MacGregor Blaming Mission, Aboriginals, For Abbotsford Unemployment Simply Doesn’t Add Up

By November 10, 2014Municipal Politics

Release. AbbotsfordFIRST has stated that Abbotsford has the worst unemployment rate in Western Canada ( This number of course changes every month; however, Abbotsford has more often than not had the highest unemployment during the last 3 years.

Some current city Councillors disagree with our position. Whether Abbotsford has the highest unemployment rate in Western Canada or not, we can all agree it is too high. Some of AbbotsfordFIRST’s plans to stimulate the jobs market in Abbotsford include:

• Create a “Nexus” line for the permitting process to help businesses become operational.
• Improve transportation infrastructure to get business moving ie Fraser Highway Expansion.
• Grow the cargo transportation industry through the Abbotsford Airport.
• Encourage shop local programs to keep spending in our local economy.
• Enact incentives to attract the types of businesses which provide a large number of good jobs for the residents of Abbotsford.

It is the attitude of our current council that unemployment is not as bad as the numbers would suggest.

“… let me tell you that we DO NOT* have the highest unemployment in Western Canada as we are combined with Mission, Matsqui and two Aboriginal Reserves in the population data breakdown. This is known as Census Metropolitan Area or CMA and reflects the amalgamated group of which you can be assured that if Abbotsford were to be disaggregated our numbers would be more accurately reflected in the data. So once more things are not necessarily the way they seem.” (Q&A from Bill MacGregor, local media)

This view infers that our poor unemployment rate is due to the negative effect of the inclusion of Mission and our two First Nations Reserves in the data.

This statement is simply inaccurate. We have searched through the resources at our disposal and conclude the following:
The total combined number of unemployed living on our First Nations Reserves is 56 people. This has no appreciable effect on our unemployment rate. The overall variance is so minor, it is not statistically significant. Here is how we determined that there are only 56 people unemployed.

  • Sumas First Nations Reserve 174 Status Residents
  • Unemployment Rate 24.2% = 42 Unemployed Individuals
  • Matsqui First Nations Reserve 81 Status Residents
  • Unemployment Rate 16.7% = 14 Unemployed Individuals
  • Total Status Residents on Reserve = 255
  • Total Unemployed Individuals = 56

Source: Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada

Using the same methodology, if we presumed that Mission had an outrageously high unemployment rate like, for example, 10%, it would increase our overall unemployment rate by only .4 %.

The most recent statistics that we sourced had Mission’s unemployment rate equal to Abbotsford’s. Assuming the same situation applies today, then the total number of unemployed people in Mission would be ~2840 people which accounts for only 20% of the total unemployment of the CMA (Census Metropolitan Area).

The addition of these areas in the overall unemployment rate is essentially negligible.

Abbotsford does in fact have the highest unemployment in Western Canada and this must be addressed. Mission is NOT to blame for our high unemployment rates.

Our First Nations Community also cannot be blamed for our high unemployment rates. We cannot lay the blame for our unemployment where it does not belong.

AbbotsfordFIRST is dedicated to implementing solutions to these problems.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Deceit in Drugs says:

    With that kind of logic, one could day, when Abbotsford’s unemployment #’s go down it’s actually reflects ,a decrease in unemployment..
    Mission & Native Reserves?

    The fact is, Mission & Reserves make up only 1/4 of Population
    of Abbotsford Pop. geographic map..unemployment

  • The Editor says:

    Meghann Coughlan Hernandez Says:

    For Bill MacGregor to sit on his home near the top of Sumas Mountain, on unceded territory, snubbing his nose down at the reserve which is situated at the foot of a lake which colonisers drained whilst blaming 250 people for the unemployment rate of a stolen piece of land within arbitrary lines drawn in direct violation of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 for which he has been elected to manage by the descendants of those who attempted to eradicate, assimilate, sterilise and destroy the very people he speaks of… well, I don’t think I could adequately describe the level of disgust I feel for that man right now.

    From Facebook:

  • The Editor says:

    Bas Stevens Says:
    If MacGregor ever had a look at this site:…/greater-vancouver-property-tax…/, it would become very clear to him why Abbotsford has such high unemployment. Our residential property taxes are almost second to none; we rank in the top 2-3 for small business taxes and we are in the top 5-6 when it comes to business taxes! It is no wonder that small businesses looking to locate in the Valley either thumb their noses at Abbotsford on their way to Chilliwack or just plain not drive this far east. Langley offers them far better return on their investment!

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