How desperate are we?
I read the article "Whistler desperate for workers" (Pique News, Aug. 24) with pity, not for the "desperate" businesses looking for staff but for Louise Lundy, chamber president, and William Roberts, president of the Whistler Forum, because they are barking up the wrong tree.
The major employers in this town are not that desperate for employees, or they would change their hiring policies and not look to the government. I know of a young man with a degree in marketing from the University of British Columbia who is looking for a job in Whistler. He has a place to stay, a telephone and transportation. He is fluent in two languages. He has applied to the major hotel chains and to the mountain. He has received interviews based on merit.
He has subsequently been told that they would love to hire him, but he has no work visa. As a Mexican national, with a recent degree from UBC, all he needs to be granted a work visa is for the prospective employer to write a letter stating that they intend to hire him (this is a current program; no need to change any immigration policies).
Apparently, it is against company policy this policy is the same at a number of hotel chains in Whistler as well as at the mountain to write the letter that would allow him to work legally in Canada. However, should he secure a visa by some other means, come back and talk to them theyd be happy to poach if someone else does the work.
This says to me that the major employers cant be that desperate. If they were, why are they turning away a bright young man, educated at the finest business school in Canada?
Lundy and Roberts you need to focus on the employers first, the employees are there.
Pay them well
How to resolve staff shortage problem: If you cannot afford to pay your employees a minimum of $15 per hour, get out of business or work the hours yourself. Pay them well and they will come.
Pay them well and they will find their own housing.
Pay them well and they will make Whistler their home. Can you not see this?
A parting shot
My wife and I made the decision to leave this beautiful town recently and in the beginning I had nothing but sadness for the things we were giving up. The air, night sky, quiet neighbourhoods and general feeling of safety. This will be the last week I can leave my car door unlocked.