Just imagine what it would be like to lose your job, then your house and family, then be told that you must move along, out of your house, all because the social order around you broke down? Now think about the people who live in one industry towns in British Columbia who, right now, will be facing layoffs because of the high Canadian Dollar, and the nearly dead US housing market as lumber companies begin to shut down. My friend Mark, who currently lives just North of Prince George, BC will be receiving his last pay cheque next week as his employer is throwing in the towel–taking the town with it because of the economic down-turn.
He is married with two young children and a five year old mortgage. The pressures on his family are tremendous as he fights to keep what little integrity he has left while paying the bills. He knows that the house is gone. One sure sign of a pending recession is the Banks contracting any lending, especially to those who are capital rich. As cash becomes harder to generate, so does the affairs of keeping and maintaining the family needs. They will be forced to move, giving up their house, friends and support.
His wife has already told him that she is at the breaking point–she is scared of the uncertainty–and has decide to separate and move in with her mother, along with their two children. For Mark, this is a devastating blow because the he told me that his marriage was on shaky ground to begin with. I know he is a fighter and that he will pull through this, it is just a matter of time, but time is something that he does not have much of right now as he deals with the crashing world around him. I hope his wife understands that this is no one’s fault, just the sign of the times.
All the work is here in Vancouver, but for him to live here is out of the question because of the high cost of living. To buy a house down here is way over priced and the current wages would never support a mortgage from the Bank, even to own a small house. I would never encourage renting here in the Lower Mainland because of the high percentage of “scams” that go on here. Unless you know the people that you are renting from, forget it, you will get screwed when they try to either take you to court for more money, or ask you to leave so they can adjust the rent to fit the market prices–don’t rent, don’t lease!
So Mark might try Ontario. His wife objects to that idea, but frankly I don’t think they have much of a choice unless her mother doesn’t mind him moving in too? This is a huge blow for him because he had the middle class dream: his own home, two cars and a family. To loose it because of an economic crunch is not right. But I do not have a family, nor the responsibility of dealing with a home, so I can’t be judgemental other than saying that I don’t agree with loosing everything because of money. But I do know Mark is like hundreds of other workers in British Columbia, loosing their jobs in one industry towns while other communities are booming, and I fear the worse is yet to come as the markets begin their descent.