February 6, 2016 10:34 pm
Updated: August 4, 2016 10:12 pm

500 people in Vernon line up for 50 jobs at Canadian Tire job fair

Hundreds line up in the Village Green Centre for a job fair held by Canadian Tire on February 6, 2016.

Lauren Pullen/Global News

The lineup at Vernon’s Village Green Centre kept going, and going, and going.

Approximately 500 people applied for 50 jobs – most of them temporary – at Canadian Tire today, as the company prepares to move Vernon locations into a larger location.

“We’re having a lots of a really good candidates. It’s easy early in the day to say you want to hire everyone, but you need to go through the process,” said Mark Corson, Canadian Tire General Manager.

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Corson says only about 20 of the jobs will likely be permanent, while the rest will be needed from February to June, as Canadian Tire stocks up and prepares for opening the store they purchased from Target last year.

“We’re hoping that the jobs we can carry into the store will be long-term jobs, so those people can be solidly with us for a long time,” he said.

One of those people hoping for a permanent job was Geoffrey Peter. Unemployed for three months, Peter joked that he didn’t realize he would have so much competition.

“It’s a sad commentary on the unemployment situation in the Okanagan,” said Peter.

“Something seriously needs to be done with our economy. We need job creation, because there’s a problem.”

British Columbia gained 1200 jobs in January, but the Okanagan has faced negative effects from increasing unemployment in Alberta.

READ MORE: Oil job losses, soaring food prices putting pressure on Kelowna food banks

Carson said of the eight people he personally interviewed in the second stage of the job fair today, two used to work in the Alberta oil patch before being laid off.

“They want to stay here in town, they don’t want to keep travelling, they don’t like the instability…they want to give us a shot,” he said.

– With files from Lauren Pullen

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