Re: Pressure is on for skills training, Aug. 20 column.
Columnist Tom Fletcher has complained about the shortage of skills training in Canada, and he is right. But he is wrong when he derides the teaching of the arts.
Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, and George Orwell have written about fictional societies where people were given the required training to accomplish tasks, but were denied all other education. The elite were then more able to control society for their own benefit.
That is happening now in Canada. In Alberta, budgets for “non-essential” education are being cut.
Fletcher talks about the “gap between what skills our education system produces and what the economy needs.” By “the economy,” he means the tearing out and shipping away of our assets – non-renewable resources.
For whose benefit? We are giving them away for the sake of the wages we are paid for digging them up.
In fact, much of those wages are going to foreign workers, foreign engineering firms and foreign prefab shops. What long-term benefits do we have to show for the resources being gone, and the associated environmental damage to our country?
The fact that Alberta needs to borrow about $5.5 billion this year – estimated before the flooding – is a sure sign that something is wrong.
We need to evaluate the real costs and benefits of what we are doing.
In an affluent democracy, whatever harm we do as a society is our own fault. A well-educated population would direct governments to higher goals than simple short-term economics. And a well-educated population would not be so easily manipulated to serve the interests of global corporations.
Bill McConnell, Surrey