Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Vance Badawey Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Vance Badawey Profile
2019-06-12 17:33 [p.29018]
That the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development, and the Status of Persons with Disabilities be instructed to undertake a study of the creation of a federal trades strategy, to consider, amongst other things, (i) regional labour shortages in the skilled trades, (ii) the impact that labour shortages could have on major projects across Canada, (iii) how skills shortages are exacerbating these labour shortages by preventing workers from being able to find employment.
He said: Madam Speaker, I stand in the House today to call attention to the enigma of our time. Too many Canadians are seeking good, quality, secure jobs with too little help. At the same time, too many industries are in desperate need of skilled workers. Therein lies the opportunity. As such, I am tabling this motion to establish a federal trade strategy to consider, among other things, regional labour shortages in the skilled trades, the impact labour shortages could have on major projects across this great nation, and how skill shortages are exacerbating these labour shortages by preventing workers from being able to find employment.
We have made remarkable strides since being elected almost four years ago. One of our greatest achievements, on which we have all worked so diligently together, is that by working together, we have established an environment in which to create one million new jobs since November 2015. However, as we celebrate this achievement, we know that there is much more work to do to further progress.
Some provinces and regions across this great country are struggling to find enough workers to fill open positions. Niagara is no exception. This is what I will speak to today: the severe shortage of skilled trades workers and how important it is that we take action now.
Niagara, not unlike other jurisdictions, is beginning to experience a skilled trades shortage. There is a need for welders, pipefitters, boilermakers, seafarers, tile setters, plumbers, technicians, cooks, chefs, and other hands-on, hard-working skilled tradespeople. I have heard from our business community, our overall community, residents and others, as well as union partners across Niagara, as have my colleagues here in the House, that there is an immediate and severe lack of skilled tradespeople.
The Ontario Construction Secretariat conducted a survey in the first few months of this year to understand key issues affecting the industrial, commercial and institutional construction sector in the province of Ontario. Of the 500 contractors surveyed, 72% identified a skilled labour shortage and the recruitment of skilled workers as the main challenge facing the industry. Not surprisingly, this problem has had wide-ranging impacts, including increased project delays and costs, the need to turn down work and overall slowed growth.
Our government can help. Our government will help.
Thanks to the efforts of the hon. Patti Hajdu, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour—
View Vance Badawey Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Vance Badawey Profile
2019-06-12 17:37 [p.29019]
Madam Speaker, thanks to the efforts of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, our government has significantly boosted federal support to provinces and territories, by $2.7 billion over six years. This is to help more unemployed and under-employed Canadians access the training and employment supports they need to find and keep good jobs. We have also invested $225 million over four years to identify and fill skills gaps in the economy to help Canadians be best prepared for the new economy.
However, we cannot do it alone. We have worked with our partners to bring forward federal support. It is critical that our working relationship continues well into the future.
Although we have momentum to build on, we, as a government and as a country, must continue to listen. We must be engaged with our partners, employees and employers to best understand their unique needs. By engaging with and encouraging people to tell their stories, we promote understanding and create the framework we can use to work toward our common goals.
As one of our partners put it, “Nothing about us without us”. Thankfully, employers and employees alike see the value in working together.
Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress and one of our many partners, said, “ Workers need to retool and upgrade their skills in order to be successful and to succeed in Canada's rapidly changing labour market, but far too often, they're not getting the support they need. Today Canada's public spending on training is about half the OECD average, and in real terms, employers invest less in per-employee training and adult learning than they did 25 years ago. Too many employers simply do not invest in on-the-job training and vocational education for workers, and it is holding us back.
“Employers need a new generation of skilled workers to replace retiring baby boomers, and workers need access to skills training as well as upgrading to cope with the technological change and the impact of climate change policies. We can overcome the skills shortages, but we need to listen to stakeholders and learn what works in other jurisdictions.”
Support for this motion and the creation of a federal trade strategy is wide-ranging and spans industries.
Arlene Dunn, of Canada's Building Trades Unions, said, “It is absolutely crucial that the Government of Canada instruct the appropriate body and include the appropriate stakeholders to undertake a study of the creation of a federal trades strategy to ensure Canada remains both nationally and globally competitive and well prepared for the future while utilizing all resources available.”
However, a federal trades strategy does not help where demand outpaces the supply of workers. For example, Canada's marine industry is thriving, and in Niagara, home of the Welland Canal within the St. Lawrence Seaway system on the Great Lakes, there are more applicants than jobs, yet there are struggles with access to the necessary training to open opportunities to new workers.
Jim Given, president of the Seafarers' International Union of Canada, said, “Though we have seen a surplus of applications for Canadians and permanent residents interested in joining the industry, continued access to proper training, funding for education and providing upgrading opportunities for current seafarers is essential.
“In having government work with labour organizations to identify current labour and skills gaps, we can together ensure that the future needs of our country's marine transportation industry are met and that these good-paying middle-class jobs are made available to Canadians both entering the labour market as well as those looking to transfer current skills to this growing industry.
“We are encouraged to see this government take the necessary steps to undertake a study to identify labour shortages in the industry with a view to developing and creating a federal trades strategy that will, among other things, assist our industry to ensure our mariners have access to the resources necessary to retain and improve the skill sets needed for the industry as well as to recruit and train the next generation of seafarers.”
There is, however, one aspect of partnerships that we have yet to discuss, and that is the how. While it is certainly critical to identify skills gaps and the need to train new workers, we also need to consider how we will accomplish this. In one sense, the answer is deceptively simple: Invite our partners, our high schools, our post-secondary institutions, the private sector, the unions and all levels of government to the table.
During my former life as a mayor, we worked with our partners as just described, and we were successful in putting in place a program that brought students together, beginning at the secondary school level, into the skilled trades.
Today, we continue to work with our partners to further the interests of employers as well as employees. Dialogue has begun to contribute to the context of what a federal skilled trades strategy will look like and what we would like to work toward. For example, through consistent dialogue with our partners, we have heard, loud and clear, and recognize that balancing parental roles and work life in the construction industry is critical, as is balancing multiple priorities, making trade-off decisions and placing high value on tradespeople who are in fact raising families.
Retirements and an aging population are beginning to have an impact on the future of our industries. Knowledge and technical transfer to strategically support the processes to innovate and adapt to changing environmental, safety, production and market conditions are factors that must be a priority.
Unions have taken leadership roles in the work of skilled trades promotion and advocacy. Many of them have hired in-house rank and file member expertise whose jobs it is to focus entirely on the promotion of their trade and raising its public profile.
We need to work with them to do more education, educating young people about the opportunity to access well-paid, in-demand, highly valuable training, and teaching them about the economics associated with belonging to the skilled, organized trades, such as the exemplary pensions included, as well as health and welfare benefits and the ability to obtain a rewarding career.
If we are going to succeed in making a real tangible difference for under-represented groups, we must in fact advocate for the implementation of strategic tools that build community wealth and human capacity, which is beneficial for under-represented groups, veterans and persons with disabilities, offering them tremendous opportunities that unfortunately might not exist otherwise. In doing so, we create the opportunity to learn from experts in education, as well as training, and identify existing programs that can be adapted or changed to meet local and national industry needs, as well as attaching safety training at a younger age to ensure safer working environments.
In Niagara, we are extremely fortunate and proud to have Niagara College and Brock University working to this end. As good corporate citizens, responsible neighbours and community leaders, these institutions do an amazing job of not only providing education but also understanding the unique needs of the community they serve.
A common thread for Niagara College and Brock University are well-developed, tried-and-true, co-operative education programs through which students learn in a hands-on environment taught by industry experts. Applying classroom knowledge to real world, on-the-job experiences better prepares students to be successful in the workforce. Consequently, employers are more confident that their needs can be met and spend less money retraining or compensating for a lack of skilled workers.
Secondary schools can also be a big part of this equation. Through programs such as the specialist high skills major program, which is part of the Ministry of Education's student success initiative in the province of Ontario, dual credit and co-op program students are better prepared to transition successfully into the workforce, whereby co-op programs at the secondary school level can begin.
Mark Cherney, business manager of the IBEW Local 303 and president of the Niagara and Haldimand Building Trades Council, tells us, “Shortages in the skilled trades are a genuine concern. With a national strategic skilled trades plan, we could better predict where and when these shortfalls will occur and how labour mobility from across the country can serve to mitigate shortages. A study on how labour mobility strategies can be explored, as well as attracting and retaining more women, indigenous people, youth and new Canadians to a career path in the skilled trades, is needed. The current government has done a great job investing in the skilled trades. Now is the time for the next step, and that is for a national strategy.”
In summary, Mark Cherney says, “A unified national Red Seal standard for compulsory skilled trades will go a long way to tackle the concerns of skills shortages."
It has been a great pleasure this evening to present this motion to my colleagues in the House. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish by working together to find solutions to such challenges.
View Niki Ashton Profile
View Niki Ashton Profile
2019-06-12 17:48 [p.29020]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his efforts on an issue that many of us care about.
My concern is really about the substance of what is being proposed. He and other colleagues on the Liberal side have felt that calling for a study on an important issue is good enough and that is simply not the case. I remind him and his colleagues that they are part of a government that could be taking action on a number of key issues facing working people, including labour shortages and access to the trades.
I have many more questions on my mind. Why are we not studying the stagnating wages afflicting so many working people? Why are we not addressing the root causes of the shortages that they face?
Would the member be open to broadening the topic of this study to issues other than labour shortages in order for the committee to have the full scope of the issues and for a trades strategy to truly be meaningful and make a difference for Canadians?
View Vance Badawey Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Vance Badawey Profile
2019-06-12 17:49 [p.29021]
Madam Speaker, quite frankly, we have already begun through the efforts of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. Once again, our government has significantly boosted federal support to the provinces and territories by $2.7 billion over six years.
There is no doubt that as we move forward together, not only members on this side of the House but members on all sides of the House, as well as all our partners, we look forward to hearing those very comments the member brought up so that the strategy is all encompassing, not only including the best interests of employees but also those of employers and those who are under-represented so that all interests can be included within a federal trades strategy.
View John Barlow Profile
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-12 17:50 [p.29021]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate that my colleague from Niagara Centre brought this motion forward.
If this was such a huge issue for him and his constituents and certainly for his region, earlier this year the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville brought up a similar motion to study the skilled labour shortage in the greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. At that time, Conservative members of the committee asked why we would not expand this study to include a Canada-wide study into the skilled labour shortage, and the Liberals at that time refused that amendment.
If it is important now, why was it not just as important then? We could have started this study in committee in this session, had the Liberals supported that amendment.
View Vance Badawey Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Vance Badawey Profile
2019-06-12 17:51 [p.29021]
That was a great point, Madam Speaker.
Once again I will repeat what I said earlier. We have already begun this process. This is a process that I began in my former life as a mayor, working with our local partners, industry and education, as well as unions and others, to put forward strategies to ensure that we introduced the trades to our younger students so that they could get introduced to something that they might be interested in doing as a career.
Now working with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, we extended that by giving federal support to different jurisdictions throughout the country. Yes, there was a lot of financial support but also support through other programs and other ministries that were also put in place to look after this program.
What is most important is that we do receive not only some tangible evidence but also action plans to attach to deliverables that, ultimately, will be attached to a federal strategy.
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
2019-06-12 17:52 [p.29021]
Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for touching on a topic that is near and dear to my heart as a mechanical engineering technologist from Red River College in Winnipeg.
We looked at the issue of funding through the EI program, through budget 2019. Maybe earlier this year, that was just rolling out. However, there is more than financial issues. There are also ratios between journeymen and apprentices that vary from province to province. Would coordinating some efforts across Canada be something that the member would be willing to consider in this study?
View Vance Badawey Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Vance Badawey Profile
2019-06-12 17:52 [p.29021]
Madam Speaker, in one word, I say absolutely. Just recently, the minister and I met with all of the building trades of Ontario, which I mentioned earlier. That subject was brought up and that we would be looking at those very issues. This is not just the obvious. There is a lot work to be done here. Although the minister has started, our job right now is to continue, to take it to the next level and to ensure that a trades strategy is all-encompassing.
View John Barlow Profile
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-12 17:53 [p.29021]
Madam Speaker, it is great to stand and speak about a very important issue tonight, and that is the lack of access or inability for some regions of this country to access the very important skilled labour they need to ensure that their businesses are successful and that Canada can build the important infrastructure it needs.
I know I asked this question of my hon. colleague in the question and answer portion, but I want to highlight the frustration of Conservative and NDP colleagues at committee when, earlier this year, we were debating Motion No. 190, looking at labour shortages in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area. We asked the sponsor of that motion, the Liberal member for Mississauga East—Cooksville, whether he would be open to an amendment to the motion that the HUMA committee study labour shortages and imbalances, especially in the skilled trades, not just in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, but in the entire country. I was really surprised that the Liberals continue to talk, and again tonight, about how critical this issue is, but at that time, the Liberal members of the committee and the sponsor of that motion said that the Liberal Party was not going to support that amendment, and it was refused.
Had that amendment been approved at that time, we very likely could have had this study completed by the end of this session. Unfortunately, since my colleague from Niagara Centre has brought up this motion so late in this Parliament, it is very unlikely that any work will be done on this study. I am disappointed that something as important as this will not get addressed in this Parliament because his colleagues refused to expand on an earlier study at committee, which is truly unfortunate.
There are labour shortages in the skilled trades that are more in demand, certainly as our population ages. I think all of us here would agree, and we know from meetings with stakeholders across the country, that our aging population is going to be putting a very real stress on our labour situation. From the numbers we have heard, over 400,000 jobs in Canada are unfilled. That is why I was really proud to see the Leader of the Opposition, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, bring forward a policy or a platform that we are going to be undertaking a government-wide initiative on addressing labour shortages, and a big part of that will be appointing a minister of internal trade.
The focus of that will be to remove interprovincial trade barriers, which are really holding back our economy and our ability to grow our economy in Canada. From the statistics we have seen, this is costing our Canadian economy $130 billion in lost GDP, but it is also impacting the ability of skilled tradespeople to move from one province to another when their certifications are not recognized from one province to another. There have certainly been some issues with labour mobility that we also could have addressed as part of a study on a nationwide strategy.
The idea of having a dedicated minister of internal trade also builds on the work of previous Conservative governments, which brought forward the apprenticeship incentive grant in 2009 and the apprenticeship completion grant, also in 2009. We provided funding for more than 530,000 apprenticeship grants, totalling almost $700 million, to ensure that Canadians could complete their training.
I was really proud, in 2014, to be part of a government that created the Canada apprentice loan. I remember distinctly that at that time, as we were having the discussion in the House, we heard that more than 50% of Canadians who start an apprenticeship program never complete it. That was a huge void that we saw under our Conservative government, and we tried to address it by initiating the Canada apprentice loan program. It was there to provide Canadians with the opportunities to finish their programs.
As my colleague mentioned in his intervention as well, we should not have more welders or pipefitters in Alberta right now. There is a surplus of these very skilled tradespeople. Earlier this year, I was in a training facility for the boilermakers and pipefitters union in Edmonton, and 70% of their members are out of work. I could discuss why that is the case, and certainly Bill C-69 and the tanker ban are very distinct reasons for why that is the case. Cancelling the northern gateway pipeline, bungling the Trans Mountain expansion and regulating energy east out of existence are three very big reasons why we are facing this job crunch in Alberta.
That being the case, having these skilled tradespeople unemployed and not working in Alberta when they are desperately needed in other parts of the country, it just goes to show that we have some issues we should be addressing.
I wonder if my colleague from Niagara Centre would be open to amending his motion. I do not want to read the entire motion, as we have a minimal amount of time, but I would like to add the word “imbalances” to his first bullet point so that it would read, “regional labour imbalances in the skilled trades”.
I would also like to add a fourth section to his motion. I hope he would be amenable to approving this amendment. I would like to add:
(iv) how interprovincial harmonization of professional and trades certifications and training could assist unemployed and underemployed workers in the skilled trades find work in other regions by encouraging greater labour mobility and portability of qualifications in Canada.
I think that something all of us in this House could agree we have heard from many of our stakeholders is the inability to have the certifications of trades workers recognized from one province to another. The encouragement of labour mobility is a huge issue that I would like to see us try to address. We could have addressed it had we been able to do a study earlier, which is unfortunate.
This goes to a larger narrative with the current Liberal government when it comes to doing what it says and saying what it does. To bring this up so late in this Parliament almost ensures there is not going to be any significant work done on it.
However, it also brought out the Canada skilled training program. I was really interested to ask the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour about this program when she was at committee. One of the stipulations of this program, which is supposed to be part of the skilled trades strategy, is that it does not proceed unless there is an agreement with all the other provinces. The provinces would have to amend their leave provisions in their own labour code to ensure that the skilled training program would even work. When I asked the minister if she had these agreements in place, she could not answer that question. I asked the officials and they said they had not started those negotiations. Therefore, this pillar of the 2019 budget, which is supposed to address the skilled trades shortage across the country, very likely will not happen.
Certainly, the discussions we have heard from the premiers over the last two days, and their relationship with the current Liberal government and the Prime Minister, is that he is calling them out as a threat to Canadian unity and confederation. I am very confident that a lot of these premiers are not going to be in a big rush to sign an agreement on a Liberal labour initiative when they have to change their own labour code. There is a lot of window dressing and things that come out that the Liberals want to try to address, but when it comes to the actual work of governing, they fall woefully short.
In saying that, I want to assure my colleague from Niagara Centre, who has brought this motion forward, that even if he does not support the amendment I have proposed, we will be supporting this motion because I believe that addressing the issue of a lack of skilled trades is important.
I toured the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and its new new construction campus and petroleum engineering campus last week. It is an incredible facility. It just shows the opportunities we have and that the training facilities are there. We just have to ensure Canadians understand that these are opportunities that are well paid. Going into the skilled trades is not a demeaning career choice. This is an outstanding career choice with incredible opportunities and very high incomes. We just have to ensure we change some of those misperceptions about what goes on there.
One of the areas where we do have a real opportunity is in attracting more women into the skilled trades. One of the more interesting studies I have done here as a parliamentarian, when we were in government, was at the status of women committee on encouraging women to get into the skilled trades. I have read through that study. It had some outstanding testimony and recommendations from our stakeholders. Less than 5% of the participation in many of these skilled trades is by women. We have seen in northern Alberta where heavy-duty mechanics and the people driving that large equipment are women. Therefore, I think we have some great opportunities there.
I wish we could have done this study and found some resolution to this.
View Niki Ashton Profile
View Niki Ashton Profile
2019-06-12 18:03 [p.29023]
Madam Speaker, I rise today to discuss the matter of the motion on a federal trades strategy, Motion No. 227, put forward by my colleague from Niagara Centre. This motion proposes a study of the creation of a strategy that would consider labour shortages in the skilled trades as well as the impact these shortages could have on major projects across the country.
We in the NDP welcome initiatives to gather more information and data on labour issues and shortages, and we will support this motion, but reluctantly, because this motion's stance is nowhere near what we need to tackle the problems Canadian trades workers and Canadian workers are facing.
First, this motion is missing a key fact, which is that rampant labour shortages in the skilled trades industries are not happening all across our country. There are labour shortages in some regions, and they need to be documented, but the context of these shortages needs to be appropriately discussed. While there are shortages in specific sectors and regions, it is not an industry-wide phenomenon across the country.
Focusing on the overall unemployment rate or job growth data is not acceptable when this data does not include important facts, such as the unemployment rate being higher among both youth and older workers, for example. We know that 10% of young people in Canada are unemployed, as opposed to 5% of the overall population.
It is also important to consider the perspectives of all parties in the study my colleague is putting forward. Any study on labour shortages must include vigorous consultation with unions and labour representatives, including rank and file labour activists, to understand the unique issues facing different industries, because it would be an uneven perspective otherwise. If one asks workers, they will say that despite labour shortages, wages are not increasing, which should clue the government in to the fact that the issue is not simply one of shortages across the country.
It is still taking Canadians just as long to find jobs as it did during the great recession of 2008. The average duration of unemployment during the great recession was 21 weeks, while the average duration of unemployment in 2008 was 15 weeks. In 2018, the average duration of unemployment was 19 weeks. It is taking workers four weeks longer to find work now than it did 10 years ago.
The CFIB put out a business barometer that found that nearly 47% of small and mid-sized businesses are being held back by a lack of skilled labour in several provinces. We know that in British Columbia, for example, multiple large-scale construction projects that are under way are facing a serious labour shortage. Provinces such as Ontario expect a shortage of 100,000 skilled workers within the next 15 years. Considering that unemployment is at a 43-year low, it is concerning that Canadian businesses are saying that they struggle to fill job vacancies, while at the same time, we know that Canadians are struggling to find employment. This kind of situation cannot stand.
What is the context for these labour shortages? FTQ Construction, the largest construction union in Quebec, told us about how industry workers are faring. Despite the labour shortages announced in the sector, the average construction worker in Quebec makes $38,853 per year. This compares rather poorly to the Quebec median income of $59,822. Moreover, 43% of construction workers make less than $29,999 per year, which is the living wage in Quebec for an adult with a child. FTQ Construction is right to affirm that “we will continue to say that there is no labour shortage so long as there are families who cannot make ends meet because they are not working enough hours”.
Basing the motion on broad labour shortages is simply not sufficient. If the government has not identified the problem correctly, it is not going to be able to find the proper solutions, no matter how hard it looks into labour shortages. There are solutions, but this pointless motion from the Liberals will not lead us to any of them. If we follow their lead on this, we will just be running in circles, and working-class families will continue to suffer from government inaction.
We must stand up for workers and their families. This motion will do nothing to help them, and it will not help anybody looking for a job to find one. Workers deserve a government that shares their concerns and takes wage stagnation seriously.
A recent OECD report found that 13.5% of jobs in Canada were at risk of automation and that 28.6% were at risk of significant changes due to increased automation in industries. Overall, more than 40% of the Canadian workforce is at risk of being replaced by automation in the next two decades.
Automation is a threat to the jobs of many workers and insisting that job shortages are a problem, while being unwilling to recognize the effect automation will have on employment, shows that the government does not get it and does not care about the workers who are most at risk of unemployment. Increasing access to both post-secondary education and jobs training will lessen the impending problems automation will pose in the future.
The NDP has solutions for helping workers. Canada's rural regions need help attracting labour, and that is why we are proposing to offer a tax credit directly to people who agree to move to our country's rural areas and stay there long-term.
We want to foster worker retention by offering a helping hand directly to workers. That is the kind of action that is needed to solve the problem.
We must also focus on finding legitimate answers as to why there may be shortages in the skilled trades. While it may be easy for Liberals to assume labour shortages are due to a lack of skilled workers, more research and data are necessary to reach conclusions on industries that have low job security. However, we will not find the solutions we need by proposing a motion where the premise of the study is that the only challenge the trades industry is facing is job shortages. The solution for labour shortages is to provide incentives that work for workers, not just for employers.
Furthermore, the topic of labour shortages is already under study in the human resources committee as of May 2019. This motion in front of us just shows that the Liberals are so dedicated to avoiding the real problems Canadians are facing that they would rather sponsor repetitive motions that will burden the HUMA committee and fail to help workers, than actually doing anything. Working-class Canadians deserve a government that is focused on supporting them with better education and living wages, not one that is just listening to employers by proposing motions under the incorrect assumption that the only obstacle the trades industry is facing is a country-wide labour shortage. This is simply not true.
It is not that a study to gather more information on the trades industry is a bad idea. It is just that this motion would not do anything worthwhile to solve the actual issues that are driving the labour shortage in the first place. Studying what should be a potential federal trades strategy should be seen as a good opportunity to help workers and promote investment in skills training. Any study that does not involve considerations of child care and access to education and training is not a study that would completely look at this issue.
Finally, this motion should prioritize workers' needs such as the right to make a decent living with a decent wage. Instead, it is just another meaningless gesture from the current Liberal government to feign its concern for the working-class people of Canada. The NDP believes that more can be done and we are proud to be on the side of working people in the fight against labour shortages and the fight for a decent living for working people.
View Terry Sheehan Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Terry Sheehan Profile
2019-06-12 18:12 [p.29024]
Madam Speaker, I would like to start by thanking my colleague, the hon. member for Niagara Centre, for bringing forward such an important motion and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the merits of Motion No. 227 today. This motion presents an opportunity to explore solutions aimed at increasing participation and success in the skilled trades.
Today, I would like to highlight the measures our government is taking to enhance training and apprenticeship opportunities for Canadians in the skilled trades. Our government introduced the innovation and skills plan to build on Canada's strengths and address areas of concern along the innovation continuum, from people and skills, to building innovative ecosystems, to exporting and scaling up globally competitive companies across all sectors of the economy.
The innovation and skills plan includes measures to build a more diverse and inclusive trades workforce and help Canadians improve their skills and upgrade their credentials as they transition through their careers. Careers are now about lifelong learning. The trade trajectory is not just up and down as it used to be, but now we see lateral moves reflecting shifts in the economy and changes in the workplace, and this has been generally accelerating over the last few years.
One of the recurring ideas that came up during the study on my recent motion, Motion No. 194 on precarious employment in Canada, is the idea of lifelong learning and training. We heard from Andrew Cardozo from The Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy, who said budget 2019's “support for lifelong learning is great.” Our government has moved toward adopting a more robust national strategy for skills development, which is critically important to prepare Canadians for future work because this is the new normal.
Through the government's innovation and skills plan, the Canada training benefit will give workers more money to help pay for training, provide income support during training and offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in demand and to ensure we have a skilled workforce available for employers when needed. Budget 2019 really is a skills budget, in that the government not only recognizes the shift away from traditional, lifelong, single-prong careers, but is actively responding through policy measures to the need for retraining in our workforce to develop alongside our advances in technology and innovation. The very factors changing the face of the workplace, innovation, AI, etc., and the types of skills required by employers to keep up with these shifts will change often over a person's working lifespan.
We are also investing $25 million annually to support union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships in the Red Seal trades through the union training and innovation program, UTIP. This program not only helps unions purchase equipment, it also supports innovative projects that break down barriers to getting into the trades, particularly for women, people with disabilities and indigenous people. In addition to UTIP, in budget 2018, we invested in other federal initiatives, such as the skilled trades awareness and readiness program, the apprenticeship incentive grant for women and the women in construction fund.
The skilled trades awareness and readiness program, an investment of $46 million over five years and $10 million per year thereafter, encourages Canadians, particularly those facing barriers, including women, indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities and youth, to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades. In my riding of Sault Ste. Marie, the local chamber of commerce has been a champion of increasing indigenous participation in the trades. As we know, the population is growing significantly in all of northern Ontario.
We know that being a woman in a male-dominated industry can pose several barriers and can be specifically difficult for women who are unsure about how to break into the industry. That is why we want to encourage women to pursue careers in well-paying Red Seal trades and to ensure that they are increasingly able to model leadership to other aspiring female tradespeople.
To achieve this goal, we launched the apprenticeship incentive grant for women in December 2018. This new grant provides $3,000 per year or trade level to registered women apprentices who have successfully completed their first or second year or level of an apprenticeship program, up to a maximum of $6,000 in eligible Red Seal trades where women are under-represented. We allocated approximately $20 million over five years to pilot this program, which is expected to provide support to approximately 5,000 women over a five-year period of time.
We also invested $10 million over three years, starting in 2018-19, for the women in construction fund. This fund builds on existing models that have proven to be effective in attracting women to the trades. It provides supports such as mentoring, coaching and tailored supports that help women progress through their training and find and keep jobs in the trades.
Recently, I attended a skills trade forum organized by the Algoma District School Board in my riding, which was attended by unions, industry, parents, teachers and students. We heard from Jamie McMillan, an iron worker, who spoke enthusiastically about the positivity of being a woman in the skilled trades. Everyone was moved by her presentation as she spoke passionately about loving her work.
We also know that more needs to be done to help young Canadians get a good start in their working lives. That is why we are taking steps to make education more affordable by lowering the interest rates on Canada student loans and Canada apprenticeship loans, as well as eliminating interest charges entirely during the six-month grace period. Because we know that it is important to attract young workers to the skilled trades, we are making more investments in apprenticeship programs that support a skilled, mobile and certified skilled trades workforce.
For example, budget 2019 proposes to provide Skills Canada with $40 million over four years, starting in 2020-21, and $10 million per year ongoing to encourage more young people to consider training and work in the skilled trades. This investment will enable Skills Canada to continue to promote skilled trades and technologies to young people through skills competitions and by providing resources to better equip them for careers in the skilled trades.
We also propose to invest $6 million over two years, starting in 2019-20, to create a national campaign to promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career for young people.
According to Sarah Watts-Rynard, a former executive director of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum:
78% of those who pursued apprenticeship were not considering it while they were in high school.
Simply put, apprenticeship has not been promoted as an equal pillar of post-secondary education.
We need to change this perception around careers in the skilled trades, promoting their merits, including high demand, high wages and continual professional development.
Before I was an MP, I was an employment training consultant with the Ministry of Training, College and Universities. I was affectionately known as the “Apprenticeship Guy”. Therefore, I could not agree more that a national strategy for the skilled trades will help achieve the goal of promoting the fantastic benefits of working in the skilled trades.
Finally, budget 2019 proposes to develop an apprenticeship strategy to ensure that existing supports and programs available to apprentices will address the barriers faced by those who want to work in the skilled trades and support employers who face challenges in hiring and retaining apprentices.
Another great tool to increasing our skills trades people in Canada, for which I have been strongly advocating, is a northern and rural immigration program.
Since 2015, we have made it a priority to help people get the education and training they need to find good jobs and build better lives for themselves and their families. The proposed federal trades strategy will support the building of the skilled trades capital that Canadians and employers need.
Our government supports this motion. I will be supporting it. I encourage all members of the House to provide their support as well. I thank to the member for bringing the motion forward.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2019-06-12 18:20 [p.29026]
Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House. As usual, I want to say hello to all the residents of Beauport—Limoilou who are watching right now. I had the honour of meeting thousands of them last weekend at the Grand bazar du Vieux-Limoilou, where I had a booth, as the local member of Parliament. It was a fantastic outdoor party, and the weather co-operated beautifully.
Before I discuss the motion, I just want the people of Beauport—Limoilou to know that we will have plenty of opportunities to meet this summer at all the events and festivals being held in Beauport and Limoilou. As usual, I will be holding my annual summer party in August, where thousands of people come to meet me. We often eat hot dogs, chips and popcorn from Île d'Orléans together. It is a chance for me to get to know my constituents, talk about the issues affecting the riding, and share information about the services that my office can provide to Canadians dealing with the federal government.
I also want to say that this may be the last speech I give in the House during the 42nd Parliament. It was a huge honour to be here, and I hope to again have that honour after election day, October 21.
I plan to run in the upcoming election and I hope to represent my constituents for a long time to come. I am extremely proud of the work I have done over the past four years, including the work I did in my riding, on my portfolio, Canada's official languages, and during debates.
I am asking my constituents to do me a favour and put their trust in me for another four years. I will be here every day to serve them.
Today we are debating Motion No. 227, a Liberal motion to conduct a study in committee. It is commendable to do a study at the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. This is a very important House of Commons committee. A Liberal Party MP is proposing to conduct a study on labour shortages in the skilled trades in Canada.
As soon as I saw that I wanted to say a few words about this motion. Whether it be in Quebec City, Regina, Nanaimo, or elsewhere in Canada, there is a crisis right now. The labour shortage will affect us quite quickly.
We have heard that, a few years from now, the greater Quebec City area will need an additional 150,000 workers. This remarkable shortage will be the result of baby boomers retiring. Baby boomers, including my parents, will enjoy a well-deserved retirement. This is a very important issue, and we must address it.
I would like to remind the House that, in January, February and March, I asked the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour about the serious labour shortage problem in Canada. Each time, she made a mockery of my question by saying that the Liberals had created 600,000 new jobs. Today, they say one million.
I am glad that this motion was moved, but it is more or less an exercise in virtue signalling. Actually, it is more of an exercise in public communications, although I am not questioning my colleague's sincere wish to look into the issue. In six or seven days, the 42nd Parliament will be dissolved. Well, the House will adjourn. Parliament will be dissolved in a few months, before the election.
My colleague's committee will not be able to study the motion. My colleagues and I on the Standing Committee on Official Languages are finishing our study of the modernization of the Official Languages Act. We decided that we would finalize our recommendations tomorrow at noon, to ensure that we are able to table the report from the Standing Committee on Official Languages in the House.
In essence, this is a public communications exercise, since the committee will not be able to study the issue. However, I think it would be good to talk about the labour shortages in the skilled trades with the Canadians who are watching us. What are skilled trades? We are talking about hairdressers, landscapers, cabinetmakers, electricians, machinists, mechanics, and crane or other equipment operators. Skilled trades also include painters, plumbers, welders and technicians.
I will explain why the labour shortage in the skilled trades is worrisome. When people take a good look around they soon realize that these trades are very important. Skilled tradespeople build everything around us, such as highways, overpasses, waterworks, subways, transportation systems like the future Quebec streetcar line that we have talked about a lot lately, the railroads that cross the country, skyscrapers in major cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, factories in rural areas, tractors, equipment and the canals of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which were built in the 1950s.
China, India and the United States are making huge investments in infrastructure. For example, in recent years, the U.S. government did not flinch at investing $5 billion to improve the infrastructure of the Port of New York and New Jersey, which was built by men and women in the trades. In Quebec, we are still waiting for the Liberals to approve a small $60-million envelope for the Beauport 2020 project, now called the Laurentia project, which will ensure the shipping competitiveness of the St. Lawrence for years to come.
There has been a lack of infrastructure investment in Canada. The Liberals like to say that their infrastructure Canada plan is historic, but only $14 billion of the $190 billion announced have actually been allocated. That is not all. Even if the Liberals were releasing the funds and making massive investments to surpass other G20 and G7 countries, the world's largest economies, they would not be able to deliver on their incredible projects without skilled labour. Consider this: even Nigeria, with a population of 200 million, is catching up with us when it comes to infrastructure investments.
It is about time that we, as legislators, dealt with this issue, but clearly that is not what the Liberals have been doing over the past few years, although I have heard some members talk about a few initiatives here and there in some provinces. The announcement of this study is late in coming.
I would also remind the House that this is a provincial jurisdiction, given that provincial regulations govern the training of skilled workers. That said, the federal government can still be helpful by implementing various measures through federal transfers, such as apprenticeship grants and loans, tax credits and job training programs. This all requires a smooth, harmonious relationship between the provinces and the federal government. Not only do the political players have to get along well, but so do the politicians themselves.
If, God forbid, the Liberals get another four-year term in office, taxes will increase dramatically, since they will want to make up for the huge deficits they racked up over the past four years. In 2016, they imposed conditions on health transfers. Then, they rushed ahead with the legalization of marijuana even though the provinces wanted more time. Then, they imposed the carbon tax on provinces like New Brunswick, which had already closed a number of coal-fired plants and significantly reduced its greenhouse gas emissions. The Liberals said that they still considered the province to be an offender and imposed the Liberal carbon tax. Finally, today, they are rushing through the study of Bill C-69, which seeks to implement regulations that are far too rigid and that will interfere with the development of natural resources in various provinces, even though six premiers have stated that this bill will stifle their local economies.
How can we hope that this government will collaborate to come to an agreement seeking to address skilled trades shortages when it has such a poor track record on intergovernmental relations?
View Judy A. Sgro Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have a minute or two to voice my support for Motion No. 227. Updating the federal labour standards is way overdue and should have been done a long time ago. It should have been done before, never mind dealing with a motion on the eve of Parliament, but at least maybe we are starting to move in that particular area. We have been consulting and now we are attempting to act.
There was a review done by the previous Liberal government in 2004. After a decade of inaction by the Conservatives, we are trying to pick it up where we left off. Again, there is only so much that we can do in three and a half years, and we cannot deal with all of the issues that we want to deal with. Therefore, we do the best we can to get things moving in the direction we want to be able to protect Canadian workers and help set the stage for good, quality jobs.
We need labour standards that reflect current workplace realities that will also help employers recruit and retain employees while looking after their well-being. It is a win for everyone. It is why the member for Niagara Centre put forward a motion that the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities be required to undertake a study of the creation of a federal trades strategy to consider the labour shortages in the skilled trades, which we know are a high priority for our government, but they are also a high priority for the country.
We have already moved forward with some changes, and here are just a few examples. One of the first priorities our government had was to pass Bill C-4, restoring fairness, balance and stability to labour relations, which was an important thing that we did.
I see that you are standing, Madam Speaker. Thank you very much for allowing me to have one minute to make a point. I look forward to seeing this motion move forward.
View Carol Hughes Profile
The hon. member will have eight minutes remaining the next time this matter is before the House.
It being 6:32 p.m., the time provided for the consideration of Private Members' Business has now expired and the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the Order Paper.
View Blake Richards Profile
View Blake Richards Profile
2019-06-11 10:06 [p.28883]
Mr. Speaker, I move that the 14th report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, presented on Thursday, February 7, 2019, be concurred in.
As I rise today to seek concurrence in the 14th report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, entitled “Supporting Families After the Loss of a Child”, I have one message: The time for action is now. It is not time for further debate, for foot-dragging or for fancy political spin. We need action.
We have been presented with a clear solution, a clear path forward. Anything less than action on the part of the government does a disservice to the parents who need our immediate help, our compassion and our assistance.
The journey of Motion No. 110 began about four years ago, when a family in my constituency of Banff—Airdrie reached out to me to share their story and ask for help. It was a story of heartbreak. It is one that has remained firmly imprinted on me. It is one that no parent, no person, should ever have to experience.
Sarah and Lee Cormier welcomed Quinn, a beautiful baby girl, into the world in 2014. Four short months later, heartbreak and grief struck the family when she passed away suddenly in her sleep. While they were experiencing any parent's worst nightmare, the grief, the shock, the pain that comes with that, they were were also being forced to deal immediately with cold, heartless, bureaucratic federal government processes.
They would be required to immediately return to work. The parental benefit was cut off on the day Quinn passed. If they did not immediately inform the federal government of the loss and subsequently received payments, they would have been required to repay them. We can well imagine that in that period, this is not the first thing on a person's mind. Repayment would have to be done in person as well, as there is no other way to do it. It cannot be done online or any other way. Notifying the government could not even be done over the phone.
After making many calls to Service Canada, waiting on hold and then explaining their painful story over and over again, they were informed that they were required, in the height of their grief, to drive down to a Service Canada office, stand in line and present their daughter's death certificate.
Lee Cormier testified the following at committee:
Quinn died on December 28. On January 3 we had her funeral and on January 5 we stood in line at Service Canada. The employee told us we were lucky that we didn't have to pay back the next week's benefit. The words she used were 'Your child ceases to exist, so therefore the benefits will cease to exist.'
Let us think about those words and what it would mean to hear them when grieving the loss of a child: “Your child ceases to exist, so therefore the benefits will cease to exist.” This is what they were told by a federal government employee. No grieving parent should ever have to experience what the Cormiers did.
Unfortunately, the Cormiers are not alone in their experience of this cold, heartless bureaucratic process. I have heard hundreds of parents with similar stories, who have bravely reached out to me over the last few years to tell me their stories.
An example of that is the heart-wrenching story of an advocate from Nova Scotia named Paula Harmon, who lost her daughter Grace. She was forced to tell her story over and over again to a number of Service Canada officials, and was ultimately sent to a doctor to get a note to be able to qualify for sickness leave. One of the arguments the government has made is that people can qualify for sickness leave.
The reason that the doctor put on the note was “bereavement of daughter”. When she presented that note to a federal official, she was told she would be ineligible for benefits. She was told, in a wink-wink, nudge-nudge way, that if she could get her doctor to put some other reason, she might be able to qualify.
We should also think about the story of Rachel and Rob Samulack from here in Ottawa. Their son, Aaron Isaiah Robert Peters Samulack, was born on June 19, 2016, and spent 100 precious minutes with his family after his birth. He passed away surrounded by love in the arms of his parents.
Rachel and Rob were also forced to tell their heartbreaking story many, many times, to numerous Service Canada agents, in fighting for the benefits to be able to have an opportunity to grieve. Rachel was ultimately forced to return to work well before she was ready to do so.
There is also the story of Gillian Hato from Alberta. She was told by federal officials that she had to go in person to the bank to repay the benefits; she was not able to do that online. There was no other option than to go there in person while she was in the deepest throes of grief. She testified to the committee that she could not bear to go out in public. She was not near ready to do that yet. She was physically ill in the bank parking lot, thinking about the idea of having to go inside to repay those benefits. She was in a small town, and she knew that when she went inside, she would be asked where her newborn baby was.
There is the story of Jens and Kerstin Locher, who lost their son Tobias. Jens testified at committee about this excruciating experience. They went into Service Canada; there was no way they could control the times and the terms of where they had to tell their story. I will quote from his testimony. He stated:
After Tobias died, we had to make arrangements with Service Canada to organize my wife's maternity leave. During this difficult time, we had to leave our safe home where we could hide and venture out into the world to file some paperwork. We had to stand in the open-plan office and explain our situation. Not only that, but several years later...we received a letter from Service Canada stating that we had claimed too much money. It took multiple phone calls and letters over several months to clear up with staff that we had not committed any type of fraud for this overpayment. We had simply requested the time to start immediately after Tobias' death, which was on a weekend, and my wife did not go back to work on Monday.
Due to some system settings, the EI system automatically adjusted the start date from the Monday that we had requested to the Monday of the following week. We didn't pick up on it, and my wife's employer started the week we had requested, so there was this one-week gap. We then had to explain over several months that we were entitled to the 15 weeks but that there was this discrepancy.
Those are just a few of the hundreds of stories that I have heard from grieving parents.
Sometimes, each of us in this place needs to step back from our partisanship and look at things from a purely human lens. This is clearly one of those times. This is not an issue that is partisan; it is an issue of human compassion. It needs to be fixed. Action needs to be taken now. This committee report gives us the solution through its seven recommendations. It gives us the path forward, but the government needs to implement them.
What I have been most surprised with, through the journey of Motion No. 110, is to have been met with all of these hurdles and roadblocks every single step of the way from the Liberal government.
I must give credit to many members of Parliament from all parties who have recognized the importance of taking action on this non-partisan issue: the Liberal members for Lac-Saint-Louis and Central Nova, who both gave impassioned speeches on this topic; the Liberal member for Edmonton Centre, who bravely shared his own personal experience with infant loss in his family at committee; and the NDP member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, who has also been very supportive throughout debate and the committee process.
I also want to thank my Conservative colleagues, the members for Elgin—Middlesex—London, Flamborough—Glanbrook, Yorkton—Melville and Calgary Shepard, who have all been extremely supportive every step of the way through this parliamentary process.
Despite the non-partisan nature of this topic, the first Liberal roadblock came during the very first debate. During that first hour of debate on April 27, 2018, the member for Kanata—Carleton got up and coldly read an obviously cut-and-paste, talking-point speech, which spoke of existing supports, rather than recognizing that there are in fact issues within the system. It appeared at the time that the Liberals were not going to support this motion, and I believe that was the case.
However, there were affected parents watching that day in the gallery who were clearly very disappointed. They were there to hear the Liberal government, which so often preaches about helping parents, yet the Liberals got up and glibly claimed that there was no actual issue here. Instead, they pointed to things they had previously done that had absolutely no impact at all on the issue at hand. There were many parents all across the country who watched that speech, and it was their determination, the thousands of signatures on petitions and hundreds of emails and phone calls to Liberal MPs all across this country urging them to support this motion, that forced the government to have a change of heart.
When it came time for the second reading, the Liberals would only agree to support the motion if I amended the wording of the motion from having the human resources committee be “instructed” to undertake a study to having it say “requested” to undertake a study. Now, this is despite the fact that motions that instruct committees are passed all the time in the House of Commons, but the Liberals were trying to claim that somehow this was improper. I was certainly concerned about that, because I was worried this would be something they would use as a way for the government to get out of having any committee meetings on this motion. However, of course, I was also happy that the Liberals were seeming to have an about-face on this. This issue needed to be studied, and I realize that sometimes one has to put a little water in the wine to be able to get to the finish line. Therefore, on June 8, 2018, Motion No. 110 was passed unanimously in this House, as amended.
Then the “instructed” versus “requested” roadblocks started to come. Because the motion said only “requested”, the Liberal majority members on the committee decided they needed to have only four meetings with witnesses, instead of the six that the motion asked for. Because the motion said only “requested”, the Liberal majority on the committee decided that the report did not need to be tabled by December 8, 2018, the deadline that was asked for in the motion. If this was questioned by anyone at the committee, any debate was immediately shut down, usually by a motion by the Liberal member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, which was then forced through by the Liberal majority. One of these disgraceful Liberal displays even happened in front of the witnesses who were there to testify. Eventually, the committee report was tabled on February 7, 2019, two full months after it was supposed to have been tabled.
However, there have been further roadblocks in trying to get the Liberal government to actually take action on the recommendations contained in the report. All Liberal MPs voted against the Conservative amendment to the budget implementation act, which would have given grieving parents the 12 weeks of bereavement leave after the loss of a child. That recommendation was actually contained in the committee report. Every other party in the House of Commons supported this amendment.
When Conservative members recently asked for an update on the status of the implementation of the recommendations at the HUMA committee, once again, the Liberal member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge shut down the debate. What is worse is that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the one who is responsible for ensuring that these recommendations are implemented, sat there in that committee silently. He could have easily committed to ensuring that all those recommendations were enacted, or even offered an update on what the government was doing, but he sat there silently. Instead, the only response we have from the Liberals and from that minister is a flowery-worded letter in response to the report, three months later, that is not taking any concrete action that the grieving parents need. Instead of saying that we will implement the recommendations, the letter points to past actions and half measures that simply do not address the issue at hand.
This report cannot sit on a shelf and just gather dust. This is a blueprint to ensure that grieving parents do not have to endure hardship or suffer any undue financial or emotional distress as a result of the design of government programming. Grieving parents deserve so much better than what they are getting from the current government. It is becoming increasingly clear that if action is actually going to be taken on this issue, it is not going to be through the Liberal government.
The Liberals have had many opportunities to act. They have been given so many opportunities to do the right thing, and, frankly, they have expended considerable effort in ensuring that nothing actually gets done. While they are trying to appear compassionate, they have actually actively worked to undermine these efforts.
I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of so many parent advocates all across this country, without whose efforts we would never have been able to force the Liberals to even support this motion or to agree to the necessary recommendations in the committee report: people like Sarah and Lee Cormier of Quinn's Legacy Run in my home town; Cheryl Salter-Roberts and Baby Steps Walk to Remember in Edmonton-Sherwood Park; Nancy and Peter Slinn and Nicole Chadwick-Dunning from Empty Cradle BC; Annick Robinson and Cradles for Cuddles; Paula Harmon and Gardens for Grace in Nova Scotia; Jens Locher and; Rob and Rachel Samulack, organizers of the Butterfly Run in Ottawa-Gatineau, as well as the organizers of the Butterfly Run in Brockville; Rachael Behie of Nova Scotia and Bria's Band; Jenita Naylor and Hope Box Canada; Michelle Lafontaine and the PAIL Network.
I want to thank all of these courageous advocates and many more like them from across the country. It is their determination that has gotten us this far, and it is their determination that will get this job done.
Now I must ask these advocates to once again demand action. This is a non-partisan issue, and asking for action is not a partisan request. Taking action is the only way forward. Do not fall for lip service. Do not fall for excuses. Only action is acceptable.
We need to get solid commitments from candidates. They need to ask the tough questions. They need to ask Liberal MPs why no real action has been taken when there has been every opportunity to do so. They need to ask for and get solid commitments for the enactment of the recommendations from this report.
Rest assured, when a Conservative government is elected come October, we will take action for grieving parents where the Liberals have failed.
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