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LETTTER: Employment policy ‘dead wrong’

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I thought I had heard it all when it comes to bilingualism issues. That is until I was talking to a young mother of two toddlers who had lost her seasonal job, which she had been doing for the last four seasons, because she was not bilingual.

She explained that her now former employer told her that bilingualism was now a requisite for that job, so she is now unemployed.

She said the thing that upset her the most was when her former employer told her that her bilingual replacements wages were being subsidized 50 per cent by some sort of government program. I was flabbergasted that taxpayers’ dollars are being used in this manner.

If an employer felt that bilingualism was now a requisite for that position, would it not make more sense to give that employee a chance to upgrade their language skills to a level that would satisfy their employer?

After all, every employer has a certain amount of investment in every employee, even if it’s just the training that’s involved in learning the ins and outs of that particular position. It would seem that upgrading present staff language skills would be the better choice, especially someone that has been there a number of years. But, I guess if you’re an employer who only looks at the bottom line, getting the government to pay 50 per cent of a seasonal employee’s wages makes sense.

In my opinion, using taxpayers’ dollars in this manner is dead wrong.

John E. Clow,

Summerside, P.E.I. 

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