This post about Canada’s oil sands is brought to you by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers via sheblogs. The opinions expressed herin are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
Whenever we drive back to Alberta to visit our families in Calgary or Edmonton, there’s something I notice around the cities that I don’t see here in BC. In the space of a mere block in Edmonton one afternoon, I counted five or six “help wanted” signs. There were billboards advertising that companies were hiring and signs in most stores saying they needed more people.
Here in Victoria, it’s a lot harder to find a job. While we’ve stayed here on the island for the community we’ve found, we also realize that it’s likely a job will eventually take us somewhere else.
That’s one reason why I am grateful for Canada’s Oil Sands industry. It provides much-needed jobs for more than 550,000 people across Canada (directly and indirectly). My dad, my father-in-law, my godfather, my aunt and uncle, my daughter’s godfather and more of our friends work in the oil and gas industry.
During university, I worked for two summers at my father’s company. Those months of work gave me enough extra money to take my third summer off and tour around Australia.
The oil and gas industry also makes payments to our government that average $18 billion per year, which supports hospitals, schools, roads and social programs. Moving between provinces, we’ve noticed the difference Canada’s Oil Sands industry makes in our daily life.
When I mention to friends here that our health care in Alberta was completely funded by the government, they are amazed. In BC, we have to pay healthcare premiums to ensure we can visit a doctor when we need to.
During my first degree in Alberta, I received generous scholarships from the government. In coming from Alberta to school here, my husband and I were able to access Alberta student loans, which gave us much more funding—and grant money—than other provinces’ loan programs.
This fall in BC, we watched as local teachers went on strike against the BC government for more school funding. My initial reaction toward the teachers was, “Be grateful you have a job—a lot of people don’t.” As I talked to my friends who are teachers, however, my perspective changed.
Teachers in BC receive salaries that are about $10,000 less than teachers in Alberta—both when they are starting and after 10 years of teaching. When you compare the cost of living in Alberta and BC, that wage gap becomes even bigger. BC schools also have slightly larger class sizes than Alberta schools. As homeschoolers, our funding per child per year in BC is about $200 less than it would be in Alberta (that’s a lot of extra books or music lessons).
The quality of life we enjoy in Canada is due, in part, to the wealth of oil and gas hidden beneath the land we live on. For the energy we use and the jobs it produces, I’m grateful for Canada’s Oil Sands.
For more information about Canada’s Oil Sands industry, visit oilsandstoday.ca.
This post was brought to you by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers via sheblogs. The opinions expressed herin are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.