I appreciated Kathy Karlstrom’s comments in her letter of Nov. 30 (‘What comes next for TMX workers?’) that was about how laid-off employees will find wage-equivalent jobs.
It got me thinking about my past experience with a similar dilemma and how it is possible to not just come out of a situation, but actually thrive.
In 1999, my husband had a well-paying job and I lived a comfortable life. Shorty thereafter, he was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease that would result in his eventual blindness. I knew that if I wanted to maintain the quality of life I had become accustomed to, I would need to do something.
That “something” was education.
I started with a general education diploma I earned through a six-week night school course offered by TRU. I never looked back, graduating in 2006 with a master’s degree from Royal Roads University.
During my years as an adult student, I was thoroughly encouraged and supported by our education system. I was gifted with grants and bursaries and scholarships, some of which were based solely on my mature student status.
Many a night I utilized TRU’s on-campus math and English labs. I earned a great deal of my undergraduate credits using TRU’s flexible Open Learning online option.
I feel so grateful for Canada’s access to education programs.
I would encourage any of those working on the Trans Mountain piepline expansion project — and others — to consider my story as a possibility. Education was the way for me.
Perhaps letters like Karlstrom’s will lead to a post-TMX transition program, if one does not already exist.
There is a great deal of wage equivalent — and even much higher paying —opportunities out there.
Health care and technology are good examples.
The pipeline may become a lifeline for one individual. And I believe in the power of one.