I am writing in response to your editorial in volume 67 published on Jan 7 2015 titled “blessing turning into a curse”.
I find your story to be very offensive. I have worked construction in the oil and gas industry in this country for the better part of 35 years and feel that I can speak with a certain amount of experience.
You, sir, in my opinion, are drawing a lot of conclusions about a group of people that you appear to know very little about.
You are right that there are a lot of young people, new immigrants, migrant and transient workers in the group that you are speaking of.
If you take a look back throughout history those are the same groups that have built this nation and formed it into what I consider to be the best country in the world. I think this trend will continue far into the future. I have worked with thousands of construction workers over my career and I would like to say that you would be hard pressed to find a better group of people anywhere. The construction industry is a place where people are accepted on their ability to do a day’s work and have what it takes to withstand the elements that mother nature decides to throw at us. I have personally raised my family from the proceeds of the construction industry and I am proud to say that my children who are young adults now have chosen to do the same thing.
You are right that the oil and gas industry is a place where people can expect to earn a good rate of pay. It is also a place where you can expect to work long hours day after day away from the comfort of your home, family and friends.
Many of these people work at jobs that a lot of people would not even consider doing due to the dangerous environment they are subjected to on a daily basis.
I think you may be right that we may be in for some hard times in this country if the oil prices continue to remain low but I think that if you took a cross section of construction workers you would most likely find the same thing that you would find in any other profession as far as people who get involved in lifestyles that are not conducive to healthy living or the betterment of society in general.
You, sir, have a powerful tool at your disposal and I personally would like to see it used in a positive manner to maybe try and unite people who are confronted with hard times instead of driving wedges between neighbors.
Editor’s note: It is quite understandable that an oversensitive reader may have misinterpreted the essence of the article (it is not a story) despite agreeing to the observations contained therein. However, insinuating that the article is aiming to drive a wedge between neighbours is plain distortion and uncalled for.