Opinion

EDITORIAL: Filipinos welcome in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Don't blame the Filipinos.

The recent stories about McDonald's and temporary foreign workers has shed light on how some store owners may or may not be following the rules of a certain federal government program.

It may have shined a spotlight on a certain segment of the population here in Parksville Qualicum Beach, specifically those from the Philippines.

They do not seek the limelight and they have done nothing wrong. In fact, they can be held up as a model of hard-working, loyal employees.

Who would blame a store owner for favouring workers who show up on time, follow instructions, show initiative, don't whine, take all the hours offered and have family values we would all do well to emulate? In fact, the local woman who has become the face of this foreign workers story in Parksville, Christina Morrow, has nothing but good things to say about the work ethic and reliability of her former Filipino co-workers.

The problems that have come to light recently revolve around whether local stores have used the government program to hire foreign workers when they may or may not have had qualified locals to do the job.

But, again, that has absolutely nothing to do with the foreign workers themselves.

We raise this after receiving some misguided comments from readers who for one reason or another want to point fingers at foreign workers as the root of problems. That is simply the wrong take on this situation.

The Filipino community has strong roots here. Often, one spouse will come to our area and work for years — somehow regularly sending money back to the Philippines from a small hourly wage. Eventually, the family is reunited here and often that couple will become permanent residents and sometimes they start a business as they raise a family, buy a house and put children through our school system. Isn't that exactly what we're been talking about here for years, attracting young families to secure the future of our region?

These people from the Philippines enhance the Parksville Qualicum Beach region. Their chosen route is something to be admired, not admonished.

— Editortial by John Harding

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