On this episode of the Construction Record Podcast, digital media editor Warren Frey speaks with Canada’s Building Trades Unions executive director Sean Strickland about Canadian immigration policy and how it affects the construction industry.
Strickland detailed how while the Canadian immigration system leans in on bringing highly educated individuals into the country, the focus has largely been on those with extensive post-secondary credentials and not skilled trades and other necessary workers, other than through temporary foreign worker programs.
He also advocated for letting unions co-sponsor new immigrants in order to get them into apprenticeship programs and boost the number of skilled tradespeople available to address labour shortages and a need for more affordable housing.
News editor Lindsey Cole also joined Warren for the Wednesday news segment, including a discussion of the significant wildfire activity in British Columbia, including the good news that a West Kelowna water treatment plant escaped damage despite intense fires nearby. Unfortunately, as of publication of the podcast over 60 buildings have been wiped out due to wildfires. She also pointed to a story about the John Hart Dam seismic upgrade project, which will be able to withstand a 1 in 10,000 year earthquake event.
In the east Lindsey highlighted Ontario premier Doug Ford’s extension of strong mayor powers to 21 municipalities along with announcing $1.2 billion in incentives for cities and towns to hit housing targets, as well as a recent story about how Toronto planning and housing committee chair Gord Perks is backing up new mayor Olivia Chow’s housing initiatives.
You can listen to The Construction Record on the Daily Commercial News and Journal of Commerce websites as well as on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon Music’s podcast section. Our previous episode’s interview with Gensler senior associate Duanne Render about the challenges and opportunities of converting office and commercial building stock into residential units is here. Thanks for listening.