Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, is seen here at the former ET Kenney school building in Terrace during a tour with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh Aug. 19 (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)

Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, is seen here at the former ET Kenney school building in Terrace during a tour with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh Aug. 19 (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)

MP Taylor Bachrach shares Labour Day thoughts

Many front-line workers underpaid, undervalued, Bachrach says

Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena — Bulkley Valley, says workers’ rights and income inequality are at the front of his mind as the federal government enters a pivotal moment.

Bachrach sat down for a phone call with The Terrace Standard to talk labour issues ahead of Labour Day Sept. 7, less than a month before Parliament is set to resume with the minority Liberal government possibly facing a vote of confidence that could trigger an early election. Bachrach and the NDP are in a strong position to influence policy because they have enough seats to carry the Liberals through a vote of confidence, even if the rest of Parliament votes to bring the Trudeau government down.

Bachrach said one of the major issues facing workers in his riding is a problem seen across the country; front-line workers, such as grocery clerks, are underpaid and disrespected.

“The front-line essential workers, whose jobs are often undervalued in our society, are, in fact, essential to keeping our society running,” he said. “Unfortunately, many of them are poorly compensated, and my hope is that our experience in the pandemic will cause us, as a society, to rethink how we value different roles in our community.”

When asked if he had any words for people in his riding who are struggling or afraid because of the pandemic, Bachrach said the crisis provides an opportunity to usher in broad societal and economic change.

“I want them to know that we’ve got their backs and that we’re going to work to make sure that they not only have the help they need in the short term to get through this unprecedented time, but that long-term we’re going to fight for a recovery from the pandemic that includes them, and that their needs as workers aren’t going to be forgotten,” he said.

“One of the biggest challenges facing our country is economic inequality, and the fact that a very small number of Canadians are doing better and better all the time, while the gap between those that are doing very well and those that are struggling to get by continues to widen. That’s a problem that’s widely recognized as being bad for society.”

The NDP would address income inequality in part by closing tax-haven loopholes and taxing wealthy Canadians.

“The ordinary, everyday working resident of the Northwest is paying their taxes and contributing to the greater good, and unfortunately the system has been set up in such a way that there are a handful of people taking huge advantage of it,” he said.

Bachrach is known in his riding as an environmentalist, but he said his goal of fighting climate change is not at odds with fostering the resource-based economy upon which many workers in his riding rely.

“Fighting climate change means that we are going to re-tool many aspects of our society and our communities, and that re-tooling requires raw resources and skilled labour,” he said. “You look at the forest industry and the role that wood products can play moving forward, you look at the mining industry and the role that metals like copper are going to play as we move to electrify parts of the economy that have been fueled by fossil fuels, those are going to remain important, so I don’t buy into the notion that natural resource industries are at odds with climate action.”

“The needs of [resource economy] workers can’t be overlooked, and more than anything in our region, we need to look to build an economy in the future that is stable and resilient, where we can to try to buffer against the boom and bust cycles that have so dramatically affected our communities in the past, and in doing so we help create the stability for workers and their families that everyone wants.”

Bachrach was elected in last fall’s federal election, replacing New Democrat Nathan Cullen who decided not to run again.



jake.wray@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where one employee is still currently isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was first declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
54 positive COVID-19 cases associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

There’s been a two-person increase in positive cases since Tuesday (Dec. 1)

K-J Millar/The Northern View
8 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northern Health Authority

Since Nov. 27, there have been 191 new cases reported in NHA

Image courtesy CDC
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kitamaat Village

Haisla Nation Council said there are two confirmed cases they are aware of at this time

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

Most Read