Creeping Illiteracy Across Canada
It seems literacy isn't a top priority for hewers of wood and drawers of water. Literacy skills that a student develops in school can be lost in jobs where muscle memory is more important than reading comprehension. Literacy, it seems, can be a "use it or lose it" proposition.
Automation is no friend to the marginally literate. Unfortunately, automation is also targeting jobs where illiteracy rates can be highest.
Recent studies have found that upwards of half of Canada's adult population has some literacy/numeracy impairment.
The Oil Patch created a high school drop out problem, luring young people out of school with high wage jobs that required on-the-job skills but not formal education. Now, even those jobs are being automated as the bitumen traffickers need to slash operating costs to continue mining high-carbon/low-value pitch.
Another problem associated with weak literacy is a vulnerability to online disinformation - conspiracy theories, etc.
Governments today are rarely disposed to paying for errors and omissions of previous governments. They're much too busy creating errors and omissions for future governments. And, in provinces where the focus is on "everyday low taxes," there's not much surplus money in some treasuries to fund retraining. Yet we have to retrain as many of the literacy challenged as we can. If we don't we will still have to provide for them even as we consign them unnecessarily to an unacceptable future.