wages, lower employment standards/working conditions and displace Canadian trades workers with foreign ones when Kenney and the Harper government introduced the Temporary Foreign Worker (FTW) program to eliminate a perceived skills and labour shortage — and to help lower costs for the oil industry. The abuses were numerous, widespread and promptly exposed by the Alberta Federation of Labour at the time. Little evidence of widespread skills and labour shortage was ever documented. (see link below)

    With pledged cuts to minimum wages, once again Jason Kenney is trying to undermine workers by essentially introducing is a graduated pay scale where lower paid people with modest levels of human capital will replace those with higher levels of human capital to provide a better bottom line for restaurant and bar owners. MUST READ — The story behind Kenney’s attack on Canadian workers:

    • J.E. thanks for the link. There’s a dark cloud hanging over Kenney when it comes to his TFW program. Nasty big ones arising out of allegations of abuse in mining, the oil sands and banking, as well as serious allegations closer to home. Amandeep Panesar issued a sworn declaration saying he was mistreated under the TFW program by Devinder Toor, the UCP candidate for Calgary-Falconridge. Panesar advised UCP officials of this last year but they said everything was fine. Then there’s Thomas Lukaszuk’s story about his interaction with Kenney over a TFW in his riding who was paralyzed after being hit by a car when she was riding her bike to work. Lukaszuk told Kenney a doctor said the woman would be dead within months if she was returned to the Philippines Kenney said, too bad, if she can’t work she’s out.
      Here’s a link to the Pansar/Toor story:
      Here’s a link to the radio show in which Lukaszuk discusses Kenney
      Why would anyone believe Jason Kenney is fit to be our premier?

      • J.E. Molnar says:

        People within the UCP insist Kenney has ‘evolved.’ I’m fond of quoting Maya Angelou when it comes to Jason Kenney: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

        The TFW outrage is similar to Kenney’s pledge to punish a marginalized group who he sees as somehow inferior to others. In both cases Kenney is/was shilling for business bosses — not workers and their families.

        Thanks for the links — most interesting!

      • J.E. Very true. Kenney’s actions while he was a student at the Jesuit university in San Francisco, his activities at the CTF and as a federal MP (to say nothing of whether he did or did not live in the basement of a private senior’s residence) speak volumes.

      • carlosbeca says:

        These stories are known in Edmonton but I bet that if Panesar gets elected he will be made labour minister because of his experience with foreign workers.
        It is so darn disgusting and to me this is human trafficking and I have only one solution for people that practice this kind of game. Human slavery is abhorrent and deserves the capital penalty. Get rid of them. People with this kind of character should not be allowed to exist. Unfortunately it seems to serve the purpose of cheap labour and it is convenient to many people in our province. I would get rid of those who bring these people and would jail those that use them. This has no place in our society at all. It is well and alive especially with women for sexual work.
        I never understood why we are so accommodated with this situation.

      • Carlos, re: your last sentence where you ask why we continue to accommodate these situations, I’d say it’s because people like Kenney believe the economy trumps social policy. They don’t understand that the economy and society are two sides of the same coin. Failing to take care of the social side will bring down the economic side sooner or later.

    • John B. says:

      “… two unions that challenged the right of HD Mining to bring in foreign workers lost their court case after a judge threw out evidence key to the argument.”

      Would that be The Honourable Russel W. Zinn, appointed by Harper and formerly of Ogilvy Renault’s global employment and labour team, ably assisted in this endeavour by some special kids at Justice? (Kudos from Diane Finley)

      And then there’s Jason and the scabby bastards from some Portuguese labour union …

      I’ll have to go to the stacks when I have more time.

      Thanks for the memories.

  10. John B. says:

    Now that the libertarians have stumbled upon the political capital until recently unexploited to its full potential in the ranks of organized racism and bigotry, they’ve had to distance themselves, however tenuously and temporarily might be required, from their fondest wet dream – the unrestricted movement of labour. No problem. Let’s just dream up another one.

    We’re the famous “first-job” creators. Just let market forces get those pesky wages down to zero, and we’ll find something for all your “people with modest levels of human capital” and then some. The sky’s the limit. First-jobs for everybody – even a useless drain on the supply train like Jason! Every job should be a first-job.

    • John B: Robert Kuttner’s book Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? describes the consequences of the unrestricted movement of labour. Kuttner says the EC laws which allowed the workers to work anywhere in the EC community created nothing but abuse. Western and UK employers brought in workers from eastern Europe and paid them in accordance with the laws of their homelands, they got 25% to 30% less than western workers and weaker OH&S and employee protection while at the same time were charged exorbitant rates for expenses and lodging. Kuttner says the EC principle of “freedom of commerce” and “freedom of labour” resulted in nothing more than corporations taking the low road.
      Ironically British workers resented eastern European workers for “stealing” their jobs. They never understood that the British corporations gave their jobs to eastern European workers in order to maximize profits.
      This is why I go bananas when Kenney says “the greatest social program is a job”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      • John B. says:

        They package it as opportunity for the individual under the labels “Workplace Flexibility” and “Mobility”. The building trades were wise to this fraud by 1890 but they have more members falling for it now than ever.

      • John B: re your comment about the building trades being wise to this fraud by 1890, one of the big problems with our generation and those younger than us is we don’t know our history and are too busy or lazy to find out. We’d rather believe a snake oil salesman with easy answers to complex problems and call it a day.

      • Jerrymacgp says:

        “The greatest social programme is a job” … hmmm. Let’s analyze that a bit, shall we? In an economy with progressive “living wage” laws, employment standards that provide for reasonable work-life balance, affordable child care, and workplace accommodations for persons with disabilities, this can in fact actually be true. Give employable people the dignity of earning their living, and provide fully adequate social supports for those who are truly unable to engage in the labour market.

        But, on the other hand, poverty-level wages, child care that costs more than one earns, and exploitative employment standards are a disincentive to participating in the workforce. In these circumstances this slogan is clearly anti-progressive.

        So, the meaning of “The greatest social programme is a job” depends on the context.

      • Well said Jerrymacgp. To take your example one step further, blaming people who can’t make a go of it in an environment of poverty-level wages, expensive child care and exploitative employment conditions for not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps is a shocking example of disrespect for human dignity.

  11. Carlos Beca says:

    Conservatives just cannot see the world without the cheap labour exploitation as long as it does not affect them. That is how they built these globalization idea which they claim took half of the world population out of poverty What it did is to create 6 super billionaires that own more than 3.5 billion of us. That is why they all love China.
    So now he is trying to create a subclass to provide very cheap labour to his supporters.

    • Carlos, a friend of mine says the conservatives are the “Me First” party. They’ll take care of themselves first and then if there’s anything left over (and there rarely is) they’ll take care of the less fortunate, assuming of course that the less fortunate are suitably grateful and “deserving” of their generosity.

  12. Brian Robson says:

    I’m with Kenney on this one. Without corporations, there is no employment in society. As a government, we should be acting in the corporate best interests and going back to a good policy of a differential minimum wage where tips are involved. This will provide an economic incentive to hire younger people, which will mean less youth poverty and more experience gained for those who are just entering the workforce.

    I’m changing my vote to Kenney on this one alone.

    • Edison says:

      So you’re going to vote for a guy who hasn’t worked a day in his life in the private sector or for a corporation, yet portrays himself as a subject matter expert in that area?

      It appears that this could be a classic textbook case of the blind leading the blind

      • Edison, your point about Kenney portraying himself as a subject matter expert struck home in light of his recent announcement that he won’t honour the railcar leasing agreements the government signed with CN and CP to ship crude by rail. He tweeted that he’d just gotten off the phone with a disgruntled oil producer and bam he’s going to cancel the contracts if he’s elected. Every big decision Notley made concerning the energy industry came after extensive consultation with industry leaders. Kenney doesn’t consult, he just reacts to whatever the last guy told him. That is not the sign of a good leader.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      Well if you believe that a government should act in the corporate best interests you should definitely vote for Jason Kenney. You are in his mindset.
      Later when you realize that a government exists to act in the best interests of its citizens you may change your mind. I just hope it is not too late.
      If this choice alone is sufficient for you to make a voting decision then again you should vote for Jason Kenney because he has nothing else to offer.

    • Brian, I disagree with the premise that without corporations there is no employment and consequently the government should act in the best interests of corporations. If paying below the minimum wage for young people will “provide an economic incentive” to hire them, then it also provides an “economic incentive” to fire them when they become too old to qualify for the differential minimum wage.
      The conservatives say there’s dignity in work, even the most menial work like cleaning toilets or slinging fries, however they aren’t prepared to treat these workers with dignity by giving them the same pay as an older person doing the same job. Kenney’s proposal doesn’t recognize the dignity of work, it’s reinforces the fact an employer has greater bargaining power than workers who are young, work as liquor servers, or have disabilities.
      By the way underpaying someone on the pretext that they’ll make up the difference in tips is not an accurate view of how tipping works. Servers who get tips have to “tip-out” ie. give a percentage of their tips to the “house”, the kitchen staff, the host/hostess, and the bartenders. Here’s an interesting article that goes through all the games employers pay with workers dependent on tips.
      My friend who owns a restaurant says increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour won’t break the bank. He’ll increase the price of meals by 25 cents. Apparently Albertans are prepared to pay this bump-up. The Owl, an ATB publication, reports that restaurant and bar receipts for Dec 2018 were the highest ever recorded (over $800 million).

  13. Kelly D says:

    The government acts only in the best interests of greedy union bosses and lazy civil servant employees who can’t make it in the private sector.

    Although, I have to thank Susan. I was thinking of going with the Alberta Party this election but this blog has convinced me to vote for Kenney.

    • Edison says:

      Erm… I’m not sure you’ve heard, but Kenney is applying for a job in that government you are referring to. In fact, he’s spent most of his working life as a civil servant

      It’s obvious you have a lot studying to do, so don’t let me keep you from it. Bye

    • Carlos Beca says:

      First you accuse people like Jason Kenney to be lazy and of the kind that cannot make it in the private sector and then you conclude by saying that you are going to vote for him.
      Ok like Susan say you are free to vote for whoever you want.
      Good Luck

  14. Kelly, you’re free to vote anyway you want. Best of luck.

  15. Bota28 says:

    Thank you for this Susan !

    Oh dear is right….

    This man is not qualified to run anything never mind this province, his entire life work history has been as a civil servant; which breeds its own ideologies on how the world should be operated. Since he has no other life experience he only reacts and does not and will not do anything in the best interest of this provinces’ citizens.

    He has been bought and paid for and everything he says, tells me who he really truly is. Tigers do not change their stripes, the stripes only get darker…

  16. Grant Dale says:

    This is why economics is called “the dismal Science”.

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