Canadian Contractor

Robert Koci   

Skilled workers among top priorities in new Parliament

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Last week's throne speech outlined the government's commitment to better fund apprenticeship training and municipal infrastructure, remove credentialing barriers across provincial and territorial lines and tighten up rules in the Temporary Foreign Worker program -- all measures designed to increase opportunities for those in the building industry, says the Canadian Home Builders' Association.

By Brynna Leslie

The federal government has reiterated its commitment to increasing opportunities for skilled trades, particularly in areas of the country where they are most needed.

Among the top priorities outlined in the Speech from the Throne on October 16, was a promise to work with provinces and territories to remove credentialing barriers — those that have been criticized for decades for preventing the flow of workers across provincial borders to areas of demand.

“In a dynamic economy, workers must be able to use their skills, wherever in Canada they choose to work,” said Governor General David Johnston. “Our government will work with provinces and territories to improve credential recognition and enable the free movement of skilled workers.”


The government has also indicated that it will provide better funding and jobs grants to those seeking apprenticeship training, while at the same time tightening up the Temporary Foreign Worker program to ensure Canadians get the “first chance at available jobs.”

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association was quick to commend the government for prioritizing the needs of its 8,500 member companies.

“We are pleased with the government’s strong commitment to skills training,” wrote Kevin Lee, the chief executive officer of CHBA. “We look forward to collaborating to ensure these initiatives address our economy’s critical skills gaps.”

The CHBA also noted that increased funds for municipal infrastructure is also a significant step forward.

“Federal infrastructure investments should serve to improve housing affordability, so long as these remain focused on core infrastructure like roads, water and wastewater treatment, and public transit,” wrote Lee.

Find the full text from the throne speech here.





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