TORONTO, March 26, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, today spoke at the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) Labour Relations Symposium to encourage cooperative labour relations. She also emphasized the Government's support services available for collective bargaining negotiations such as mediation and conciliation.
Minister Leitch highlighted measures in Economic Action Plan 2014 that address the skills and labour shortages faced by the electricity industry and encouraged employers to hire from under-represented groups, including Aboriginal people, women, people with disabilities and visible minorities. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of employers investing in skills training through the Canada Job Grant program.
- The annual symposium held by the CEA brings together human resource professionals in the electricity industry to examine issues and trends in collective bargaining.
- The electricity sector will need to recruit 45,000 employees, or over 40 percent of the current workforce, between 2011 and 2016 to replace retiring workers and meet the expanded demand of a growing workforce.
- The Conference Board of Canada estimates that the renewal of Canada's electricity infrastructure will create 150,000 job openings each year over the next 20 years.
- The Canada Job Grant program will provide up to $15,000 per person for training costs, including tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in federal contributions. Employers would be required to contribute, on average, one-third of total training costs.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 builds on previous commitments to ensure federal funding and programs are directed towards meeting labour market needs.
- Over the last five years, more than 94 percent of collective agreements within the federal jurisdiction were settled without a work stoppage when the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was involved.
"Our government is focused on lowering taxes, balancing the budget and growing the economy for the benefit of all Canadians. At the same time, collaborative and stable labour relations are an important component to building a strong and competitive economy. I share the Canadian Electricity Association's goal to continue to foster a labour relations culture based on cooperation and dialogue."
- The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
"As we continue to renew and build the electricity system of tomorrow, attracting and retaining an expert work force, supported by collaborative labour relations, is critical. The CEA applauds the federal government's commitment to addressing the sector's skilled labour shortage and helping to ensure that Canadians have reliable, cost-effective and sustainable electricity for years to come."
- Jim Burpee, President and CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association
Founded in 1891, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) is the national forum and voice of the evolving electricity business in Canada. The Association contributes to the regional, national and international success of its members through the delivery of quality value-added services.
The CEA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of senior executives from its Corporate Utility Members. The CEA offers members a broad range of innovative programs and services in addition to delivering a coherent and convincing industry viewpoint to decision makers on critical policy and regulatory issues.
CEA members generate, transmit and distribute electrical energy to industrial, commercial, residential and institutional customers across Canada every day. Members include integrated electric utilities, independent power producers, transmission and distribution companies, power marketers and the manufacturers and suppliers of materials, technology and services that keep the industry running smoothly.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: