Reflection on the "humble days" of Harjit Sajjan

Harjit Sajjan is the newly elected Liberal MP for Vancouver South. The other day he was talking about his "humble days when he picked fruit for a living".

By the measure of many Canadians, Mr Sajjan is a person of some note, having seen active service in the military, having been a policemen, and now being a member of parliament. It would be wrong, in my opinion, to think that Mr Sajjan the fruit picker was in any sense less than Mr Sajjan the elected MP.

Time and again we have news of corrupt and nasty behaviour by police and politicians. Soldiers, and former soldiers, seem to have a particularly common tendency to go off the rails. One seldom hears news of fruit pickers going rotten.

Sadly, all of our politicians think that fruit pickers should be poorly paid. That is why they make international trade agreements and import foreign labour. Otherwise, it would be necessary to pay fruit pickers better. Otherwise, a fruit picker might not be so "humble".

I can almost hear a patronizing politician say: "You don't understand. We need foreign labour because Canadians won't do this work."

I say: "Of course they won't because the wages are not commensurate with the effort required to be a fruit picker."

At this time, a bank economist joins the conversation: "It is vital to keep the labour cost down so that our farmers can compete with produce from other nations."

A Civil Servant enjoins: "We must keep food prices low. It improves my standard of living."

The politician wisely nods his head.

It's interesting that these powerful people do not use temporary foreign labour and international trade agreements to drive down their own earnings!