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House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gas.

Topics

Apprenticeship National Standards ActPrivate Members' Business

6 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Madam Speaker, allow me first to praise the work of the hon. member for Mississauga West on the subject of apprenticeship and training, because his efforts were motivated entirely by his interest in ensuring the preparation of qualified workers and an effective apprenticeship system established for industry workers and the economy of Canada.

Skilled workers are in demand. Canadian workers must be able to take advantage of these opportunities. We cannot ignore that. In addition, workers must have access to these jobs, regardless of where they are located in Canada.

The Government of Canada on the other hand has a responsibility to contribute to the supply and the mobility of skilled workers so that Canadians may play their part in a growing economy. This must not, however, prevent us from taking into account the political realities of our federal system.

Allow me to reiterate the remarks recently made by the Prime Minister in Berlin. He said that the Canadian model is based on the recognition of diversity, on a mix of cultures, on a partnership of people and government, and that the system creates a balance between individual freedoms and economic prosperity and shared risks and benefits.

This balance must not be forgotten in the consideration of this bill and more particularly in the search for a better way to achieve the objective of this bill, namely the ongoing training of Canadian workers.

This explains our discussions with our provincial and territorial counterparts and consultation of employers, union groups, educators and community organizations.

We are discussing with them ways of contributing to increasing the number of Canadians in apprenticeship or training programs.

In 1998, the government launched the Canadian opportunities strategy to give access to knowledge and skill training to a larger number of Canadians.

Moreover, in the October 1999 throne speech, the government pledged to establish a national plan on skills and learning for the 21st century.

In fact, our government pledged to ensure that skills development keeps pace with the evolving economy, to make it easier for Canadians to finance lifelong learning and to provide a single window of information to Canadians about skills requirements and training opportunities.

Our challenge is to determine the best way to help Canadians make a decision about the skills that will be useful to them.

The Government of Canada, along with the ministers responsible for the labour market in the provinces and territories, is looking for ways to help Canadians acquire skills.

We must help Canadians increase their literacy level, particularly those who could be left on the sidelines in the new economy.

But what is the best way to proceed? What are the specific needs of these people? How can we give them access to the tools that will allow them to fully participate in the economic and social life of our country?

Our partners' involvement is essential, since they have responsibilities relating to education, and since they set the rules governing trades and professions.

In many ways, Human Resources Development Canada is a catalyst in the area of manpower mobility.

The implementation, by July 1, 2001, of the chapter on manpower mobility in the Internal Trade Agreement is undoubtedly our primary concern with the provinces and territories. That agreement will promote the freer movement of persons, goods and services across Canada.

As regards manpower mobility—

Apprenticeship National Standards ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member.

Message From The SenatePrivate Members' Business

September 21st, 2000 / 6:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed a bill, to which the concurrence of this House is desired.

A message was delivered by the Usher of the Black Rod as follows:

Madam Speaker, it is the desire of the Honourable Deputy to the Governor General of Canada that this honourable House attend him immediately in the chamber of the honourable the Senate.

Accordingly, the Speaker with the House went up to the Senate chamber.

And being returned:

Message From The SenateThe Royal Assent

6:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I have the honour to inform the House that when the House went up to the Senate Chamber the Honourable Deputy to the Governor General was pleased to give, in Her Majesty's name, the Royal Assent to the following bill:

Bill C-37, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act and the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act—Chapter No. 27.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-318, an act to require the establishment of national training and certification standards for trades that receive apprenticeship training, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Apprenticeship National Standards ActPrivate Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Raymonde Folco LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Madam Speaker, I wish to congratulate government members on the passage of Bill C-37.

I will now continue my speech on Bill C-318, an act to require the establishment of national training and certification standards.

The agreement is aimed at facilitating worker mobility by enabling any worker entitled to ply his trade or profession in any province or territory, to apply for a job in that trade or profession in another part of the country.

Essentially, this agreement consists in acknowledging that the co-operation of all governments is the best way of accomplishing the objectives set in the Internal Trade Agreement. Through the Forum of Labour Market Ministers, Human Resources Development Canada is working with the provinces and territories to implement the provisions of the agreement that address work force mobility.

In our unique federal system, apprenticeship has developed under conditions specific to each province or territory, reflecting our major geographical and climatic differences.

Canadians should in fact be able to take advantage of all opportunities offered, regardless of where they live. The most indicative measure in this regard was the establishment, recently, of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, which brings together the principle spokespersons of the training community in the country.

The primary objective of the forum is to promote cohesion and co-operation among the interested parties. It includes representatives from business, manpower, the teaching and training sector, organizations promoting equal opportunity on the labour market, the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship, the Interprovincial Alliance of Apprenticeship Board Chairs and, obviously, Human Resources Development Canada.

The general mission of the forum is to set out the bases of an apprenticeship training system in order to establish a skilled and mobile workforce.

This group represents a new stage in the evolution of apprenticeship. In fact, provincial and territorial jurisdictions over apprenticeship are not only respected, but extended to the benefit of all Canadians, and especially young people looking for a profession.

I am happy to add that Human Resources Development Canada is providing a three year budget of $1.9 million to this group to defray operating costs. This, in my opinion, is a valuable investment in our future labour force.

Other quality forums continue to receive funds from us, for example the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship, which manages the red seal program.

The interprovincial red seal program defines national performance standards for 44 trades in Canada and interprovincial certification. The term “interprovincial” is important, because it means that these workers will be able to practice their trade anywhere in Canada.

The Government of Canada is also working closely with employer groups and sector councils to identify labour force shortages and find ways to remedy them. In Canada, some 20 sector councils are continuing their efforts with a view to training the current labour force and preparing future workers in their particular sectors.

We are very confident about the upcoming announcement of the creation of a national council in the construction sector, which should be a strong motivation for people in the industry.

It is clear that the hon. member wishes to contribute to an inclusive and prosperous Canada.

Unfortunately, as I have shown, there is a strong risk that the wording of this bill would lead to duplication of existing measures.

The best approach is to work with the provinces and territories to achieve the goal we all share, which is to do what is necessary to make Canada's labour force the best in the world.

I hope that the member will join with us in these efforts.

Apprenticeship National Standards ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I recognize the hon. member for Mississauga West for his right of reply.

Apprenticeship National Standards ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Madam Speaker, let me say first a profound thank you to all the members from all parties who stayed here late, through the royal assent journey down the hall and then back here, to discuss what I think we all agree is an extremely important issue. We may not agree on how we are going to implement apprenticeship training across the country, who is going to do it or what the standards will be, but certainly I did not hear anyone from any party stand up and make derogatory comments toward apprenticeship training programs. We know there is tremendous benefit to be had for our young people.

I also recognize that with my private members' bill having been deemed non-votable at committee some months ago, there is a tendency to assume that this is a bit of a waste of time. I do not think it is because it is important that members in this place put forward their views and their parties' views. I heard three truly national parties, the New Democrats, the Progressive Conservatives and of course my party talking about national programs. I heard what I would call two regional or provincial parties, the Bloc Quebecois and the CA talking about protecting the interests of the provinces.

I am not against protecting the interests of the provinces and working with the provinces, as the parliamentary secretary has called for, to deliver training programs. I just fail to understand, and will look for other ways to skin the cat if you will, why anyone who has any kind of a national vision would object to providing standards that are accepted right across the country.

We would recognize high school diplomas across Canada. We certainly recognize university degrees across Canada. We certainly recognize skilled medical trainees across Canada. Why we would not recognize apprenticeship in the same way as we recognize those perhaps sends a message as to how our society feels, tragically and unfortunately, toward those particular trades. I hope that is not true, because we should value those trades and the young people who make decisions to build careers.

I want to finish by touching on one aspect which my hon. friend from Winnipeg mentioned and that is the entrepreneurial opportunities that are failing to be recognized. I have worked with young entrepreneurs for the past year and a half in developing a task force report to implement programs within our government that will help young people build their own careers and businesses. As my hon. friend pointed out, what better way to create new businesses and new opportunities than to help people get the technological skills needed to build the infrastructure, the buildings and roads, the cities and communities, the community centres and everything else to help people build careers for themselves. They will create jobs. They will build families and generate children within those families who will go on in careers and apprenticeship training as well in the building trades.

I still believe, notwithstanding that my bill is not votable and that it effectively dies on the order paper, it is an extremely important debate that we have had here. I thank all members who participated for putting forward their vision on this very important issue.

Apprenticeship National Standards ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

The time provided for the consideration of private members' business has now expired. As the bill has not been designated as a votable item, the order is dropped from the order paper.

It being 6.30 p.m., the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6.30 p.m.)