Evidence of meeting #62 for Citizenship and Immigration in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was brunswick.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Laurie Hunter  Director, Economic Immigration Policy and Programs, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Ümit Kiziltan  Director General, Research and Evaluation, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Corinne Prince  Director General, Integration and Foreign Credentials Referral Office, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Donald Arseneault  Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick
Sonny Gallant  Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning, Government of Prince Edward Island
Charles Ayles  Assistant Deputy Minister, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Population Growth Division, Government of New Brunswick
Neil Stewart  Deputy Minister, Workforce and Advanced Learning, Government of Prince Edward Island
David Cashaback  Director, Immigration Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Michael MacDonald  Director General, Immigration Program Guidance, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Christopher Meyers  Director General, Finance, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

5 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

I'm happy to, but go ahead.

5 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

I would say that one thing we've seen in New Brunswick over the last several years is that they put all their eggs in one basket. I believe that New Brunswick has much more to offer and when you put all your eggs in one basket, you forget some other sectors are just as important. The forestry sector, the poultry sector, agricultural sector, transportation sector.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

So are you saying—

5 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

When we talk about—

5 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Just to interrupt, are you saying we put all our eggs in one basket so for the workers who are out of work because of the downturn in the energy sector it is somehow their fault that they're unemployed right now?

5 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

I did not say that.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Okay, so would you like to clarify, we have all of our eggs—

5 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

What I'm saying is that when we—

5 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Sorry, are you saying that these people who are out of work right now in their chosen field somehow should go and be employed in the dairy sector? Was that the implication of your comment?

5 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

What I'm saying is that over a number of years now the business community in New Brunswick is saying their number one challenge is the lack of a skilled workforce. And that's why we've talked about how we have to look at immigration as one those areas that can help New Brunswick.

My ADM just talked about all the various sectors—and they touch many parts of the province—where there's a need for workers. I'd be more than happy to...and we had campaigns throughout the country, including Alberta, to encourage New Brunswickers to come back home and work in other opportunities as well. And that doesn't mean that the energy sector is not an important sector in the province of New Brunswick.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Just to clarify, because I know that New Brunswick has a lot of natural resources, are you saying that people who are skilled in working in energy fields such as oil and gas fracking should not come to work in your province in that field?

5:05 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

No, I think you're saying that.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

You are in fact advocating for workers to work in a field such as fracking in your province.

5:05 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

Currently you cannot work in fracking in New Brunswick.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

So people who are out of work in Alberta—

5:05 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

There is a moratorium that was approved by the majority of New Brunswickers.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

So with regard to people who are out of work in Alberta and are from New Brunswick, you're trying to attract them back to New Brunswick, but there is no industry there.

They would have to go work in a different field. Is that correct?

5:05 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

Well, look, I would not go to the statement you make that there's no industry in New Brunswick, just like the comment in the previous panel saying there are no jobs in New Brunswick.

I think we've made it very clear. If you go on NBjobs, you'll have over 3,500 jobs on any given day.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

I'm missing the logic here.

You're trying to attract people, immigration to your province. There are a lot of people who are out of work who have these skills, yet your province doesn't allow this type of work to happen. It could conceivably add a lot of jobs and economic growth to your province.

How does a government develop an immigration program to attract workers to a field it has banned?

5:05 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

Again, you make it seem like there are no opportunities for employment in New Brunswick.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Where should people who are out of work in the energy sector from your province go?

5:05 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

When you look at New Brunswick, we do have a strong energy sector as well. We have a nuclear power plant. We have Coleson Cove, in the Saint John area.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

But nuclear isn't oil and gas production, correct?

May 29th, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.

Minister of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, Government of New Brunswick

Donald Arseneault

There's also a plant in northern New Brunswick, in Belledune. There's our Mactaquac dam.

I think if anything, New Brunswick, although we're small, has a very diverse energy sector in the province that provides many opportunities. Actually, we just said we're going to move forward on the refurbishment of the Mactaquac dam.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

For the committee, if we were going to speak to people who are out of work in the Alberta energy sector, the correct recommendation would be don't go to New Brunswick, correct?