EMERGENCE Canada Project

EMERGENCE Canada Project

April 15, 2005 06:00 ET

Global Sourcing – a threat or a promise?

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, Education Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 15, 2005) - With daily news stories about call centers in India; data entry in the Philippines or Software development in Romania, offshore outsourcing has become one of the most controversial and anxiety-provoking topics in Canada today. But are these developments a threat to Canadian jobs? Or can offshoring be a means to regenerate our regional economies? Surprisingly, to date there is almost no hard evidence.

Representatives from government, labour, academia and industry are convening in a workshop today on Parliament Hill from 8:30 to 12:30 in 209 West Block to review the evidence and discuss the policy implications of offshore outsourcing.

The workshop is being organized by EMERGENCE Canada, a project based at the University of British Columbia Centre for Human Settlement and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada through the Initiative in the New Economy Program. Ursula Huws, Director of the global EMERGENCE project will present the results from research already carried out by the project in Europe, Asian and Australia to provide the global context for the preliminary findings from the EMERGENCE Canada Project to be presented by Penny Gurstein, Project Director of EMERGENCE Canada. Norene Pupo from the Centre for Research on Work and Society, York University will present on government sector outsourcing.

A panel moderated by Andrew Sharpe, Centre for the Study of Living Standards and featuring presentations by Peter Julian, MP Burnaby (New Westminster), Kevin Wennekes of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, Jane Stinson of CUPE, and Chris Benner from Pennsylvania State University will discussion the policy implications of global sourcing.

"Outsourcing, insourcing, offshoring, nearshoring - have transformed who does what work, when, where and how", said Dr. Penny Gurstein, Lead Investigator of the EMERGENCE Canada Project. "Because of the lack of attention being paid to these transformations, Canadian society may soon find itself hard pressed to respond to this global phenomenon".

To date, the interdisciplinary, international EMERGENCE research team, of which EMERGENCE Canada is part, has conducted over 150 case studies of companies in 18 different European countries, Australia, Canada, United States, and 12 Asian countries in relation to the global outsourcing and work relocation patterns that are emerging as a result of information communication technologies. The Canadian project, to be completed at the end of 2006, is expected to include 17 in-depth case studies of Canadian firms that outsource their activities or provide outsourcing services to other companies within Canada and abroad.

The workshop will be held from 8:30-12:30 in 209 West Block on Parliament Hill. Media are invited to attend. Panelists and presenters will also be available at 12:30 for interviews.

Additional information on the Canadian and International EMERGENCE Projects is available at http://www.chs.ubc.ca/emergence/
/For further information: Ursula Huws Global Project Leader analytica@dial.pipex.com +44 77 11 32 92 67 Henri Sader Parliamentary Assistant to Peter Julian MP 613-992-4215/ IN: ECONOMY, LABOUR, TECHNOLOGY, TELECOMM, OTHER

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