In fact, I did say that we had sectoral shortages, and I certainly agree that within your sector, you do. I don't have an argument with you. I have arguments with some of the rhetoric that's coming out about nationwide labour shortages. In fact, the Bank of Canada in its current monetary policy report said there is excess supply and unused capacity, and I don't think anybody would accuse the Bank of Canada as being an NDP mouthpiece.
To your point, though, I think it is important. In fact, I think it's unfortunate that we've cut sector councils, because some of the really valuable data we've been able to get from them about skill shortages are now no longer available to us.
I was really interested in your point, Mr. Atkinson, that in your industry in particular you can predict and now know that we will have shortages for 20 years, which is a really distant horizon. To me, that represents an opportunity as well as a challenge, because as you said in response to Mr. McColeman, you can't train somebody and you can't put somebody through an apprenticeship overnight. However, if we know that 20 years out we're going to have labour shortages, we can do what you suggest, which is to get young people engaged in the trades again and change the narrative that we've been feeding kids for so long, which, as you suggest, makes the trades an occupation of last resort. Instead, we can say, “You know what? People have made a really decent living in these jobs”. Those have been family sustaining jobs.
But it is about investments in training and supports for training. I think it is also, in the short term, about labour mobility. You acknowledged some of the recommendations made in the 2008 report. I wonder if you could maybe prioritize your recommendations them for the committee. If you had to say, here are five things we want the federal government to invest in, what would their order be in terms of investing to help your industry?