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Found 12 results

  1. Provinces to clear way for workers MARIANNE WHITE, Canwest News Service Published: 7 hours ago Canada's premiers and territorial leaders reached a deal yesterday to remove labour mobility barriers across Canada beginning next year. The agreement, inked at the Council of the Federation meeting in Quebec City, will make it easier for workers trained in one province to do their job in another province. "We believe working people and their families want to have a situation where they do not have to go through 13 separate accreditation processes, but rather one accreditation process," Manitoba Premier Gary Doer said at a news conference. "We believe that a nurse is a nurse, a teacher is a teacher, a welder is a welder," he added. Quebec Premier Jean Charest said it is important for professional qualifications to be recognized across the country as provinces face worker shortages. "There are serious mobility constraints in about 25 per cent of jobs in Canada, so our task is to smooth away those last difficulties to create the most stimulating market," said Charest, who hosted the meeting. The provinces expect full labour mobility to be effective on April 1, 2009, but will still have to work out how to harmonize professional credentials among provinces at a future meeting. And certain professions will be exempted. Provincial labour ministers are to meet at a later date to develop a list of the exempted professions. It could, for example, include pharmacists, who are allowed to write prescriptions in Alberta but not in other provinces. "We're very pleased with the significant progress we made this morning on labour mobility," said Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach. "This is a bold step forward." Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said the agreement makes the country more competitive. "I'm not worried about Alberta and B.C., I'm worried about China, India, the U.S. and Europe," he said. "Also, I've got 100,000 jobs in Ontario that I can't fill." The premiers and territorial leaders also expressed worries about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). "We feel it's very important as provinces and territories to do our share to nurture this relationship (NAFTA) and defend what is the most important trade relationship in the world," Charest said on behalf of his counterparts. "There is a shared concern about the future of NAFTA, and we feel the federal government needs to be very vigilant in defending NAFTA and making it very clear that if Americans choose to question this trade agreement, everything will be on the table." Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has said he might want to renegotiate NAFTA if he is elected Also yesterday, the premiers approved a new mechanism to resolve internal trade disputes that will include an enforcement tool. The old dispute system is based on consensus and contains no binding settlement mechanism or penalties. "The former mechanism was weak, anemic and without effects," Charest said. The new formula also provides for penalties of up to $5 million for failure to comply with the terms of the agreement. The dispute mechanism will be implemented as of Jan. 1.
  2. Montreal shopkeepers told to put brooms away Graeme Hamilton, National Post Published: Saturday, July 19, 2008 A labour arbitrator has ruled that sweeping sidewalks in Montreal is the exclusive domain of the city's blue-collar unionized employees. The arbitrator found a bylaw on keeping Montreal tidy violates the city's collective agreement.Dave Sidaway, Canwest News Service File PhotoA labour arbitrator has ruled that sweeping sidewalks in Montreal is the exclusive domain of the city's blue-collar unionized employees. The arbitrator found a bylaw on keeping Montreal tidy violates ... MONTREAL - A bylaw adopted last year obliging shopkeepers and apartment owners in downtown Montreal to sweep in front of their properties has spruced up the city. Fewer cigarette butts and fast-food wrappers litter the sidewalks, and garbage bags are no longer left out for days before the trucks pass. But acting on a complaint from the union representing Montreal's blue-collar employees, a labour arbitrator has ruled that the bylaw violates the city's collective agreement with its workers. Sidewalkcleaning is the exclusive domain of the blue-collars, arbitrator Andre Rousseau concluded, and the city has no business enlisting "volunteers" to do the work. The decision effectively means that city sidewalks and streets are a closed union shop, so anyone taking a broom in hand had better watch out. The blue-collars are notoriously jealous of their turf. In 2003, workers waged a campaign of intimidation against private contractors who had been hired by the city for such jobs as cutting grass and repairing sidewalks. Jean-Yves Hinse, Montreal's director of professional relations, said the city will appeal the ruling to Quebec Superior Court. "If it is interpreted broadly, not a minute goes by that we are not breaking the collective agreement," Mr. Hinse said. "Someone is picking up some paper, someone is sweeping his balcony." Mr. Hinse also worried that the ruling undermines efforts to foster a sense of civic responsibility in Montrealers. "We don't want Montreal to become a dump," he said. "Everyone has their responsibilities. We want citizens to have the responsibility of keeping their surroundings clean and safe. It's an appeal to their civic virtues." The cleanliness bylaw was introduced in 2007 after city officials despaired that Montreal was becoming overrun with garbage. Fines range from $125 to $2,000 for individuals, depending on the seriousness of the offence. Companies can be fined up to $4,000. Benoit Labonte, Mayor of the downtown borough of Ville-Marie, boasted last month that 2,700 tickets had been issued in the first year of the bylaw's application, with fines totalling more than $1-million. "I congratulate all citizens, because during the past year we have seen a clear improvement in the cleanliness of the borough," he said. But the bylaw had been in force less than a month when Michel Parent, president of the blue-collar union, filed a grievance complaining the city was assigning blue-collar work to "volunteers or non-profit groups," which is not permitted under the collective agreement. The city countered that it was simply imposing duties on property owners, who are not volunteers in the sense of the collective agreement. Mr. Rousseau concluded that sweeping the streets and sidewalks customarily falls under the blue-collars' jurisdiction. The bylaw, he said, "patently aims to give citizens responsibilities similar to those that are usually given to blue-collar employees." He ordered the city to ensure cleaning of sidewalks, roads and laneways was done by its employees. Mr. Parent said the city should hire more workers if it wants a tidy city. "If this is work that was done by blue-collar employees, it should continue to be done by blue-collar employees," he told Radio-Canada. "We are fighting to save those jobs." Peter Sergakis, an outspoken property owner who was initially critical of the bylaw, acknowledged that the city is now cleaner. "The blue-collar workers wouldn't bend to pick up a cigarette butt. They're spoiled," he said. "I don't have much faith that they're going to clean the sidewalk. I think we're going to go back to the dirt." The case is unlikely to help the union's image problem. Union members were suspected of vandalizing private contractors' equipment during a labour dispute and dumping pig manure in the apartment building of an elected city official. In the winter of 2006, as potholes cratered Montreal streets, an internal city investigation secretly followed three work crews. The 10 workers enjoyed marathon lunch breaks but only managed to fill nine potholes over three days. [email protected]
  3. Less Charter, more economy. MONTREAL — There was an initial sense among many observers that the Liberal election victory would be good for the economy, at least in the short run. It’s true that some measure of political stability will return to the province as the PQ’s divisive Charter of Quebec Values is thrown in the wastebasket and as the immediate risk of a referendum on sovereignty is removed. But the sobering truth is that Quebec could face years of mediocre economic growth unless it undertakes some major structural reforms. That warning came this week from Glen Hodgson, senior economist at the Conference Board of Canada, who said Quebec is heading for a prolonged period of economic underperformance unless decisive steps are taken by government and the private sector. “Quebecers could face the disagreeable prospect of deteriorating public services combined with a rise in income taxes” unless the province’s competitive position improves, he wrote in an opinion piece in La Presse. Interviewed Tuesday, Hodgson noted that over the past couple of years, during a period of economic recovery, Quebec has been unable to do better than a growth rate of around one per cent. That raises the question: What’s in store once the North American economic cycle shifts back to recession? The current underperformance has weakened the government’s fiscal position and made it less able to withstand the next economic downturn. Combined with a slowdown in private investment and little growth in the job market, this is playing havoc with government revenues. There are reports that the $2.5 billion deficit projected for 2013-14 may run as high as $3.3 billion once the Liberals get a full picture of public finances. Meanwhile, Quebec’s public debt is the highest in Canada, equalling about 50 per cent of its economic production. The Conference Board estimates growth of two per cent this year as the recovery in the United States picks up steam and extends into next year. “But the recovery will not last,” said Hodgson, “because the foundation for growth in Quebec is not solid.” The province’s long-term growth potential is around 1.5 per cent, he says, which will put it behind the eight ball. “You can’t grow at 1.5 per cent and be able to pay for health care when it’s growing at five per cent.” One doesn’t have to look far to find the reasons for Quebec’s troubles. “It’s really driven by demographics, private investment and productivity,” Hodgson said. Demographic forces are hitting Quebec harder than Ontario, which is also struggling with a weak economy. As active participation in the Quebec labour force declines, paying for expensive government programs like health care and education will get more difficult. The Conference Board projects growth in the labour force of just 0.5 per cent after 2015 as baby-boomer retirements kick in. Compensating for that reduction will require integrating more immigrants into the economy, providing more job training and boosting productivity. Former Liberal finance minister Raymond Bachand says he’s optimistic that some of those hurdles can be overcome. Bachand has agreed to head a new economic think tank called the Institut du Québec, which will be a joint venture between the Conference Board and the HEC business school in Montreal. The goal, he says, is to stimulate public debate with evidence-based research on the economy and public finances. Too many think tanks these days have a political bias, he believes. “We’re going to come up with a fiscal outlook in the next few weeks as our first piece of research,” Bachand said. “We know that we have a demographic challenge. We need the labour market to be healthy. “We have to get private investment back and we have to get our health costs under control. That’s the real goal of the Institut: to contribute to the debate from a fact-based point of view.” Between the Conference Board and HEC, the joint venture will have 400 researchers at its disposal to try to contribute to the debate. That should help the new finance minister and other government players get a better sense of the policy options available.
  4. Canada ranks 2nd among 10 countries for cost competitiveness, says KPMG THE CANADIAN PRESS 03.29.2016 TORONTO - Accounting giant KPMG says Canada has proven to be second most competitive market in a comparison test of 10 leading industrial countries. In its report, KPMG says Canada lags only behind Mexico when it comes to how little businesses have to pay for labour, facilities, transportation and taxes. The report, which compared the competitiveness of a number of western countries along with Australia and Japan, found that a high U.S. dollar has helped Canada stay affordable despite rising office real estate costs and lower federal tax credits. When it comes to corporate income taxes, it found that Canada, the U.K. and the Netherlands had the lowest rates overall due to tax incentives to support high-tech and research and development. KPMG also looked at the competitiveness of more than 100 cities worldwide. It ranked Fredericton, N.B., as the most cost-effective city in Canada due to low labour costs and continued low costs for property leases. Montreal topped the list among 34 major cities in North America, followed by Toronto and Vancouver. The three Canadian cities beat out all U.S. cities. Although there have been concerns over the impact of a weakening loonie on the economy, having a low Canadian dollar has actually been "a driver in improving Canada's competitiveness and overall cost advantage," KPMG said. As a result, that has made it more attractive for businesses to set up shop north of the border than in the U.S., it said. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/canada+ranks+among+countries+cost+competitiveness+says+kpmg/11817781/story.html
  5. Further to my notes that YUL is a high volume low yield market, Lufthansa for summer 2016 has just loaded the high density A340 with only 18 business class seats. The operations will be done by Lufthansa-Jump, the white Star coloured A340s without Lufthansa logo's for labour reasons.
  6. U.S. jobless rate climbs to 5.7% JEANNINE AVERSA The Associated Press August 1, 2008 at 12:19 PM EDT WASHINGTON — The U.S. unemployment rate climbed to a four-year high of 5.7 per cent in July as employers cut 51,000 jobs, dashing the hopes of an influx of young people looking for summer work. Payroll cuts weren't as deep as the 72,000 predicted by economists, however. And, job losses for both May and June were smaller than previously reported. July's reductions marked the seventh straight month where employers eliminated jobs. The economy has lost a total of 463,000 jobs so far this year. The latest snapshot, released by the Labour Department on Friday, showed a lack of credit has stunted employers' expansion plans and willingness to hire. Fallout from the housing slump and high energy prices also are weighing on employers. The increase in the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, from 5.5 per cent in June, in part came as many young people streamed into the labour market looking for summer jobs. This year, fewer of them were able to find work, the government said. The unemployment rate for teenagers jumped to 20.3 per cent, the highest since late 1992. The economy is the top concern of voters and will figure prominently in their choices for president and other elected officials come November. The faltering labour market is a source of anxiety not only for those looking for work but also for those worried about keeping their jobs during uncertain times. Job losses in July were the heaviest in industries hard hit by the housing, credit and financial debacles. Manufacturers cut 35,000 positions, construction companies got rid of 22,000 and retailers shed 17,000 jobs. Temporary help firms — also viewed as a barometer of demand for future hiring — eliminated 29,000 jobs. Those losses swamped job gains elsewhere, including in the government, education and health care. In May and June combined, the economy lost 98,000 jobs, according to revised figures. That wasn't as bad as the 124,000 reductions previously reported. GM, Chrysler LLC, Wachovia Corp., Cox Enterprises Inc. and Pfizer are among the companies that have announced job cuts in July. GM Friday reported the third-worst quarterly loss in its history in the second quarter as North American vehicle sales plummeted and the company faced expenses due to labour unrest and its massive restructuring plan. On July 15, GM announced a plan to raise $15-billion (U.S.) for its restructuring by laying off thousands of hourly and salaried workers, speeding the closure of truck and SUV plants, suspending its dividend and raising cash through borrowing and the sale of assets. GM also said it would reduce production by another 300,000 vehicles, and that could prompt another wave of blue-collar early retirement and buyout offers. Meanwhile, Bennigan's restaurants owned by privately held Metromedia Restaurant Group, are closing, driving more people to unemployment lines. All told, there were 8.8 million unemployed people in July, up from 7.1 million last year. The jobless rate last July stood at 4.7 per cent. More job cuts are expected in coming months. There's growing concern that many people will pull back on their spending later this year when the bracing effect of the tax rebates fades, dealing a dangerous blow to the fragile economy. These worries are fanning recession fears. Still, workers saw wage gains in July. Average hourly earnings rose to $18.06 in July, a 0.3 per cent increase from the previous month. That matched economists' expectations. Over the past year, wages have grown 3.4 per cent. Paycheques aren't stretching as far because of high food and energy prices. Other reports out Friday showed stresses as companies cope with a sluggish economy. Spending on construction projects around the country dropped 0.4 per cent in June as cutbacks in home building eclipsed gains in commercial construction, the Commerce Department reported. And, manufacturers' business was flat in July. The Institute for Supply Management's reading of activity from the country's producers of cars, airplanes, appliances and other manufactured goods hit 50, down from 50.2 in June. A reading above 50 signals growth. The news forced Wall Street to reassess its initial positive reaction to the jobs data. The Dow, which opened higher, slid about 80 points by midmorning. The Federal Reserve is expected to hold rates steady next week as it tries to grapple with duelling concerns — weak economic activity and inflation. In June, the Fed halted a nearly yearlong rate-cutting campaign to shore up the economy because lower rates would aggravate inflation. On the other hand, boosting rates too soon to fend off inflation could hurt the economy.
  7. Salmond : No safe seat for Labour in Scotland The Scotsman samedi 26 juillet 2008 ALEX Salmond yesterday claimed there was no safe Labour seat left in Scotland as the full impact of the SNP’s sensational victory in Glasgow East emerged. The First Minister issued what amounted to a battle cry, suggesting the SNP would be unstoppable after ousting Labour from its third-safest seat. If the 22 per cent by-election swing was replicated across Scotland in a general election, it would leave just one of Labour’s 39 MPs in place – Tom Clarke in Coatbridge – with casualties including Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, and Chancellor Alistair Darling. The scale of the defeat piled further pressure on Mr Brown, who faced demands from Paul Kenny, the leader of the GMB union, and the Labour back-bench critic Graham Stringer, to consider his position. David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, said the defeat showed the country was desperate for change and challenged Mr Brown to call a general election after the summer. But Mr Brown refused to budge, saying he was "getting on with the job" while again trying to empathise with voters about the soaring cost of bread and eggs. Simple arithmetic shows that the SNP would have 49 MPs, the Liberal Democrats seven, the Tories one and Labour one if Labour’s vote collapsed in a similar manner at a general election. The calculation excludes the Glasgow seat currently held by the Commons Speaker, Michael Martin. As for what the result would mean if replicated in a Holyrood election, a source close to Mr Salmond said : "We are still doing our calculations, but there is no doubt that the swing last night would wipe out all Labour’s constituency MSPs. "They would receive some list MSPs in compensation for the proportion of their vote … but there is no doubt that we would be by far the largest party, although not necessarily in a majority." By-elections are unreliable indicators of future governments and success can often be short-lived. Of the four SNP by-election victories prior to the success of John Mason in Glasgow East, all but one failed to hold the seat at the subsequent general election. However, Mr Salmond yesterday maintained that Glasgow East’s voters had been in a "unique" situation. Rather than having a choice between a government and opposition, for the first time they were able to weigh the merits of two parties in power – Labour at Westminster and the SNP at Holyrood. There was also the belief among many Labour loyalists that their party had become "arrogant" and needed to be given a sharp kick, he told The Scotsman. "We have now demonstrated that there are no safe seats for the Labour party anywhere in Scotland," he said. "They used to say that it was the Tories who could only get one MP in Scotland." Several other factors also give the Nationalists hope that they are on the cusp of smashing Labour’s historic dominance in Scotland – and in particular in Glasgow. They point to the fact that the Glasgow East result was the first recent victory against a Labour government. In 1995 in Perth and Kinross, the Tories were in power at Westminster, as they were during the Govan victories of 1973 and 1988. It was only with the SNP’s first by-election victory in 1967 that it defeated a candidate representing a UK Labour government. Then there is Thursday’s turnout. At 42 per cent, it was only six percentage points short of the 48 per cent at the 2005 general election. This gives credence to the argument that electors would vote the same way in the next general election, due by June 2010. Labour could face an earlier test as Jack McConnell, an MSP and former first minister, will be forced to stand down from his Motherwell and Wishaw seat if his posting as High Commissioner of Malawi is activated next year as expected. Then there is the promised referendum vote in 2010, a year before the next elections to the Scottish Parliament. Roseanna Cunningham, who achieved the last SNP by- election victory when she took Perth and Kinross in 1995, said the benefits to the party this time were likely to be greater. This would be seen most obviously by an increase in younger supporters and a boost in membership. Asked what the victory would mean for the SNP’s hopes of ending decades of Labour dominance and driving forward its aim of independence, Ms Cunningham said : "What we can take from (the by-election] at an absolute minimum is that scaremongering about independence simply doesn’t work. That is the difference from between five or ten years ago. That is another sign you can’t simply frighten people away from voting SNP." Labour’s search for a new leader in the Scottish Parliament starts on Monday, following the resignation of Wendy Alexander, and many believe the amateurish attempts to canvass support in a supposedly rock-solid constituency – with imported teenage activists getting lost on a daily basis – showed the absence of a grass-roots organisation. However, Des Browne, Labour’s Scottish Secretary, said it was nonsense to suggest that a by-election result could be used as a guide to future voting intentions across the country. He said voters had wanted to register a protest against high prices caused by world economic conditions, and said Labour was already working to re-establish support in Glasgow. However, he did concede that it was a "significantly bad result". But he compared Glasgow East to the 1999 Hamilton South by-election, which Labour held by just 556 votes from an SNP charge with a virtually identical swing to Thursday. "I remember the SNP issued a press release, which my local paper carried, saying they were about to sweep me away on the basis of that," he said. "It wasn’t replicated at the general election and I have defended that seat twice since then."
  8. Montreal gladly reclaims its 'Hollywood North' tag BRENDAN KELLY, The Gazette Published: Thursday, May 10, 2007 It's amazing what a little labour peace can do for the film business. Only two months after a long, bitter dispute between two rival film technicians unions was finally resolved, local movie folks are positively euphoric as they gear up for their busiest period of Hollywood shooting in years. Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Evangeline Lilly and John Malkovich are all on their way to shoot in Montreal in the coming weeks, and Hans Fraikin - film commissioner at the Quebec Film and Television Council - said Hollywood filming in the city is definitely going to top last year's tally of $150 million. He thinks the total might actually inch toward the $200-million mark and he said the boom is directly tied to the resolution in late February of the feud between the Alliance quebecoise des techniciens de l'image et du son (AQTIS), the local film union, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), an American union. They were fighting over who should represent the province's film workers. Cate Blanchett: with Brad Pitt. "We were close to total industrial implosion at the beginning of the year," Fraikin said. "It was Armageddon. Now it's looking healthier than expected. But we worked hard on resolving the conflict and convincing people that Quebec was open for business again. And it's paying off." Local industry players got news this week that Death Race 3000 will be produced here. This is a remake of the 1975 cult classic Death Race 2000 that starred David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone in a story set in the future about a violent road race that takes place between New York and Los Angeles. The remake will star British actor Jason Statham and is being produced by Tom Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner. The other recent addition to the local film-shoot lineup is Get Smart, the big-screen adaptation of the classic 1960s spy-spoof TV series. Carell will star as goofball secret agent Maxwell Smart, Hathaway will play sultry Agent 99, and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson will play Agent 23, a newly created character. The producers will shoot only a part of the film here, spending around 20 days in town next month. Pitt and Blanchett will be here for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a Paramount production directed by David Fincher and adapted from the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story about a man who begins to age backwards. That film has already wrapped several months of shooting in New Orleans, and the filmmakers will be here for just eight days at the end of month. They will be filming Old Montreal as Paris and Moscow in winter, which will entail importing huge amounts of artificial snow. Far and away the biggest shoot on the way is The Mummy 3. The crew is already in pre-production for the third instalment in the Mummy series, which begins filming here July 27 and is expected to occupy several sound stages at Mel's Cite du Cinema studio right through to the end of the year. It is estimated that the producers will hire between 800 and 900 local technicians to work on the Universal Pictures project. Brendan Fraser - who was here last summer shooting a new version of Journey to the Center of the Earth - reprises his role as adventurer Rick O'Connell, but Rachel Weisz, who played his wife, will not be on board this time. Action star Jet Li will play the mummy, Michelle Yeoh plays a wizard, and 26-year-old Australian thespian Luke Ford will join the series as O'Connell's son. Filming will continue in China after the Montreal shoot. Kate Beckinsale has been here for a few weeks shooting Whiteout, a thriller about a U.S. marshal hunting a killer in Antarctica, and production has been under way here since late March on the U.S.A. Network series The Dead Zone, which stars Anthony Michael Hall. Alberta-born Lost star Lilly and Malkovich are due here in early June for Afterwards, a Canada-France co-production that co-stars Moliere lead Romain Duris. Brian Baker, business agent at the Quebec branch of the Directors Guild of Canada, said that one reason filming is booming is because the Hollywood producers are ramping up production to stockpile films in case of labour unrest in Hollywood next year. There is widespread speculation that both the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America could go on strike in 2008. "But that's not the whole story (behind the Montreal boom) because they're dying in Toronto," Baker said. Fraikin said the shoots are back in our city because the labour issues have been settled. "No producer is going to go anywhere near an unstable industrial environment," Fraikin said. "They can't take the risk." It also helped that two of the bigger hits of the first half of the year, 300 and Blades of Glory, were both shot at least in part here, reminding Hollywood producers that Montreal is a good location. [email protected]
  9. Ottawa is preparing to crack down on employment-insurance recipients who are not seeking work in areas where employers are forced to bring in foreign workers to fill jobs. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday the government wants to reduce disincentives to work by creating a “greater connection” between the EI program and the temporary foreign worker program, which is under Mr. Kenney’s purview. “What we will be doing is making people aware there’s hiring going on and reminding them that they have an obligation to apply for available work and to take it if they’re going to qualify for EI,” Mr. Kenney told the National Post editorial board on Wednesday. He was touting immigration reforms that will try to streamline the entry of immigrants and foreign workers, favouring entrepreneurs, innovators and those with high quality professional credentials. The reforms would require unemployed Canadians to accept local jobs that are currently being filled by temporary foreign workers. “Nova Scotia province-wide has 10% unemployment, but the only way Christmas tree operators can function in the Annapolis Valley is to bring in Mexicans through this agricultural worker program,” he said, also pointing to the increased number of Russians working in Prince Edward Island fish processing plants and Romanians working at the Ganong chocolate factory in New Brunswick. “Even on the north shore of New Brunswick, which has the highest unemployment in the province, the MPs keep telling me the employers definitely need more temporary workers. What’s going on here?” Minister of Human Resources Diane Finley will soon address the issue in further detail, Mr. Kenney said. The coming changes were first revealed in last month’s federal budget, which proposed spending $387-million over two years to align EI benefit amounts with local labour market conditions. The government will consider more measures to ensure the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will continue to meet those labour needs by “better aligning” the program with labour demands, according to budget documents. At the same time, businesses will have to have made “all reasonable efforts” to recruit from the domestic labour force before they seek workers from abroad. When an employer looks to the government for a labour market opinion, which is one step in getting approval to hire foreign temporary workers, Mr. Kenney said the government will soon point out the number of people on EI in that employer’s region and ensure the people collecting EI are aware of that job opportunity. “If you don’t take available work, you don’t get EI,” he said. “That’s always been a legal principle of that program.” http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/18/conservatives-want-unemployed-to-fill-jobs-going-to-temporary-foreign-workers-jason-kenney/
  10. Source: http://www.financialpost.com/working/story.html?id=272627 Montreal's aerospace sector skyrockets Hiring Overseas Christopher De Wolf, Canwest News Service* MONTREAL - There's no way around it: The Aerospace industry in Montreal is booming. So much, in fact, that a new report issued by the Conference Board of Canada credits it with being the main force behind Montreal's economy, which is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2008. Just last week, the federal government announced that Quebec aerospace companies will benefit from $660-million in contracts to build parts for new Canadian Forces airplanes. That should lead to even more job growth in the sector, which already counts 44,548 positions in Greater Montreal, an increase of more than 2,500 since 2006. For many companies, finding new employees is a challenge. That's the case for Alta Precision Inc., a 50-employee Anjou, Que.-based company that makes landing gear components. "Our biggest hardship in 2007 was finding the right labour," said Giovanni Bevilacqua, the company's director of business development. "We've actually been going to India and Romania to find new people. " Alta Precision needs to fill 15 positions, Mr. Bevilacqua said. He expects most of its new hires to come from overseas, where it is easier to find workers with several years of experience. But that doesn't mean it has given up on local talent: Last year, the company invested in advertising, headhunters and in-school recruitment to find new employees. Mr. Bevilacqua said that as a small company, Alta Precision has a hard time competing for workers with "big boys" including Pratt &Whitney. Jean-Daniel Hamelin, spokesman for Pratt & Whitney Canada, a Longueuil-based aircraft engine manufacturer, stressed that the diversity of aerospace employers in Montreal is what makes the industry so strong. "If you have an excellent pool of candidates and a large group of employees, they can seek the employer that best suits their need," he said. Last fall, Pratt & Whitney Canada hosted a job fair for the first time in years. "It was a real success," Mr. Hamelin said. "We had about 100 positions to fill and we ended up retaining 175 candidates." The company's workforce now numbers 5,700 in the Montreal area. One of Pratt & Whitney's greatest sources of new recruits are students from Montreal's post-secondary aerospace programs, including those offered by the Montreal Aerospace Trade School, the National Aerotechnical School and the engineering departments at McGill and Concordia universities. Serge Tremblay, president of the Center for Aerospace Manpower Activities in Quebec, a non-profit organization that works with major aerospace players to develop skilled labour in the industry, said innovation is key to Montreal's success. "[in Montreal,] we invest close to 10% of our sales in research and development. By investing millions of dollars a year, it's obvious that you're in it for innovation," he said. Bravo Chris, aka Kilgore Trout :-)
  11. New statistics from Citizenship and Immigration Canada suggests that mid-sized cities are beginning to attract an increasing number of immigrants due in large part to shifting economic and employment prospects. Government initiatives such as the provincial nominee program that allows provinces to select immigrants to fill specific labour needs; and the development of tools that help smaller centres draw and retain immigrants are some of the reasons attributed to his recent shift. In addition, a booming economy in Western Canada has lead to a surge of newcomers migrating to more rural areas thanks to the provincial nominee and family nominee programs enacted by the Government. The figures show the number of immigrants taking up residence in Toronto dropped to 87,136 last year from 99,293 a year earlier, a decline of roughly 12 per cent, while the number coming to Vancouver slipped to 32,920 from 36,273, a drop of just over nine per cent. Montreal was up slightly to 38,710 from 38,391. Meanwhile, Charlottetown was up 73 per cent to 801, Moncton 31 per cent to 343, Saskatoon 40 per cent to 1,618, Winnipeg 10 per cent to 8,472 and Red Deer 93 per cent to 567. It was a mixed picture in British Columbia's smaller centres, with gains in Kelowna, Chilliwack, Nanaimo and Victoria and declines in Kamloops, Abbotsford and Prince George. Despite these facts the preferred destination for the vast majority of immigrants are the larger cities, with 67 per cent of newcomers calling them home. The main reason for this is that larger cities tend to offer an established community of family and friends and a greater number of economic opportunities -- either low-skilled jobs that require few language skills or businesses that cater to particular ethnic groups. Interestingly, studies have shown that immigrants who settle in larger cities experience labour market advantages over those who settle in smaller cities and they can earn substantially more. Nevertheless, immigrants have begun to appreciate the advantages of living in a smaller city, away from the congestion, pollution, noise and stress of the big city. Many newcomers enjoy the smaller cities precisely because they are so different from the chaos, traffic and pollution of large cities. If you are interested in Visas to Canada, contact Migration Expert for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our visa eligibility assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to Canada. http://www.migrationexpert.com/Canada/visa/canadian_immigration_news/2008/Aug/0/538/Immigrants_Flocking_to_Canada's_Smaller_Cities_Where_Job_Growth_is_Strongest