Charlotte MacAulay

It is a bit ironic for government, both provincial and federal, to issue publications schooling the public on how not to discriminate through ageism when both have policies that cross the line.

Age discrimination is widespread with everything from the dismissal of a youth’s point of view being taken seriously to an elderly person being looked over for a job placement, or vise versa.

A document on the province’s website delves into the different aspects of ageism and how discriminating against people can be avoided.

Great advice, yet how many times do we see governments pitching in to help with wage subsidies or seasonal employment programs that are age specific.

The most prominent one this time of year is “if you are age 15 to 30 apply for this seasonal opportunity.”

Many of these positions are funded by government and they are the ones who put the stipulations in the applications.

But that just isn’t fair ball.

There is nothing wrong with the variety of skills training programs that allow people of different abilities to hone their skills or find a new employment path, but when it comes to funding age qualification shouldn’t play into it, especially in our seasonal economy where full-time employment is a pipe dream for many.

Whether you are 18 years of age or 50 plus if you are qualified to do a job it shouldn’t matter what year you were born.

Charlotte MacAulay

(1) comment


Ageism and sexism - albeit in subtle forms - are part of the fabric of life here on the island. Just look at 'the division of labour' in any of the businesses in Montague, from the banks to the grocery stores and most shops. The cashiers are almost all women and the stockers are almost all men. There are a few exceptions, of course, but it is archaic. There seems to be an unwritten rule that one only hires a woman for the front counter/desk/cash and only men are to be expected to lift, pack or shift things. When I first moved here it was like going back to the 1950's as far as sexism in the work place was concerned. I even applied once for a job at a semi-governmental business here in Montague for the position of office manager and the management level male who conducted the interview actually said, "I drove in from Charlottetown for this interview as you were the only male who applied for the job". Hardly a well advised thing to say. Last year at the meeting of TCAP shareholders I protested the personal music that certain members were being allowed to play over the sound system. Rap and metal featuring obscene and anti-social words and phrases. I was met with a wave of resistance from some of the younger people in the room including a gratuitous comment from one of the staff members about whether or not I would even recognize certain groups or styles of music. I responded politely but came close to telling him that long before his parents were even in their twenties I was going to Iggy Pop concerts in the Village in New York, had met Mick Jagger at a party and that now I listen to trance, reggaeton and progressive music that I would wonder if he had ever even heard of. So, ageism and sexism is a fundamental, and to me at least, unchallenged way of thinking and acting here.

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