Weekly Update July 25th, 2014July 25, 2014,
Hon. Michelle Rempel –Weekly Update
July 25th, 2014
Strengthening the Economy of Western Canada
As Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification (WD), it is my privilege to increase Western Canada's competitive advantage, demonstrating your Government’s commitment to supporting jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.
I recently attended the Farnborough International Airshow 2014 in Hampshire, England, one of the largest aerospace trade shows in the world. It is a prime opportunity for Canadian companies and organizations to do business with international aerospace representatives from industry and government, highlight innovations in the aerospace industry and to develop new procurement and export opportunities. The aerospace industry in the West has a strong reputation for innovation through research and development, as well as a highly-skilled workforce. WD’s ongoing commitment to furthering the gains of the western Canadian aerospace sector led to support for a two-year project with the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC). WD funding of more than $600,000 supports seven key activities, including AIAC’s participation at the Farnborough International Airshow, in order to help the western Canadian aerospace industry, with over 100 Canadian companies represented, access global supply chains and increase its international competitiveness.
Other recent WD announcements include:
· An investment of $3.3 million toward the purchase and installation of specialized advanced manufacturing and product development equipment at the Alberta Centre for Advanced Micro Nano Technology Products (ACAMP), as well as training on the use of this new equipment for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Through ACAMP's services, 10 companies have generated over $70 million in revenue per year and over 3,400 highly qualified personnel have been trained. Approximately 80 Alberta SMEs will benefit from this initiative, which is expected to result in the development of new product prototypes, the creation of new jobs in the field, as well as connections between SMEs and multi-national companies.
· Federal funding of $1 million will allow Northern Lakes College to purchase specialized equipment needed to establish a new power engineering steam lab at its Peace River Campus. The new facility will provide more power engineering students with the resources they require for certification. The project will help address the growing need for qualified power engineers in Alberta, specifically benefiting small- and medium-sized enterprises in the Slave Lake and Peace River regions. In addition, the initiative will provide surrounding First Nations and Métis communities with greater access to skills training programs needed for careers in the oil and gas, as well as forestry sectors.
· An investment of $150,000 in support of a pilot program that is providing Information Technology (IT) skills training and career opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) via the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Calgary’s new not-for-profit organization Meticulon Consulting Incorporated. Meticulon employs and trains talented people with ASD to carry out software testing, as well as deliver quality assurance and data verification services. This initiative is not only helping to improve the quality of life and level of independence for adolescents and adults with a diagnosis of ASD, but is also supporting local businesses in accessing quality IT services.
Weekly Update – July 18th, 2014July 18, 2014,
Now that the activities of Stampede are over, many of you will be looking for ways to engage your children in summer activities and our local community centres offer some of the best resources to be found anywhere. They offer a giant range of programs and facilities in sports, arts, crafts, pools, daycamps and many other events and activities. Check out community association newsletters and websites for further details.
The City of Calgary offers a wide range of options for summer activities and adventures which may be found here:
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary (BGCC) provide a wide variety of innovative programs, activities and creative supports, increasing opportunities for children to engage and succeed in educational and vocational settings. Check out their website at:
Both the YMCA and YWCA are in full swing with their summer sessions and offer day and overnight camping experiences. Details can be found at:
I would also encourage you to volunteer your skills and time to a local group or community centre. It is your care and effort that create the strong and vibrant communities that make Calgary such a great place to live.
Weekly Update – July 4th, 2014July 04, 2014,
Hon. Michelle Rempel, P.C., M.P. Calgary Centre-North
Weekly Update – July 4th, 2014
After a very productive parliamentary session I am very much looking forward to a busy summer in the riding and around western Canada. Parliament was able to work on a record number of bills and was able to pass legislation that is of importance to all Canadians. I am proud of the hard work of all of my colleagues.
For more information on the work of the 2nd Session of the 41st Parliament please follow this link:
This parliamentary break will allow me to spend extra time in the riding, meeting with constituents and stakeholders. I value this opportunity to engage with our community and meet with as many of you as possible.
I would like to thank all who attended my recent and very successful Coffee and Chat. The informal format enabled me to meet with everyone and to hear your concerns directly. I received much valuable input and feedback on a wide variety of issues and this will enable me to be a much stronger voice for you in both caucus and government.
I was able to attend several events on Canada Day here in Calgary and I am again reminded of what an extraordinary and wonderful country we live in. Countries are made up of individuals, and the enthusiasm and strength of Canadians can never be in doubt. I would like to extend special congratulations to those who became new Canadians this Canada Day.
I always look forward to the many Stampede festivities in Calgary and, as in past years, I will attend as many community events in the riding as I am able. I hope that you will be able to attend my Stampede BBQ on 06 July that I am co-hosting with M.P. Devinder Shory at Cardel Place and my own Stampede breakfast on 12 July at the Highwood Community Centre.
In addition to Stampede, this summer Calgary will be the venue for many festivals, community and charitable events, sporting tournaments and diverse other events and I hope you will take time to engage with your community.
In my role as Minister of State for Western Economic Development I will be travelling all over western Canada this summer, meeting and consulting with industries, universities, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders.
I also have plans this summer to go door-knocking in the riding and I look forward to meeting with you at your homes and hearing your concerns directly from you. As always please feel free to contact my office with any federal issues that are important to you.
The Temporary Foreign Worker ProgramJune 27, 2014,
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) was intended to give Canadian companies an option to fill job vacancies when qualified Canadian applicants were not available. A series of reports have emerged in recent months regarding companies who use the program to hire less-expensive overseas employees at the expense of Canadian workers. In Alberta, where the highest number of temporary foreign workers in the country are employed, median wages have gone up by 31% since 2006 and inflation by 14%. However, in the food services sector, a leading user of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, wages have only increased by 8% since 2006. In some cases, businesses have even been accused of terminating positions held by Canadian workers.
As a result of these reports, and after much careful consideration, the Federal government recently announced reforms to the TFWP, with new and tougher policies about the hiring of foreign workers to low-wage positions and introducing stronger oversight on companies that apply for assistance through the program. These reforms will help ensure the TFWP is only used as intended – to fill acute skills shortages on a temporary basis and to ensure that Canadian workers are never displaced.
To offer greater clarity and transparency, the TFWP is being re-organized into two distinct programs. This will reduce confusion and better reflect the major differences between the various streams.
The TFWP will now refer to only those streams under which foreign workers enter Canada at the request of employers, following approval through a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with Employment and Social Development Canada being the lead department for the TFWP.
The new International Mobility Programs (IMP) will include those streams in which foreign nationals are not subject to an LMIA, and whose primary objective is to advance Canada’s broad economic and cultural national interest, rather than filling particular jobs. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be the lead department for the IMP.
Some highlights of the reforms are:
- The moratorium on the fast-food industry's access to the program is lifted immediately
- The program will no longer accept applications from retail, accommodation and food service businesses in areas with unemployment rate of more than six per cent.
- The program will now be based on provincial wage levels instead of the government's national occupational classifications.
- A cap is also being placed on the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers an employer can hire at each worksite — 30 per cent of a worksite's employees starting immediately and dropping to 10 per cent by July 2016.
- The cap will not apply to employers with fewer than 10 workers or to short-term, non-renewable positions.
- Employers who are currently under the cap will not be allowed to hire more temporary foreign workers in order to reach the limit.
- The government will post the number of temporary foreign workers approved every quarter, along with the names of companies that hire them.
- Employers accessing the program must commit to not laying off any Canadian workers or reducing their hours, and must submit how many Canadians applied and were interviewed for these jobs, along with reasons why they were not hired.
- The amount of time a low-wage temporary foreign worker can work in Canada is being reduced to a cumulative total of two years from four years.
- Employers will also be required to get annual approval to hire low-wage temporary foreign workers, instead of biannually, and the application fee is being increased to $1,000 from $275.
- Companies that abuse the program will be more harshly punished, with fines of up to $100,000, starting in the fall, and with public disclosure of the names of employers who have been fined and the amount of that fine. There will also be an increase in the number and scope of inspections. The Government will improve its ability to collect and share information between government departments and other levels of government to make sure that employers who break the rules are caught.
- These changes will strengthen and improve the TFWP, supporting our economic recovery and growth, and ensuring that employers make greater efforts to hire Canadians before hiring temporary foreign workers. These reforms will ensure that the TFWP, which is an important program to deal with acute skills shortages on a temporary basis, is used only as a last resort.
- As part of the ongoing review of the TFWP, the Federal government will hold cross-Canada consultations over the coming months with businesses, industry and trade organizations, unions and others on additional changes to the Program.
For further information and to see the complete details of the new program please follow this link: