OTTAWA—Mary Simon, Canada’s first Indigenous governor general, delivered the speech from the throne Nov. 24, which outlined the government’s plan moving forward.
The speech touched on building a more resilient economy, transitioning to net-zero, providing apprenticeship and training supports, representation on a Just Transition Task Force and the implementation of a Skilled Trades Workforce Mobility Tax Deduction, a promise outlined in the Liberal party’s most recent election platform.
“We need support from all parties to get this important piece of legislation introduced and passed in the House to support our skilled trades workers, address labour shortages and rebuild our economy,” said Sean Strickland, executive director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU), in a statement.
Every public infrastructure dollar spent should be tied to building a diverse workforce, he said.
“Skilled trades offer a lifelong career path with family-sustaining wages,” reads the statement. “Tying in Community Benefits Agreements to federally procured projects will ensure that all Canadians – Indigenous peoples, women, new Canadians and young people – have a clear path to joining the skilled trades workforce, a true way to invest in and empower underrepresented groups.”
The speech also signalled the government’s progress and ongoing support for affordable child care, an issue important to skilled tradespeople.
“CBTU has conducted focus groups with tradespeople on the issue of child care across the country, and while affordability is key, accessibility must not be forgotten,” Strickland noted. “We need qualified, child care professionals that offer flexible operating hours to accommodate those, like skilled trades workers, who don’t work nine to five, Monday to Friday to make childcare truly accessible, for all working families.”