Many ranching industry employees start at minimum wage

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of the B.C. High School Rodeo Finals competitors (families) who will be in town (starting today) for the last event in the B.C. High School Rodeo season; it’s a huge weekend in their young lives.

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of the B.C. High School Rodeo Finals competitors (families) who will be in town (starting today) for the last event in the B.C. High School Rodeo season; it’s a huge weekend in their young lives. Good luck to you all.

Beginning yesterday in Prince George was the 83rd annual B.C. Cattlemen’s Association AGM and convention where the ranching community of B.C. has gathered to discuss/decide some of the issues/business facing their industry.

Premier Christy Clark was to be there last night, hopefully to deliver a positive announcement (or two). One of her sidekicks, the most recently appointed B.C. Minister of Agriculture Don McRea was to attend the AGM at 8 a.m. today. I must say that it’s a wee bit of a challenge for ag-producers to keep current on the name of their minister. Appointees have been shuffling in and out of the position quite rapidly of late with continuity regarding agricultural issues suffering as a result.

Heaven knows there’s a lot to discuss in P.G.; in spite of industry-wide good returns on cattle sales, most operators are having difficulty making anything over and above their operating costs.

In the news, Canada Post employees are using rotating strike action to protest proposed lower (starting) wages of $17.50 and other issues. Compare that to many agriculture employees who are paid minimum wage to start, while the more experienced workers may get $10 and up (many places to a high of $15 per hour, tops) and the industry can barely afford that. Imagine — the reduced Canada Post “start wage” would have the average farm/ranch worker dancing in the fields or singing in the saddle.

Two starkly contrasting perspectives.

P.S. My Granny-Canuck-Super-Fan-Contingent was a tad (understatement) disappointed in the game three results in “Seeking Stanley”— so hopefully they solved the Thomas puzzle last night — how to get a puck behind Tim!

Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.

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