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Results: 1 - 15 of 457
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 14:23
I'll introduce them.
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 14:24
Mr. Chair, if I may, I'll introduce Ms. Blanchard. She is from Moose Jaw, representing the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council; she is its executive director. She wanted to come today—she only found about our visit to Moose Jaw yesterday, unfortunately—and speak on issues regarding refugee and immigrant settlement.
Following Tara will be Darcy Dietrich from the Regina Open Door Society, and he'll speak on topics very similar. Because of the short notice, they do not have materials prepared, but they talk about these subjects every day in their work lives, and I think they can do an excellent job without preparation, with our indulgence.
And then I'm sure we'll be anxious to ask questions when they're done. I agree with you, Mr. Chair; I think five minutes per witness would be great.
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 14:49
Is it a full round?
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 14:53
I want to thank you both for appearing today on very short notice and sharing some of your insights. You do excellent work. I've toured your facilities, and they're impressive organizations with impressive staff members. You truly make a great deal of difference in people's lives.
Tara, I was happy to hear you back up the comment I made this morning. Neither I nor my office staff have encountered temporary foreign workers claiming to have been abused. It's a phenomenon that we're not yet familiar with in Saskatchewan. Let's hope that we're never familiar with it.
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 14:53
This committee is looking at a vast array of different issues, but one of the things we have been focusing on most is the labour shortage that currently exists in Canada, particularly in Saskatchewan now. Our economy is on the verge of a boom like we've never seen before. The growth potential in Saskatchewan is limitless, and I talk about that with great pride, but right now, in terms of the backlog.... The Liberals grew the backlog in immigrants from 50,000 only a few short years ago to between 850,000 and 900,000 people today, so that's the bottleneck we're looking at.
Today we've had groups of people before us who are desperately looking for specific skilled workers. We've also had groups before us looking for semi-skilled workers. A gentleman from Tim Hortons was here talking about the fact that he cannot find people to pour coffee for $10 an hour in his Tim Hortons. This is a desperate state of affairs right now.
I'd like you to comment a little bit on what you see. You're seeing the federal government going through some efforts toward legislation right now with Bill C-50 to try to end this bottleneck, to be able to satisfy the labour needs, to be able to fill those needs as appropriate. We know we need doctors and nurses. We also need construction workers, welders, and tradespeople. We desperately need truck drivers here in Moose Jaw. We need semi-skilled workers, as I have referred to as well.
The current wait list is six years. It's projected to be 10 years by 2012 if it's not addressed now. We are trying to take immediate steps right now to flip it around and start to change the whole pendulum, so instead of the waiting lists getting longer, they get shorter. That is going to mean that the government will be able to pick and choose based on the needs for employment here in our country, which makes perfect sense to me. If we need truck drivers, we're going to go out and get truck drivers. If we need doctors, likewise. If you have a doctor who is number 300,000 on the list, who is an obstetrician/gynecologist, maybe that person would soon then become number 300 on the list, because we need that person in a certain community to perform those activities.
I'd just like to hear both of your opinions as to what our government is doing in terms of trying to address specific labour needs that are desperate right now.
I want to add, before you respond, with your indulgence, Mr. Chair, that we're not at all talking with this proposed legislation about affecting anything to do with refugees or family reunification efforts—nothing—but we are going to try to pick the labour that is required and expedite that process, because it's out of control and it's getting worse and worse. In Australia, six months is the processing time for immigrants; in Canada it is six years.
I wonder if you could comment on that.
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 14:58
Absolutely, you should.
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 14:58
Tara, please do that.
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 14:58
The individual just presented today at this panel, and I can get you his name. I have his business card. He was saying they have real problems finding people to pour coffee for $10 an hour.
The gentleman's name is Chris Thomas with Tim Hortons in Calgary. You can get that information from the committee.
We have slaughter plants that are closing. The Nature Valley Farms slaughter plant here in Saskatchewan, in Wolseley, I believe, is closing its doors, or is contemplating that. It is not my riding, so I'm paraphrasing what I've heard from one of my colleagues. They're contemplating shutting the doors just because they don't have the workers to do the jobs. We're talking about $25-an-hour jobs, good paying jobs, but they don't have the people to fill the spots on the kill floor, for lack of a better term.
Definitely, if you could reach out to these individuals....
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 15:00
Thanks for all your efforts and for the great work you do in Moose Jaw and Regina. It's greatly appreciated by everyone in our province.
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 10:49
With 13 members to one, we must have been talking small-l liberal, Mr. Komarnicki.
To Mr. Johansen and Mr. Hopkins, welcome. For me, it's great to be home to the friendly city of Moose Jaw, to my constituency, and it's a real pleasure to host everyone here in the great riding of Palliser.
Mr. Hopkins, you talked a lot about needing people to pour coffee. I've heard exactly the same stories myself, shop owners saying they can't find someone to pour coffee for $10 an hour. I definitely think that's a problem in Saskatchewan.
Of course, we also have a skilled worker shortage. This is a considerable problem in terms of doctors, nurses, construction workers, welders, and tradespeople in general. We're going to hear later on today—and this is what has come to my office—about the shortage of truck drivers, a significant shortage, where they've had to go to Great Britain or the Ukraine to bring in truck drivers.
I was very proud to listen to you talk about the economic potential in this province, in Saskatchewan. Our new economic growth potential is really limitless. You talk about our province with such pride. I enjoyed hearing that.
We currently have a 850,000- to 900,000-person backlog in the immigration system. This has ballooned from 50,000 people only a few short years ago under the then Liberal government.
I'm going to ask a rhetorical question. Obviously you support legislation that would reduce that bottleneck that prevents us from getting the labour we need to fulfill our potential. Right?
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-04-02 10:51
We have a situation right now where it takes approximately six years to get people into Canada, and six months into Australia. The Australians will say that's one of their biggest selling features, the fact that it takes six years to get into Canada. That's expected to be 10 years by 2012 if it's not addressed.
This government is trying to address this. We're trying to reduce this bottleneck and ensure that we get both skilled and unskilled workers that we require in this country.
I have to say, in response to Mr. St-Cyr's comments, this is something that has come up a fair bit at the committee, the concern about temporary foreign workers and the abuse of temporary foreign workers. Maybe it's just because I live in the province of Saskatchewan, but I honestly do not hear of these cases coming into my office in Moose Jaw or Regina, where people are saying, “Listen, I'm here under the temporary foreign worker program and I'm being abused by my employer.”
I think you're right, Mr. Hopkins. If we ever saw that, we'd simply direct them to the right office and that would be dealt with very promptly.
I'm just going to wrap up, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Hopkins, you did refer to the fact that foreign credentials have to be recognized. Our government has set up a foreign credential referral office to do just that, to speed up that process so that we don't have, as Ms. Beaumier said, cardiologists driving cabs when we have a shortage of cardiologists, or radiologists or OB/GYNs. We have that office set up, and we're going to try to expedite that, to get those people their credentials verified as soon as possible and get them into their trained field that they're a master in.
I want to wrap up by saying that we have welcomed to Canada this past year more immigrants than we have in nearly a century. As a quick fact, Canada this past year welcomed the highest number of newcomers in our history—429,649—surpassing the previous high in 1911.
So we're certainly moving in the right direction, and I'm glad you gentlemen approve of the movement by our government to reduce the bottleneck. Thank you very much.
If you have any comments or....
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-03-10 16:59
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I appreciate the officials coming before us today.
Can you describe for me and all of us here what exactly is the beginning of the enforcement process? This is for whoever chooses to answer. Can you go through the enforcement process briefly for us here.
It seems to me that some members here are making reference to what is actually the end of the enforcement process. Is it realistic to assert that someone can submit a spousal sponsorship, have the enforcement process then begin, and have that process run its course before the CIC process is addressed and decided?
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-03-10 17:00
Thank you very much.
Does anyone else have anything to add?
View Dave Batters Profile
CPC (SK)
View Dave Batters Profile
2008-03-10 17:02
Thank you very much for that clarification. I appreciate it.
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