NDP push for mobile tradepersons’ changes

Debate begins today on NDP MP Chris Charlton’s (Hamilton Mountain) Bill (C-201) to remove one of the largest barriers to labour mobility and pave the way for workers to move more freely to where their skills are in demand.

“It has never made sense for tradespersons to be out of work in one area of the country while another region suffers from skilled labour shortages,” said Charlton. “Instead of relying on temporary foreign workers, my Bill will keep Canadians working.”

Bill C-201, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act, will allow properly accredited tradespersons and indentured apprentices to deduct from their income taxes the travel and accommodation expenses that result from working at a job site more than 80 km away from their primary residence.

“Construction is Canada’s largest private-sector industry, but it faces two major human-resources challenges: labour shortages and barriers to labour mobility,” said Bob Blakely, Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Building Trades.  “Bill C-201 will ensure Canadians involved in the industry don’t face financial barriers to go to where the work is. This Bill has support among construction companies, workers and large industrial players.”    

Speaking on behalf of the Construction Owners Association of Alberta, President Ernie Tromposch added, “We strongly support Bill C-201, and urge the Parliament of Canada to adopt this legislation without delay.”

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Local 568) Business Manager Laurent Talbot stated, “We strongly believe that this Bill must be adopted by the House of Commons.”

“This Bill is win-win-win legislation. Workers benefit from less unemployment; employers benefit from access to larger pools of skilled workers; and the government benefits by keeping more Canadians working,” Charlton said.  “It’s time that this Bill becomes law”.