That's Life - September 2, 2020

As the curtains close on the summer of 2020 we will always remember COVID-19 and the restrictions placed upon almost everything we usually took for granted.

Sports. Need I say more?

Parades, swimming pools, children’s activities, church services, weddings, funerals and let’s not forget the rodeos, car shows and the Calgary Stampede, all either cancelled or reduced to the point where we raised the white flag in order to comply with COVID conditions.

Now, here we are, the kids are back in school or at least back to on-line learning. Many, if not most of us, are being extremely cautious about where this takes us in our day to day lives.

About 20% of Calgary’s general education (K-12) students have remained on-line.

In the Golden Hills School Division that number is only about 5% across the board. We’ll check back for school enrollment figures at the end of September.

This weekend we welcome the Labour Day holiday. These days it’s mostly thought of as just another long weekend. That weekend where we try to squeeze in one more camping trip or maybe board up the cabin for another year.

But while you’re toasting marshmallows and putting another log on the fire, don’t forget that Labour Day began as a massive working class demonstration in the streets of Toronto. That was back in 1872.

Yes folks, even back in 1872 machines began to replace or automate many work processes. Employees found they no longer had specific skills to offer employers. Workers could easily be replaced if they complained or dissented and so were often unable to speak out against low wages, long work weeks and terrible working conditions.

I feel quite close to this holiday due to the fact that the Toronto Printers Union had been lobbying its employers (newspapers) for three years to get a reduced work day of nine hours. They threatened to strike but their demands weren’t met so they did strike and by doing so paralyzed Toronto’s publishing industry. The battle was on but to make a long story short, we all got another long weekend to enjoy. You can thank the printing industry for that.

Play safe. Stay healthy. Read a newspaper.

That’s Life.