Applauds promotion of skilled trades and infrastructure funding
OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Merit Canada applauded several
initiatives announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty today as part of
the 2013 Federal Budget.
"We welcome the government's emphasis on the promotion of skilled
trades, and their commitment to addressing the troubling gap in our
economy's labour force needs" said Terrance Oakey, President of Merit
Canada. "As the centrepiece of today's budget, initiatives like the
Canada Job Grant respond to the needs of both employers and employees
alike and will help Canada's economy grow by ensuring Canadians have
the appropriate skills to fill a growing number of trade positions,"
"However, the regulatory environment around apprenticeships in some
provinces actually shrinks access to training opportunities. Whether
it's rules around apprentice-to-journeymen ratios or compulsory trades,
these rules are a hurdle to getting as many people as possible into
trades training. In that light, we are especially pleased to see the
federal government's commitment to work with the provinces to harmonize
regulatory requirements," stated Oakey.
According the Construction Sector Council, there will be a shortage of
over 300,000 skilled tradespeople in Canada by end of the decade.
Merit also welcomes the Building Canada Plan infrastructure commitments
contained in the budget, in the amount of $53.5 billion over ten years.
"While we recognize that this amount may fall short of the demands made
by some stakeholders, we would have much more sympathy for provinces
and municipalities if they eliminated closed tendering practices which
exclude non-unionized workers from undertaking work. These practices
deny taxpayers better value for their money, and getting rid of them
would allow infrastructure funding to go that much further," said
"Merit favours an open tendering approach for all publicly-funded
projects. We believe that all Canadians, regardless if they are
members of a union or not, should have the right to work on projects
funded by their tax dollars," said Oakey.
Merit Canada is the national voice of Canada's eight provincial Open
Shop construction associations. Open Shop companies and workers build
more than 70% of the industrial, commercial/institutional, and
residential construction projects coast-to-coast-to-coast. As of June
2011, the Canadian construction sector employed 1.26 million Canadians
with 900,000 working in the "open shop" sector.
SOURCE: Merit Canada
For further information:
President, Merit Canada