Thursday, September 6, 2007


The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is arguing that the current point system to select skilled workers for permanent residency is causing a labour shortage in the ranks of construction workers. While this argument may have some merit, what is lost to the CCA is that construction is a cyclical industry, and while the going is good now, what do we do with unemployable construction workers when there is a downturn? (and there may be one coming soon, all we have to do is consider the possible spillover form the subprime crisis in the US and their housing collapse). A much better idea would be to have a broader temporary worker program for the industry, so taxpayers would not be saddled with unemployed workers collecting benefits if there is a downturn or recession. The problem? The unions oppose temporary worker programs, as the foreign workers do not become permanent union members. There is now an abundance of construction workers unemployed in the US, Mexico and otter countries....why not amend NAFTA so the arcane protectionist provisions excluding construction work can be lifted and those workers may come into Canada on a temporary basis? Message to the CCA: force the unions to accept the reality of a new marketplace and lobby for a change to NAFTA! See story: