OTTAWA – Stakeholders are disappointed that the Conservative government has declared its massive new federal-provincial infrastructure project open for business — with nary a mention of apprenticeships.
Ottawa kicked off its $14-billion New Building Canada Fund late last month, part of the government’s 10-year, $53-billion plan to build new infrastructure across Canada.
The fund consists of $4 billion for projects of national significance, $9 billion for provincial and territorial initiatives and $1 billion for projects in small communities with populations of fewer than 100,000 people.
But amid that infrastructure bonanza, there are no provisions for apprenticeships, a key plank of this year’s federal budget.
The government is so committed to bolstering Canada’s apprenticeship system in an effort to develop skilled trades in Canada that Employment Minister Jason Kenney took a delegation to Germany in March to learn more about the European powerhouse’s famed program.
Sarah Watts-Rynard, head of the Canadian…
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