One should never underestimate what a job means for an individual and their family. I understand this all too well.

We are all aware that Cabot employs 500-plus employees in Inverness County every year. It should be noted that there are many full time positions within Cabot’s organization, and these folks are raising their families, building homes, volunteering in local organizations, supporting local churches, buying groceries at local stores, and gas at local stations. Some have roots here, while others from around the world, chose to make Inverness County their home.

It should also be noted that the seasonal workers employed by Cabot also contribute greatly to their respective communities, in the same way other seasonal workers who work in our fishery, tourism accommodations industry, our pubs and restaurants, etc. do.

The truth is, mill workers, teachers, business owners, retirees, university students, and more, benefit from these jobs. In addition, many individuals supplement their income which enables them to stay at home in Cape Breton rather than go away in search of work. For other individuals and their families, it results in thousands of hard earned dollars that get spent at local arenas, businesses, local farmer’s markets, etc.

One example some use in an attempt to downplay these 500-plus jobs is that of the position of a caddy. The truth is that these positions are very personally fulfilling. A caddy works outdoors in nature, promotes our beautiful island and communities, while at the same time creating a network of friends from all over the world, and from all walks of life.

A caddy walks between eight and 10 kilometres for every round of golf. Imagine how many thousands of kilometres some of these men and women have walked over the years and the benefits this brings from both a physical and mental health perspective.

The fact is that a local caddy in Inverness earns (including their hourly wage and tips combined) much, much more than many people realize. It doesn’t matter what side of the debate you are on. These workers (my colleagues) deserve greater respect than some of the comments made online and in print by those with an agenda; most of whom do not even live in Inverness County. The reality is that these workers fulfill a vital role for our tourism industry.

Best of luck to Cabot as well as your professional team of world class workers whether they are full-time or seasonal. Every job is important and has value.

A new Cabot course in West Mabou will bring greater opportunities, more full time and seasonal jobs, and more investment to the region leading to more economic spin off.

This makes sense on so many levels. Let’s hope that the Province of Nova Scotia listens carefully to our full time residents who have the most to gain from this venture.

Wesley Beaton