Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

August 02, 2006 15:46 ET

Canadian government on wrong track on foreign workers

Made in Canada policy should be the priority to address skill needs

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 2, 2006) - The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council announced its dismay with the announcement by Immigration and Citizenship Minister Monte Solberg to establish temporary foreign worker units.

"The Canadian Government should not be announcing a policy that would give away jobs at a time when thousands of Canadian construction workers are underemployed or unemployed," said Patrick Dillon, business manager and secretary-treasurer of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. "The priority has to be getting work for Canadian citizens before bringing in workers from abroad."

In a recent letter to Prime Minister Harper, Mr. Dillon stressed the need to get an accurate picture of the number of unemployed or underemployed people in the construction industry before Canada seeks foreign workers to meet skills needs. Once that has been done the following priorities should apply:

* Assessing the training capacity of the not-for profit training centres.
* Attracting unemployed and underemployed Canadian youth to the construction trades.
* Providing incentives for unemployed and underemployed Canadian workers to meet regional skills shortages.
* Strategic immigration to meet specific skills needs.
* Temporary foreign workers (peak employment needs for a specific time frame for a specific area).

Dillon stressed the need to focus on the first three priorities before consideration is given to the other ones.

"It is interesting that this announcement comes on the heels of the Canadian Construction Association's letter to the Prime Minister on the skills issue," stated Dillon. "Let's look first for a made in Canada solution to temporary regional skill shortages such as tax or other incentives to help unemployed people use their skills where they are needed."
/For further information: Patrick J. Dillon, Business Manager 416-828-6617/ IN: ECONOMY, LABOUR, POLITICS

Contact Information