Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Peter Stoffer Profile
NDP (NS)
The difficulty is, who determines who gets case-managed? The reason I say that is many times I get calls from people asking for a home visit on something. The DVA will say, “If you're not case-managed, you don't get a home visit.” My question to you is, who determines who's case-managed because that is a sticky point in terms of home visits after these closures?
Also, the training at Service Canada.... I visited several of these offices across the country where there's not an embedded person, and they told me they had four hours of online training, or something of that nature, for DVA. I can assure you it may happen in some cases, but it doesn't happen in a lot. A person will go in with a complex file and all his paperwork, and you say that a Service Canada person will actually help them look at the forms to see if they're done correctly? Sir, these forms are quite complicated, as you know. It takes a lot of training for someone like Mélanie to look at these forms and ensure that they're filled out, because 60% of the problems with the VRAB decision is the fact that a form wasn't done properly or there is a document that was missing, so the person was initially declined. I'm just wondering. If someone had four hours of online training or something at Service Canada, how do you quantify, then, that a person at Service Canada can accurately look at a complex form and see that it has been filled out properly to ensure that when that person makes a claim there will be no hiccups or problems down the road?
View Gerald Keddy Profile
CPC (NS)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Welcome to our witnesses here today.
My first question is for Mr. Speer of the Fraser Institute. I'm very interested in your discussion about capital gains, which I'm going to come back to.
Awhile back, your Fraser Institute recommended developing incentives for companies to provide in-house training for young workers. This is something that I think most of us around the table have discussed and certainly support.
At the same time, you also called for the government to loosen the red tape surrounding the temporary foreign worker program. That's a bit of a conundrum to me because we've seen some abuse of that program. We know it's important in certain areas, but how are you going to give an incentive for companies to have in-house training and then open up the temporary foreign worker program at the same time?
View Rodger Cuzner Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thanks very much, Mr. Chair.
I'm going to start off in Regina, if I could, the home of the CFL champion Roughriders. Go, Riders.
Just to acknowledge, first, that the community that you folks work with, your organization works with, I would suggest, is probably one of the toughest. The number of barriers and the types of challenges that your clients deal with, and you made a comment on this in your remarks, that the short period of time really doesn't have as much impact and they'd have to come back again and again, and the extended period of time.... A lot of these clients would have had little structure, little direction early on in life, so you're trying to impact on that.
Give me an indication about some of the skills that they come to you with. Reflect on their life skills or lack of, their numeracy, literacy. There's been some talk about the concern that support for types of programs here have been lost in the LMAs. Should they be addressed in the LMDAs or whatever? Just some comments on that....
View Rodger Cuzner Profile
Lib. (NS)
—I'll have you know that you sort of waded into some dangerous waters there. You'll notice the chairman is not only clean-shaven but in a foul mood as well, because his Bruins lost last night.
Between 2006 and 2012, the number of temporary foreign workers more than doubled in this country. Give me a profile of your organization as to, for your members, how much your investment in skills training would have increased over that same period of time.
View Gerald Keddy Profile
CPC (NS)
Thank you.
To Dominique Gross, we have spent a fair amount of time at this committee talking about training, youth employment, and temporary foreign workers. One of the things we discussed, and one of the things you actually mentioned, is the process of determining whether you need temporary foreign workers. Can you explain how that works in European countries? If you have occupational shortages and it's a structural problem, then you would think you would respond to that with training initiatives. We're starting to do that in Canada.
What we've learned in our study is that most of the European nations, quite frankly, are faster. I don't want to say that they're better—they may be—but they're certainly faster than we are. Do you want to just explain that a little?
View Gerald Keddy Profile
CPC (NS)
Thank you.
Ms. Josephs, you made a comment about entrepreneurship and the fact that entrepreneurship should be in the K-to-12 curriculum. That's the smartest thing I've heard here today. Good for you for saying it.
It's not that everybody else's comments weren't important; let's clarify that comment.
I have a huge level of frustration when I hear the talk of youth unemployment and underemployment because I grew up in rural Nova Scotia where everybody was simply expected to work, and everyone could work and did work. Even when unemployment was 15% and 18% everywhere else in the world, somehow everybody found a job because they had to in order to survive.
In Nova Scotia, we have a new program between the community college system and the universities where they've taken your point on entrepreneurship and they have allowed people who want to enter the skilled trades to take their two years of a skilled trade to start an apprenticeship, or to work in the skilled trades, and that two years counts as two years toward an undergraduate degree if they decide to go back to university. I suspect other provinces have similar programs. That's been in place for a while now, and that has been a fantastic program for students. They come out, they have built up skills in the community college system that allow them to work for a good living wage and to continue in that trade if they care to. However, if they want to go back to university for an undergraduate degree, their first two years are already covered.
Have you been an advocate of that? Do you follow that? How extensive is that across the country?
View Rodger Cuzner Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Witnesses, thanks very much.
Mr. Whyte, you're saying that we have to prepare, and I agree wholeheartedly. It's like this skills shortage, perceived anyway, is hitting us like a runaway van.
For example, in terms of the people you represent, have you seen an increase in spending on skills development and training? Can you measure a noted increase in training for your sector?
View Gerald Keddy Profile
CPC (NS)
That's not what I asked you, but that's fine.
It's a question of time here. We have five minutes for questions and a lot of questions to get out.
This is for the Canadian restaurant association. Mr. Whyte, you made a couple of statements that I want to pick up on. I want to engage the rest of the group on it. This is not about being a union member or not being a union member, but the many gateway jobs. This is the first job that a lot of young people, especially in more urban settings, will have. I live in a rural setting and there are jobs for young people and sometimes young people don't fill them. Sometimes that's a problem with the family. They don't think they need to do that job and they can get a better one somehow. I think it's a real, serious, and growing problem.
Mr. Stanford made a statement on that at the same time, and I can't find it right now, but it was to the same idea that we're not getting these young people to fill the jobs, so we have a job shortage, I believe, an employment shortage in the country. We have people to fill those jobs. Do we have to start over on the equation? Is it an educational process? Is it a societal process? We've gone wrong, but where have we gone wrong?
View Gerald Keddy Profile
CPC (NS)
Okay, we're doing okay.
My next question is for Ms. Robinson of Polytechnics Canada.
Your recommendation to improve LMIs—labour market innovation—is interesting. Your suggestion is that we put in $5 to $10 million for that total cost. Do you have any further information on how this would actually update in the two surveys that you've done and how further information would be asked for? More specifically, how does this help our skills shortage?
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