Dec. 27, 2021

Hospitality industry has to upgrade working standards

Industry advocates say they have a major staff shortage as the sector loses workers who will never return

It is frightening that tourism and hospitality sector leaders fail to realize that investments in college-level training and certification and paying certified employees a living wage with benefits will solve their staffing problem.

Filling vacancies with students and immigrants does not address a long-standing systemic problem. Our governments are the cause of the problem and have no workable solutions.

The tourism and hospitality sector is one of many damaged by idiotic measures to combat covid. People who have had the rug pulled out from under them without warning or efforts to cushion the fall will avoid repeating the process.

Governments remain aloof from the damage they do. The claim that people are happy living off covid relief programs is nonsense. The few that are were not gainfully employed in careers when they were locked down. One size fits all programs are simplistic; they reward some while ignoring others and do more harm than good.

There is no reason why the Employment Insurance program was not tweaked to include anyone tossed out of work due to covid restrictions, waiving the waiting period and allowing those thrown on the scrap heap a measure of stability. Topping up the EI fund to accommodate would have been less expensive than the many programs governments have tossed out.

People have lost faith in governments to protect them from economic ruin, and our workforce is thus changed forever. Governments have created a widespread black market in off the books, untaxed employment created by people desperate to pay the rent (or mortgage) and buy groceries and the employers willing to take advantage of them. Governments have created a secondary barter market where people trade services and skills for untaxed cash and goods.

The laws of unintended consequences remain at play. Government failures and pratfalls become more visible each day. We are in for a turbulent 2022.