The Telegraphed Gazette. 14 April 2014.
Hello folks and welcome back to the Telegraphed Gazette for the 14th of April 2014, in the headlines today: McDonalds is facing investigations over their use of foreign workers, 900 SIN numbers have been stolen from Revenue Canada because of the heartbleed bug, and the Vancouver school board considers giving students a week off in November. Let us begin shall we?
McDonalds is in some hot water after more evidence surfaces regarding their use of temporary foreign workers who take on full time positions rather than Canadians. According to the article from CBC news McDonalds franchises across the country are making use of foreign workers to staff their shops rather than looking to hire local Canadians to do the jobs. The article lists several former workers who have either lost their jobs because of the foreign worker program the Canadian government has in place, or have since left their jobs because of a reduction of hours in order to give the full time postings to the foreign workers. Now this is a very real issue here as many Canadians are still feeling the bite of the economic downturn and are looking for work wherever they can find it – especially if there is a family to feed. Now one former worker in the article noted that if they tried to complain about poor treatment at the workplace, it could be seen as racist and therefore their complaint would either be thrown out the window, or they would be fired on the spot – the worker cited that mangement positions were occupied by foreign workers as well.
Here is the problem, these foreign workers have no connection to the local population and are therefore not interested in helping their co-worker. “Now Mr. Writer” some of you may say, “what about the concept that all are equal?” Yeah keep dreaming pal; many of these foreign workers love to identify themselves as foreign and are proud to display the colours of their homeland – remember our concept of equality may not be shared by the rest of the world. That is problem number one. Problem number two is that these franchises love to maximize profits and minimize expenses, and Canadian workers generally prefer a higher wage in order to actually make a decent living off of their labour. Therefore to combat the issue of rising wage costs, these companies would far rather slap down a $2,000.00 deposit to recruit a foreign worker who will take the minimum wage offered by the company; key reason being that when you do a currency exchange it becomes gold over where they are from, and not just pennies for pay.
These fast food franchises have no love of country – they never did to begin with. These fast food companies only look to make money – such is the nature of their existence. Therefore does it really come as a surprise when foreign workers are preferred over Canadians? Call the people lazy all you like, but even you the reader would love to earn a decent wage if you are working at a place like McDonalds or Starbucks. Emperor be damned even a university degree these days gives you nothing as many of the business and technology sector jobs are also given over to foreign workers like the whole incident involving the Royal Bank of Canada or RBC: they contracted out IT work to foreign countries months ago. The government may have had slip-ups in the past, but this is just utter tripe: Ottawa should know better and should do more to protect those who they claim to represent. What a wonderful democracy no?
However there is one key factor they forgot in their number crunching: if the locals do not buy from your shop, who will? When the locals find out that you are not hiring their kinsmen, who will buy from you? Short term yes they will save money and even make a bit more in the process, but in the long run when the locals of a given town or city find out that you are not hiring their fellow countrymen to work at your establishment will they continue to support your business? Burgers are not like video games, they cannot be sold digitally, and so you are at the mercy of those around you, and if your store does not hire the local populace, then the local populace may not – will not – come into your shop and give you business. Try swallowing that truth: the link to the story is located below this paragraph.
Canada Revenue Agency has reported 900 SIN (Social Insurance Numbers) numbers have been stolen during a 6 hour span of the announcement of the heartbleed bug and the subsequent shutdown of their website. According to CBC news the Revenue Agency is offering free credit protection to those affected, and the RCMP has launched an investigation into the breech. According to the article the Revenue Agency suspects that the numbers were taken from a non-accessible portion of the site, though nothing is being confirmed (apart from the 900 stolen numbers) at this time.
Great now people will be in panic over who is part of this special 900 persons brigade: you would think the Revenue Agency would not use OpenSSL but rather stick to a more reliable form of online security and privacy for their users. Regardless this heartbleed bug has caused quite a stir as of late, and the loss of SIN numbers is a serious issue indeed. Here in Canada, for those of you outside of this country, a SIN number is required for employment as well as other government services: in short if a SIN number were to be stolen private information such as taxation and employment history could be at risk – not to mention other private details such as date of birth and so forth. SIN numbers are the centerpiece to our collection of important data and having it stolen could spell identity theft and worse. Indeed terrorists would go out of their way to buy stolen information to forge documents for travel: think you are secure and have no need to worry? Picture this: you travel to – say – the USA on vacation, suddenly you come up on their computer lists as a potential terror suspect because someone used your information to enter the US and cause trouble. Guess who gets to sit in a detention cell for eight hours before being deported? That is right readers, you. Other countries are also not going to let a flagged person enter their system and disappear amongst the locals: now you cannot travel.
The article quotes an expert who predicts that the 900 people affected are those who accessed the site before the shutdown; thus anyone who filed their taxes before the bug discovery or after the sites’ reboot this past Sunday are safe. Those who were unfortunate enough to access the site prior to the shutdown and just after the bug discovery may be at risk. Whatever the case the people who file their taxes online might just make their way back to paper-based tax returns: after all dropping it off at the actual Revenue Canada building in your respective city is a guaranteed way to ensure those taxes are done and no information has gone missing. The article is located at the bottom of this paragraph.
More days off seems to be the order these days according to yet another article from CBC – good heavens they seem to have a monopoly on this edition of the Telegraphed Gazette. Due to budget shortfalls the Vancouver School Board is considering giving students a full week off from school to save some money from their operating budget. Currently students get Remembrance Day off and the school board also approved an additional day off in November. The VSB also plans on cutting the elementary school band program but will not immediately take action until the end of their scheduled public hearings on April 15 2014. Parents are already complaining with some saying that they will have an even harder time finding work as their kids will have more time off and thus it will either come down to more daycare money, or more time off – the latter being less favourable with employers who need their workers on site, especially when they only have a few workers employed.
The main concern from this end (the writer’s desk) is whether or not the week off would result in shortened semesters which start to feel more and more like university semesters. Currently an average public school semester in British Columbia is about five months long with the last month focused more on exams and preparation. University semesters span an average of four months with three being actual instruction time and the last one spent on exams. Now if one were to immediately blame the provincial education minister, remember that teachers have always been asking for more resources: more money for pay, small class sizes, more equipment, more funding, and so forth. Money does not grow on trees, and with the population growing once more smaller class sizes may not be an option in the near future. Adding to the issue is the fact that the province has a limited amount of resources to distribute between its various jurisdictions, and when push comes to shove, education can be shaved down to just books and study – completely removing programs like sports and music out of the equation (physical education not withstanding). The parents of the city of Vancouver wait patiently for the VSB to decide what to do in the coming months: the story is located below this paragraph.
Alright folks this concludes the Telegraphed Gazette for the 14th of April 2014: thanks for reading and I will see you next time.