Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Banking, Trade and Commerce
Issue No. 4 - Evidence - April 21, 2016
OTTAWA, Thursday, April 21, 2016
The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce met this day at
10:31 a.m. to study the issues pertaining to internal barriers to trade.
Senator David Tkachuk (Chair) in the chair.
The Chair: Welcome to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade
and Commerce. My name is David Tkachuk. I am the chair of the committee.
Honourable senators, as many of you know, our deputy chair, Céline
Hervieux-Payette, is turning 75 tomorrow but is leaving today. She's doing it a
day early, as you have to. We bid farewell to our deputy chair now because of
Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette has been the deputy chair of this committee
since 2009. It has been a long run. She was the first woman deputy chair ever
and has been one of the longest-serving members of the committee. She arrived in
the Senate in 1995, after a career in private business and being a member of
Parliament for five years. As a Liberal MP, she served as parliamentary
secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada.
In the Senate she marked another first by being the first woman to hold the
post of Leader of the Opposition, from 2007 to 2008. She was also the Liberal
Party's chief organizer in Quebec during that time.
Céline, on behalf of all of us, we appreciate your contribution and your
forceful voice on this committee over the years. The best that can be said of
anyone is that they made a difference, and you certainly have.
On a personal note, for as long as I can remember being on the Banking
Committee — and I was first appointed in 1996 and stayed there with some
interruptions — Céline was always there and was always a force on the committee.
We will miss you, Céline, and I wish you the best of luck. You have so many
skills you don't really need a lot of luck, and I'm sure you are going to do
just fine. I hope you enjoy your retirement from the Senate, but I'm sure you
will still be active in public life.
Senator Massicotte: I would like to thank you, if I may, Céline, on
behalf of all Canadians, many of whom recognize your contribution and expertise.
People sometimes wonder what we do in the Senate and what our contribution is.
Based on your contributions, you are a model for us all. You have never become
discouraged. You have at times handled challenging files, but you have always
stepped up your efforts and pushed through. Your work has had an important
impact, and we thank you for it. I know you are not truly retiring, because that
word is not part of your vocabulary, and that you will continue to serve
society. Thank you very much from us all.
Senator Bellemare: I would like to tell Senator Hervieux-Payette that
I was impressed when I arrived at the Senate — and I still am — by the amount of
work she did and by her many bills and speeches in the chamber. She is truly a
workhorse. Moreover, she has in particular defended women's rights, which is
remarkable, especially in economic matters. I am also sure that she will
continue this work, since she is such a beautiful person, and so young and full
of energy. Good luck, Céline.
Senator Tannas: I want to say all the best to you. I clearly recall
our first meeting, which was in the business world, when you were a director of
a company and I was asking for money from that company. You provided some very
candid advice to me at that time. Throughout my meetings over the years,
including when I first came to the Senate, I could always count on you for
candid advice. That is something that is wonderful and valuable — your clear
thinking and your absolute candour. I want to thank you for that and wish you
all the best.
Senator Ringuette: Céline, I would like to thank you for your
friendship. Even though you will no longer be in the Senate as of tomorrow, I
can assure you that, with regard to the issues you have taken up with great
passion — your positions on international trade, free trade agreements and the
representation of women on boards of directors — you can count on us to make
sure that these various debates do not die on the Order Paper. I wish you good
luck, and you can watch us continue the work you have started.
Senator Day: I'm not sure what else I can add, Céline.
Several of your colleagues here in Banking did the same thing as you. They
would come to a Banking meeting on Wednesday and then run down to Finance and
carry right on. That's not an easy job to do, and you did it well. We certainly
appreciated your contribution in not only this committee but sister committees
as well. We wish you well in your future challenges.
Senator Black: What has always impressed me about you is not only your
grace but your courage. From the board work I used to do before I arrived here,
I find the most important trait of a board member, or in this case a senator, is
someone who is brave and prepared to take on important issues, recognizing the
consensus of the room may not be with them and still moving their point of view
forward. It is very impressive to me.
I have learned things from you, and I thank you very much for that. You still
have a very important contribution to make, and I am looking forward to watching
and applauding you as you move forward.
Senator L. Smith: A little bit of history for the group, outside of
the Senate: In 1997, when we re-launched football in Montreal, which was an
ultimate disaster, there was a group of about eight to ten ladies, and they were
called le Club des femmes, and they helped me sell tickets, because that's how
The job they did was so outstanding that the Alouettes had, during the 12
years I was president, the largest female demographic in the CFL. Thirty-three
per cent of the fans in the stadium were women. The average demographic for
women was 20 per cent, and it was because of the assertiveness and leadership of
the ladies. Céline was one of them. She gave me some good tips at that time on
how I should sell.
Senator Campbell: The two words I think of whenever I think of Senator
Hervieux-Payette are courage and strength. She has both of them in a large
degree. Once she decides something is the right thing, she doesn't back down and
she's fearsome. That's an enviable trait and one I have watched closely in my 11
You will be missed. As a former coroner, I can tell you that this is not
death that you are going to; it is a new and exciting new life.
Senator Ringuette: The key word is "life.''
Senator Greene: I'm not going to repeat any of the wonderful comments
that have been made, but I do wish to praise you for two things that haven't
been mentioned yet. One is your consistency on behalf of your objectives, and
the other is your outstanding productivity. You are offering your advice, your
wisdom, your work and your diligence right up to the last day, and I admire that
The Chair: Did you want to say a few words, Senator Hervieux-Payette?
Senator Hervieux-Payette: I will formally thank you all this
afternoon. I am very attached to this committee. It was the first committee I
attended when I was appointed in 1995. I left the committee during the time I
was the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, but I came back, with great
I would like to say to Senator Bellemare that one of the reasons was the fact
that women were not on the committee at the beginning, and it took many years.
Pierrette was one of the first. If we want to be present in society and develop
policies in the economy that are favourable to every citizen, we have to have
men and women. That's why I changed my bill about women on boards to say a
maximum of 40 per cent men or women. I made changes over the years, and I thank
you for your continuing support.
I will take the summer off. In September, you might receive an email telling
you where I'm going to be. I'm now negotiating to do something else that will
certainly be useful to Canada. I must say that if I didn't love my country, the
job, I would not have worked so much. From the bottom of my heart, it was a
privilege that I enjoyed, and if I was tough on you Conservatives, it is because
I loved you. We have to be tough on the people we love.
I came here the year of the referendum, and I came here saying that I want my
province of Quebec to be part of this country that we founded together. I have a
sweet spot for every province, and I am truly a Canadian. Some people in my
province are Quebec first and Canadian second; I'm Canadian first and Quebec
second. That is important to me. I will continue to preach that, work on that
and make sure that we continue to be one of the best countries in the world.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!
The Chair: If we as Conservatives were tough on you, it was because we
love you too.
I would like to welcome our witnesses today: from Engineers Canada, Kathryn
Sutherland, Vice-president, Regulatory Affairs; from Canadian Wireless
Telecommunications Association, Kurt Eby, Director, Regulatory Affairs and
Government Relations; from the Canadian Welding Bureau, Craig Martin, Vice
President, Office of Public Safety.
Thank you, witnesses, for being here today.
Senator Day: I have an intervention, if I may, Mr. Chairman.
I wanted to declare an interest, Mr. Chairman. I don't think it would
preclude me — though it's for you to determine — from being here, but I was
honoured with the designation Fellow of Engineer Canada a couple of years ago.
It's a designation that I'm very pleased to have, but if you feel that that
would disqualify me from participating in Ms. Sutherland's participation here, I
am in your hands.
The Chair: Far from it, Senator Day.
With that, Ms. Sutherland, please proceed.
Kathryn Sutherland, Vice-president, Regulatory Affairs, Engineers Canada:
Thank you for the opportunity to appear here today, Mr. Chair. As the
Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs for Engineers Canada, I am very pleased to
be here to discuss how the engineering profession is reducing barriers to
Engineers Canada has long recognized the importance of interprovincial and
interterritorial labour mobility to ease internal trade barriers and to ensure
that engineers can best serve Canada and protect the public. The mobility of
professionals is important for career advancement and to ensure that engineering
skills and knowledge are available where they are needed throughout the country.
Canada's engineering regulators license 280,000 engineers across the country.
It is a very diverse group of people and qualified professionals from all
backgrounds. It includes women, men, new Canadians, indigenous people,
individuals at every stage of their career, from recently graduated engineers in
training to mid-career professionals balancing work and family, to engineers
that are approaching retirement. They build our bridges and our roads. They
design aircraft, build robots, invent new digital technologies, discover new
medicines, create medical devices and more. They do this in every province and
every territory, and they do it with the highest priority on the protection of
Engineering is a self-regulated profession. Each of Canada's 12 engineering
regulators set high professional and ethical standards, establish codes of
conduct, and administer regulatory processes and standards of practice to assure
protection of the public. This protects and enhances public health, safety,
welfare and the environment for all Canadians.
Engineers Canada is the national body that represents the provincial and
territorial regulators of the engineering profession. We also accredit
undergraduate engineering programs and develop professional practice and
qualification guidelines as they relate to the public interest. We facilitate
international and interprovincial labour mobility, and we act as the voice of
Canada's engineering profession on the international stage. We track labour
market trends. We own the official marks on the terms relating to the profession
such as engineer, engineering, professional engineer, 34 more, and we promote
diversity in the profession.
To perform engineering work in Canada, the engineer must be licensed in the
province or territory where the work is being completed, with a few exceptions.
Recognizing how mobile engineers need to be across Canada to share their
expertise on projects in other provinces, the engineering regulators have worked
very hard to facilitate seamless movement of professionals from one province or
territory to another, and these arrangements have created one of the most
straightforward interprovincial and interterritorial systems among the regulated
professions in Canada.
The engineering profession has long recognized the need to smooth the
mobility of engineers across the country. In 1999, 16 years ago, and about 10
years before the Agreement on Internal Trade, or AIT, came into place, Engineers
Canada facilitated the signing of the Inter-Association Agreement on Mobility by
all of the engineering regulators. This agreement allowed professional engineers
who are licensed in one jurisdiction in Canada to register in another
jurisdiction, with minimal administrative overhead and without processing
delays. The final decision for licensure always remains with the new
jurisdiction, but it certainly was a very good start to the process.
In 2015, over 4,500 engineers who were licensed in one province or territory
applied for licensure in another province or territory. The provinces and
territories are using innovative approaches to have swifter, efficient, trusted
mobility processes. This protects the public interest by ensuring that engineers
are held publicly accountable, remain in good standing and are available to move
and practice anywhere in the country.
The Inter-Association Mobility Agreement was in many ways the Canadian
engineering profession's forerunner to Chapter 7 of AIT. It is important to
facilitate the mobility of professional engineers, but at the end of the day,
the most important concern of the engineering regulators and Engineers Canada is
public safety. It is not about balancing efficiency and safety; safety is
paramount, and the efficiency of mobility is sought without risking that vital
All of the provincial and territorial regulators are committed to
facilitating mobility while protecting public health, safety and the
environment. As an example, the Association of Professional Engineers and
Geoscientists of Alberta has created an online interprovincial mobility
application that streamlines the process of moving from jurisdiction to
jurisdiction. It enables applicants to apply for a licence with the Alberta
association without going through the same application process as someone who is
applying for their initial licence. It takes about three to five days to process
that application, so if you are licensed in Ontario, for example, in five days
you can be licensed in Alberta.
The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British
Columbia are also doing excellent work. In 2015, they reported a 93 per cent
success rate for professional members who apply each year to transfer from
provinces and territories across Canada into B.C. Individuals are licensed
within three business days.
Collaboration among engineering regulators to facilitate internal mobility is
the norm. As an example, in late 2015, Engineers Nova Scotia and Engineers
P.E.I. launched a dual application form that allows engineers licensed in one
jurisdiction to apply to both of those jurisdictions at the same time.
This year at the Engineers Canada's May annual meeting, all other engineering
regulators who are interested in doing it at this time will sign the agreement,
and that will further facilitate the movement of professional engineers across
Canada. So far, the British Columbia association and the Association of
Professional Engineers of the Yukon have indicated that they're going to sign as
Also, just last week, the Alberta and B.C. regulators announced that they
will collaborate on the evaluation of refugee applicants, relying on resources
from both provinces toward the eventual recognition of these applicants in both
Mobility doesn't start simply with the licensing of engineers; it is also
very important that the educational credentials of applicants meet the standards
of our engineering regulators. That's why Engineers Canada established an
accreditation system for Canadian post-secondary engineering programs in 1965.
The accreditation of engineering programs helps to support mobility by ensuring
that the engineering education an individual receives at an accredited
institution in Canada is recognized as equivalent all across the country. There
are currently 279 accredited programs at 43 higher education institutions that
are accredited by the Engineers Canada accreditation board.
Degrees from these institutions are also recognized internationally through
our membership in the Washington Accord, an international mutual recognition
agreement among engineering-degree accrediting bodies in 17 countries. As well,
Engineers Canada has several memorandums of understanding, both academic and at
the full professional level, with engineering accrediting, certification and
licensing organizations in other countries. A degree from an accredited Canadian
engineering program prepares the graduate to practise anywhere in Canada and in
24 countries around the world, representing over 62 per cent of the world's
Canada's strong accreditation process ensures that studying at an accredited
institution allows engineering graduates to have their academic qualifications
recognized in all provinces and territories. Helping internationally educated
and trained individuals who have attended accredited institutions is just
another way that Engineers Canada works to facilitate smooth mobility.
Knowing market trends across the country, as well as the make-up of the
provincial and territorial regulators' membership, is vital to tracking and
supporting labour mobility. For that reason, Engineers Canada conducts both
labour market studies and membership trends research and makes this information
We are currently finalizing the development of an online labour market portal
known as EngScape. It will present labour market trends for the Canadian
engineering profession, from employment rates and salaries to university
enrolment to immigrant employment. We will make this information available by
engineering discipline or by province or territory. Right now, they're working
on drilling it down even more into different cities. With that, you can look at
a city and see how many engineers there are there, how many in what discipline
and how many jobs might be available so you can make informed decisions about
where you want to move and where your skills are going to be needed. The online
tool would be dynamic, easy to use and timely. It will assist engineering
students, licensed engineers and foreign- educated engineers who are looking for
work and ready to move to find it.
Internal mobility is greatly supported by provincial and territorial
engineering regulators, as they work tirelessly to break down barriers to trade
while ensuring that they're safeguarding the economy, the environment and
To close, Engineers Canada believes that the provincial and territorial
regulators have prioritized internal mobility and put in place successful
initiatives to promote and facilitate labour mobility. With their leadership and
transparent self-regulation of the profession, Canada's engineering regulators
have been at the forefront of labour mobility, which allows for the movement of
professional services from coast to coast.
Engineers Canada does not believe that the current licensing processes create
unjust internal barriers to trade or mobility across the country. The provincial
and territorial regulators consistently strive to ensure that their admissions
and licensure practices are timely, transparent, objective, impartial and fair.
As noted earlier, interprovincial licensure can be achieved in as quickly as
three business days. Engineers Canada believes in the need to maintain
self-regulation of the profession and to always work to improve the
interjurisdictional licensing process.
We encourage the government to actively consult and collaborate with the
regulated professions to achieve the desired outcomes for professional mobility
in Canada. These professions are regulated in Canada with the sole intention of
protecting public health, wellness and the safety of Canadians. The engineering
profession is always ready and willing to work with the government to achieve
their goals and best serve Canadians.
Thank you very much for your time and the opportunity to contribute to this.
Kurt Eby, Director, Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations, Canadian
Wireless Telecommunications Association: Thank you, Mr. Chair and committee,
for the opportunity to join this discussion.
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association represents wireless
service providers, as well as the companies that develop and produce products
and services for the industry, including handset and equipment manufacturers,
content and application creators, and business-to-business service providers.
Consumer preferences have created our mobile-first world, where smartphones
and tablets are the preferred choice to communicate, navigate, inform, shop,
bank, work, collaborate, entertain and be entertained.
Consumers want wireless services to become even more accessible, convenient
and easy to use. They count on ubiquitous advanced network connectivity to help
keep them safe and secure. They need to trust that personal and private
information on their mobile devices is also safe and secure. They depend on the
wireless industry to continue investing and innovating so they can maximize the
value of their wireless experience.
Indeed, Canadians' preference for wireless clear. In only seven countries in
the world does the average mobile user consume more than 1 gigabyte of data per
month. Canada is one of those countries, and Canadians currently rank as the
fourth-highest consumers of wireless data in the world, at more than 1.5 gigs
The cumulative effect of more Canadians using smartphones and connected
devices to do more is massive growth in overall data usage. The latest
projections indicate that Canadian mobile data traffic will increase 600 percent
by 2020. No other sector of the economy must consistently meet levels of demand
growth similar to those experienced by the wireless industry every year.
This demand is met by significant infrastructure investment. The Canadian
wireless industry has invested more than $2.5 billion in capital expenditures
each year since 2009. The doubling of total data usage every two years keeps the
industry in a perpetual capital investment cycle. The industry has invested an
additional $8 billion since 2014 to acquire the spectrum it needs to expand and
enhance wireless networks to meet current and projected traffic volumes.
These investments create jobs directly related to network expansion and
enhancement, and the ongoing delivery of advanced wireless services from
Canada's service providers. In 2014, Canada's wireless industry generated
134,000 full- time equivalent jobs and an overall economic benefit of $23.5
billion. Canada's wireless service providers will continue to make record
investments to meet the demand of exploding data usage and ensure consistent
level of service for all Canadians.
Strategic government policies can facilitate additional investment in
wireless network infrastructure and support innovation and economic development
across Canada. Specifically, CWTA has consistently identified four priorities
necessary to ensure the wireless industry can most efficiently meet the demands
of Canadians. These priorities are more spectrum, more tower and antenna sites,
lower fees to government and smart regulations, which is the most relevant to
the study we are contributing to here today.
By smart regulation, we mean the federal government must maintain and defend
its position as the sole regulator of telecommunications in Canada. Consumers,
service providers, regulators and elected officials are all better served by a
proportionate and symmetrical set of federal regulations rather than an
asymmetrical and inefficient patchwork of different provincial frameworks. For
example, when provinces began to regulate the contracting process for wireless
service, CWT asked the CRTC to establish one set of rules that applies equally
to all wireless consumer agreements in all provinces and territories, which the
We are also recommending that the government fix a policy that provides
foreign companies with an up to 15 per cent price advantage over Canadian firms
and creates a barrier to doing business in Canada. Currently, foreign suppliers
of digital products and services, such as online music, movies, software and
advertising inventory, are not required to collect or remit HST, while similar
Canadian firms are. The competitive advantage given to foreign suppliers by this
policy undermines Canadian investment and innovation by encouraging Canadians to
spend money outside of the Canadian economy, to the detriment of Canadian
suppliers and workers as well as content creators, programmers, publishers,
actors, directors, musicians and all others in the creative community who
benefit from a strong digital economy.
We strongly believe the government should ensure taxation parity among all
suppliers of digital goods in Canada, removing the competitive advantage
currently enjoyed by foreign firms. This would bring Canada's regime in line
with the EU, Norway, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, to name a few.
Wireless network infrastructure expansion and enhancement deliver unmatched
commercial and social benefits to Canadians, including creating jobs,
contributing to GDP, and enabling the mobile and virtual workforce, thereby
removing geographical barriers for rural businesses and communities to
participate fully in the Canadian economy. Wireless service also connects all
Canadians, allowing for collective participation in society and contributing to
our shared national identity.
The government can therefore always directly contribute to innovation and
economic development across Canada by facilitating and incenting investment in
wireless network infrastructure.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to your questions.
Craig Martin, Vice President, Office of Public Safety, Canadian Welding
Bureau: Thank you, honourable senators, for the opportunity to speak with
you today. I serve as the Vice-President of Public Safety for the Canadian
Welding Bureau, known more commonly as the CWB. I will start this morning by
providing you with a brief introduction to the CWB and to the welding industry
in Canada, and then I will focus on barriers to internal trade from a labour
mobility perspective and how CWB has taken proactive steps to address this
challenge facing our industry.
The CWB is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded solely by the
industry we serve. Since 1947, our certification programs have expanded beyond
the welding of steel. We now offer programs for aluminum welding, resistance
welding, welding electrodes and welding inspectors, to name but a few. In all
cases, our programs are based on standards produced by the Canadian Standards
With offices in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, the CWB's
team of 160 staff provide services right across the country. The majority of our
services are provided on the shop floor, providing guidance and oversight to
multiple industry sectors involved in welding.
The CWB is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada as a certification
body and is the only national organization with a primary focus on welding.
Today, the CWB now has over 6,000 welding fabrication companies certified
across Canada and throughout the world. The CWB's primary mission is to help
protect the safety of Canadians. To support this mission, the CWB provides its
services not only to Canadian organizations but also to organizations around the
world that supply welded structures and products to Canada.
Each year the CWB witnesses the welding of over 90,000 test plates completed
by welder, and trains thousands of welding supervisors, welding inspectors and
welding engineers. In addition, CWB staff provides an independent review of over
30,000 welding procedures to ensure compliance with national standards.
It is this combination of qualified welders, qualified welding supervisors
and engineers and qualified procedures that help ensure high quality and a safe
weld, regardless of what province or territory you may live in. If one of these
elements is missing, the risk of weld quality issues and failure greatly
The welding industry in Canada contributes over $5 billion to the Canadian
economy and employs over 300,000 individuals. Through our membership and
advocacy arm, the Canadian Welding Association, we are actively involved in
working with our over 60,000 members to ensure that the industry in Canada
One of the biggest issues facing Canadian welding is that this sector is in
the midst of a skills shortage and mismatch. With an aging demographic and a
strong demand for welding professionals in several industries, including
shipbuilding, mining and natural resources, an active effort must be made to
attract young people to the industry and ensure that we can meet the needs of
our industry no matter where the jobs are or where the qualified welder is
trained. To put the issue of demographics in context, the average age for most
skilled welding positions is 47.
While it is true that in the past 18 months the demand for welders in certain
sectors, such as oil and gas development, has decreased from previous levels,
demand in many sectors still remains strong. As the Canadian manufacturing
sector shows signs of positive indicators of renewed growth and Canada looks to
make significant investments in infrastructure over the next eight years, we
fully expect the demand for skilled welders will remain strong.
The current skills shortage in the welding sector not only creates
difficulties in finding skilled tradespersons but it also introduces the risk
that those that are doing the work may not have the level of skill that we
relied upon in the past.
What's more, these challenges are compounded by the fact that there may be
perceived issues around the ability to work in other jurisdictions. This mixed
message on if a skill needs to be recertified or retrained can lead to confusion
in the marketplace that can delay projects at a cost to industry and ultimately
to the Canadian economy.
From the perspective of CWB, a key opportunity that can help make a
significant positive impact on the skills issues that our industry is facing,
including the challenges around labour and mobility, is to ensure the alignment
of provincial training programs for skilled trades workers. The creation of a
national training curriculum for welders would provide colleges and other
training institutions with a current and comprehensive approach to create a
first class generation of skilled trades.
In response to this, the CWB has invested over $2 million in a new and
comprehensive national training curriculum for the welding trade. Known as
Acorn, the program was developed with both input from industry and the
educational sectors and was launched in 2015. The Acorn training curriculum
includes components that can be used both at the secondary school level and the
post-secondary level right across the country.
At the secondary school level, the CWB has committed to provide this training
curriculum resource to provincial boards of education at no charge. This is to
help ensure that the next generation of potential welders receives a world-
class learning experience, assisting them in making educated choices about the
long-term career opportunities in the welding profession.
Through our charitable arm, the CWA Foundation, we are also providing
opportunities to train secondary school instructors on advancing their skills in
teaching welding and providing funding for equipment and facility upgrading to
create the best possible learning environment.
At the post-secondary level, Acorn provides Canada's first truly national
training and assessment program for the welding industry. It is unique in that
it is both extensive, with over 120 distinct courses, and has been developed to
provide life-time learning, training Canadians for a career rather than simply a
As Acorn development is funded by the industry we serve, it is focused on
training for job readiness and assessing those that have been trained to ensure
they meet the specific requirements of industry as they progress along their
career path. Fundamentally, these programs address the need for national
standardization of skills and the training resources that create them.
We recognize that we must all work together to improve the ease of labour
mobility from province to province to ensure that well-trained, highly skilled
tradespeople can go where they are needed. By ensuring that training is
consistent across Canada, this will help ease the movement of labour through
permitting them to start their training in one province, become an apprentice in
another and become fully qualified in whichever province they move to seek their
As such, the CWB group is working with a number of agencies to ensure that
Acorn aligns with current training schemes and recommendations, including those
of the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship and provincial ministries
of education. This approach to a national training curriculum resource will
assist in facilitating the easing of remaining barriers to labour mobility.
The problems we are now experiencing related to the skills shortage, skills
mismatch and labour mobility have been years in the making. The CWB is
committed, on behalf of all Canadians, to put in place solutions that move both
the welding industry and the people that work within it in the right direction.
We have seen in recent years a move forward at the provincial level to
establish recognition in several key skilled trades areas, including welding.
The CWB is pleased to see a focus on these issues at the federal level, and we
encourage the federal government to continue to support and assist our
provincial governments in coordinating and harmonizing their requirements
related to trades training, apprenticeship and certification with the goal of a
truly national solution to the issues facing Canadian skilled trades workers and
the industry they support.
Thank you very much for your time.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: First of all, as a lawyer, I envy engineers.
You have a much better record of ensuring labour mobility in engineering and of
promoting your profession as one of the best in the world. We know that Canadian
engineers have a strong reputation for the quality of their work on sites around
the world. My first question is why other professional associations have not
followed your lead.
Now, my real question pertains to the continuing professional development of
engineers. What are the requirements for professional engineers working in any
province as to professional development and learning about new technologies?
Ms. Sutherland: I'll answer your second question first. It was about
the continuing professional development requirements of engineers.
In the Code of Ethics and in the requirements for engineers, one of their
requirements is they remain competent at all times, so they have an ethical and
moral obligation to make sure that they only practise in areas where they are
competent to practise.
When you graduate from an engineering program and become a professional
engineer, it really doesn't matter what discipline you practise in. Your licence
says you can practise in any area of engineering. Engineers have an obligation
to only practise where they are competent to practise.
Most of the associations across the country have a continuing professional
development program that requires engineers to undertake a certain number of
hours of professional development every year and to keep records of that. Some
of the associations require them to report and provide supporting documentation
for it. A couple of the associations have a voluntary reporting requirement, and
there's sometimes an incentive to take on additional professional development
opportunities, and the incentive is in a lower fee or something like that.
There are a couple of organizations that do not have a continuing
professional development program in place. One is in British Columbia, but they
have a very strong voluntary program that a lot of their members contribute to
regardless. Professional Engineers Ontario is in the process of putting a
professional development program in place so they will be in line with all of
the other regulators.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: Is the continuous education administered at
the national or provincial level?
Ms. Sutherland: It's administered at the provincial level. If you're
licensed to practise in more than one province, you report your professional
development activities in every one of those provinces.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: I have several engineers in my family,
starting with my daughter, who is an engineer in physics, and my son-in-law in a
different discipline, too, mechanics. We have another one in chemistry.
Ms. Sutherland: Congratulations.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: So if you are in one gang, you are not going
to practise in the other.
Ms. Sutherland: That's right.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: Mr. Eby, for me, everything goes back to
something called Netflix. I listened to all of your presentation, and I just
said that, yes, I feel I would be inconvenienced if I was in your organization
and had players that were not paying their taxes in Canada. We need a few more
dollars to help the Minister of Fnance.
How do you explain that these people seem to be able to do that, not just in
Canada, but in other countries as well? What's the rationale for having outside
players who are cutting, in fact, the possibility of other companies here by
saving a big amount of money?
Mr. Eby: It's a great question. It's really more of a historical
policy because this particular policy or policy loophole only applies to goods
that come digitally. Originally, these didn't make up a huge portion of the
economy, so it maybe wasn't worth the effort to try to collect the taxation.
That's not the case anymore, as everyone can agree. It's not just streaming
services. It's downloading music and movies. It's advertising as well. If you're
advertising on American- provided websites, you don't pay HST. So depending on
the province, it's a massive price difference.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: Does every province lose the tax?
Mr. Eby: Yes.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: No provinces charge anything, and neither
does the federal government?
Mr. Eby: They do, yes, exactly. The OECD looked at this a couple of
years ago when they came out, and their recommendation was to start requiring
these companies to collect and remit sales tax, HST. That's going on in Europe
now, Australiaand New Zealand. Canada would really just be falling in line with
what is becoming the norm.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: It could be a good recommendation for this
committee. I won't be here, but I want to underline that to my colleagues that I
think it's unfair to our industry, because they have invested billions of
dollars to upgrade and we have a great system. As far as I'm concerned, in all
fairness, new technology doesn't deserve to enjoy a no-tax regime.
Mr. Martin, this is a very interesting sector, because I worked with the
Department of Labour in Quebec, and we had the Red Seal. Are you covered by the
Red Seal agreement?
Mr. Martin: Yes, the Red Seal agreement does cover the welding trade.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: Who is paying for the training, not just the
basic but so that people go to higher levels? I know in that trade you can start
with little knowledge in the activity, but you have to learn more and more until
you go to the pipeline, I would say, with very sophisticated activities. How
does it work? How many steps are there and where is it done? Where do you have a
major hole in the number of people to exercise this trade?
Mr. Martin: To answer your first question about who is paying for the
training, that does vary depending on the situation and the industry. Generally
speaking, if they choose to move into the welding profession, of which being a
welder is just one of the many choices, the individual themselves will cover the
cost of that training directly.
It typically starts at the secondary school level. Of course, they are not
paying for that directly, but then out from secondary school they typically will
go to a post-secondary institution such a technical college. There are also a
number of private institutions that offer training.
The third option that some individuals will do is register as an apprentice.
They will find someone to take them on, and then the employer will pay for part
of the training. It depends on the individual arrangements. It's a combination
of working on the shop floor and going back to school at a certain period until
they have the number of hours.
Part of the complexity is that what is defined as a welder in each province
varies greatly. In some provinces, it is a recognized trade. In other provinces,
it is both recognized and mandatory. In other provinces, it is silent. That
creates some of the issue around mobility around the country.
When I talked about the strategies, a key strategy that we've been working on
is on the training side. Although we have the Red Seal Program, there has to be
an agreement that the training that an individual did in province A is the same
as the training that's done in province B. That's where some of the challenges
come up. Some provinces may have 1,200 hours of on-the-job time, while other
provinces might have 1,500 hours. Neither approach is wrong; they're just
different. That creates difficulties for an individual moving from one province
We feel that although it may be up to the provinces to define what a welder
is, if we could have a national standardized approach to the training regime
recognized by all provinces, that should ease some of the movement from one
province to another.
The Red Seal Program is absolutely one solution that we have, but there are
still challenges simply because not all provinces actually have an
apprenticeship program for welders, so they become ineligible to apply under the
Red Seal Program. If every province had the same apprenticeship program and the
same requirements for on-the-job training and classroom training, then the Red
Seal Program would work much more seamlessly than it does today.
Senator Hervieux-Payette: Perhaps you could consult your colleague,
the engineer, to help standardize. because standardizing is the necessary
Mr. Martin: As an engineer, I'm well aware of some of the issues
around licensing. The approach that Engineers Canada is taking will have
challenges similar to what we face, and the road they are going down is similar
to the road we are pursuing as well.
Senator Black: I'm very interested in the engineering model.
Synthesizing what you have said, if I'm an engineer in Quebec and I want to do a
project in Alberta, I apply to the engineering association of Alberta for the
Good Housekeeping seal of approval, which you say will come in three to five
Ms. Sutherland: Correct.
Senator Black: Does the Alberta government have any role in that at
Ms. Sutherland: The Alberta government has no role.
Senator Black: Does the Quebec government have any role?
Ms. Sutherland: The Quebec government has no role.
Senator Black: That's very helpful. The only question then is about
the three to five days. Why can't that be eliminated?
Ms. Sutherland: That's a very good point. It's something that we're
working on across the country. In my view, it should be almost instantaneous if
you fit in all the right categories. There're a couple of conditions where you
would not automatically get your licence under AIT — if you have a history of
complaints or if you have a history of discipline. If none of those are present,
then there's no reason why it couldn't happen virtually instantaneously.
Senator Black: Therefore the border would become seamless. Would that
be your goal?
Ms. Sutherland: Absolutely.
Senator Black: Would you recommend that this committee recommend that
for other professions?
Ms. Sutherland: Absolutely.
Senator Bellemare: I have a question for the engineers' association,
and I also have a question or comment regarding welders, and they are related.
Take, for example, a young engineer, and please tell me if I have understood
this correctly. The young engineer has just graduated from university, is
accepted into the provincial association in Quebec and starts working. When the
time comes to receive accreditation, he realizes that the engineers he works
with are not part of the association. They paid their dues to the association
for several years but, since they have been with the same company for 15 or 20
years, they expect to stay on there until the end of their careers. The young
engineer, however, does not have the recommended number of hours. In other
words, my question is the following:
Is your system by hours really the best one with respect to qualifications?
Wouldn't it be better for the order to recognize qualification, as I think you
are doing with welding? It's not only hours because hours don't measure
necessarily if you qualify or not, even though it is a proxy, and a good one,
but it's not the only one. What do you do with the problem that so many people
are out of the system?
Ms. Sutherland: They're still a member of the engineering association,
but you're saying that they have not kept up their professional development.
Senator Bellemare: That's right. What's going on? Those young
university kids have to pay. How much does it cost to be in the order? There's a
kind of financial barrier for some people.
Ms. Sutherland: I'll give you a little background about how it works
for an engineer that graduates from an accredited engineering program. They
apply to the regulator in the jurisdiction where they would like to work. If
they've graduated from an accredited program, they have met the educational
requirement. There's also an experience requirement. Right now, four years of
experience are required, and then you have to be working under a professional
engineer and have references.
Senator Bellemare: For those four years, they have to work under a
Ms. Sutherland: That's exactly right. There's also the requirement to
write a professional practice exam, which is alaw on ethics, before they get
their licence to practise. There're also some language requirements, depending
on the province, and you have to be of good character.
The first comment I want to make is that right now, four years of experience
are required. In order to demonstrate that, a young engineer will show what they
have been doing for four years. They may file a log of what they have been doing
and where they've been working.
The engineering profession is shifting their focus from that to a
competency-based assessment model where you have to show that you're competent
to practise as opposed to showing you spent X number of years sitting at a desk.
It's a bit of a different philosophy about showing competency, but that's for a
Senator Bellemare: Does that mean that all those young people working
without the supervision of somebody from the order can go to your order?
Ms. Sutherland: The way it is now, you still have to be working under
a professional engineer. Someone has to be able to say that you were doing
engineering work and that you were applying the principles of engineering.
Senator Bellemare: Do the immigrants who come here and have been
working as engineers have to work under supervision too?
Ms. Sutherland: That's a more complex question with two parts. If an
engineer comes to Canada and has been working someplace for many years, they are
obviously very experienced and very knowledgeable. It depends on where they come
from, whether there's a mutual recognition agreement or memorandum of
understanding in place, and whether their credentials are recognized when they
If someone has been working for 25 years, you'd be hard pressed to say that
person hadn't developed some good engineering knowledge and engineering
experience. They probably should not be assessed in the same way that you would
assess a new graduate coming out of university.
It has to be a fair, open and transparent assessment, but it has to give
credit for what they've done. You don't come to Canada to go back to square one.
When you come to Canada, you have to be given credit for the knowledge and
information you already have. They don't necessarily go through the same number
of years of experience, et cetera.
One of the requirements now to be licensed in Canada is that you need one
year of Canadian experience in order to ensure that people coming to Canada have
the knowledge of the codes, standards and laws in Canada in order to practise
professionally with competence.
Senator Greene: Ms. Sutherland, I'm from Nova Scotia. You mentioned an
agreement between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia. I'm wondering if you could elaborate
on that a bit, as to how it came about and whether it is new or old, and also
why, perhaps, New Brunswick hasn't joined?
Ms. Sutherland: Certainly. This is a brand new agreement. The Maritime
provinces work closely together and are supportive of each other and are a
strong voice in the engineering profession. They're proactive and forward
thinking. In 2015, Engineers P.E.I. and Engineers Nova Scotia decided that this
would help to expedite things. And why not? It is a great way to move forward.
As it is new, the other engineering regulators are learning about it and seem to
have a lot of interest in participating in the same plan.
Senator Greene: Does New Brunswick or other provinces have an
Ms. Sutherland: British Columbia has indicated that they're interested
in participating. They're going to sign on in May. The Yukon as well is going to
sign on in May. I haven't heard either way from New Brunswick or any of the
other provinces yet, but I think it is a great opportunity for all of them.
Senator Greene: Great.
Senator Campbell: Fifty years ago, I became a hand riveter in a boxcar
plant in Hamilton, and that crew had a heater, sticker, bucker, riveter and two
welders. If one of the welders didn't show up, then one of the riveters became a
welder, and that's how we learned. I hope things have changed. In saying that,
the welds were always inspected. It wasn't like you were just slapping it
I think welding is integral to Canadian industry, period. It doesn't matter
what you are building, you have got to have a welder there. I find it really
disheartening that there is this discord between Canadian provinces to allow
interprovincial movement of a welder. I can't understand why, after all these
years, we can't come up with a uniform solution to this. It is incredible. Fifty
years ago, you learned on the job. That's not the way you should learn, but
that's how it was. Now it is 1200 or 1500 hours. Surely to God we can
standardize an apprenticeship leading to a certificate for welding in this day
The engineers have done an amazing job. Again, nothing moves without an
engineer. Who would think that somebody from wireless would be between engineers
and welders? Ten years ago, it would never have happened, and yet you now are an
integral part of trying to pull everything together. So we have the old, the
old, and the new. Are there still those barriers between all of you? It seems
like you and you have barriers for certain, and you seem to be moving forward
Mr. Martin: It has changed, to answer your first question. You
wouldn't be able to find a job as a riveter anymore.
Senator Campbell: I know. I changed careers.
Mr. Martin: I would suggest that although it is not perfect yet, I
think we can turn around any perception about being disheartened about the
future. The industry has changed a lot over the last 25 or 30 years. There was a
time when having a unique system in each province made sense because the
mobility of workers really didn't take place. People were born, raised, educated
and worked in the province in which they came from.
That has changed, with the advent of large-scale mining projects and oil and
gas in Western Canada and the resurgence of the shipbuilding industry. We now
are looking at the potential in the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario. There's
many places where, number one, there may not be many people living in the first
place, and the volume of work in the short term on construction projects
requires a large influx of workers, including welders, at any given time.
As I said in my opening statement, we are pleased to see that there is a fair
amount of progress at the provincial level to get coordination. As an example,
British Columbia and Alberta joined together to have a recognition of their
individual welding apprenticeship and trade programs. The Atlantic provinces are
in the process of identifying that welding is one of seven trades that they want
to harmonize in that area. They are recognizing that this is a challenge to
industry and a challenge to their local economies.
To be a welder, you essentially have to do some training combined with some
experience. The experience levels do vary, and I think that's probably the
easier thing to deal with. The harder thing to deal with is defining what
training is required to become a welder, and that's where our movement on what
we call Acorn as a natural curriculum is coming in.
Behind that, there are problems on the ability of the provinces to keep up
the education material. If we can deal with the education, then provinces will
find an easier time to get together and say we use the same national program you
use. If we can come to agreement on the hours, then it should be much easier to
put in agreements across the country.
I wouldn't be disheartened because there has been so much movement in the
past few years. Our push is that, at a federal level, there's a continued focus
or pressure on making sure that on issues like trade certifications, but also
engineers and other things where there are provincial jurisdictions in play,
that those provinces get together and make decisions on how they can work
I am pleased to say that in the welding trade there are a number of provinces
which have done exactly that, and we're there to support them as they move
Ms. Sutherland: In the engineering profession, we see it differently.
Our current model of self-regulation at a provincial and territorial level is
extremely strong. All of the regulators work together very closely, they support
each other and they complement each other very well.
For example, we facilitate groups across the country. All of the admissions
officials get together, work together and collaborate on sharing best practices,
making sure that everyone has the same consistent, high standards for all of the
work that they're doing, for all of the requirements for licensure, and to make
sure that all of the engineers that are licensed are capable of practising with
competence and integrity. There are also the discipline and enforcement
officials, the officials from across the country, that share best practices,
information and support each other.
There are a couple of challenges, and I will mention one of them. Perhaps
this is something that would be of interest to the committee. It would be
helpful if the federal privacy laws made it a bit easier to share information
about the members. I will give you an example of an instance where a complaint
had been filed against an individual in many jurisdictions, but the regulators
were constrained in being able to share information about complaints. If it was
a discipline matter that had come to fruition, then that would be different. But
it would be helpful to make sure that the regulatory system is more robust and a
We think that the model that we have now that's provincially and
territorially regulated is the strongest model because it gives 12 equal voices
at the table to work together and to make sure that the engineering profession
is very strong.
The Chair: Could you expand a little on that complaint issue? If
someone in Saskatchewan, my home province, files a complaint against an
engineer, and if that person is working in Manitoba or wants to work somewhere
else, is there no access to that information, or is there no access because it
is just a complaint and there's been no finding?
Ms. Sutherland: A regulator might not know that an engineer is working
someplace else. If we were able to share that information more freely than we
do, it would be a lot easier to regulate some of the potential hazards in the
profession. Of course, personal and private information can't be openly shared
unless there's an active investigation underway. Right now, there's nothing that
says that public safety is paramount and no matter what the circumstances you
should share that information. We can't do that now.
The Chair: You are saying the engineering body can't do that.
Ms. Sutherland: That's correct. That's what I mean. The members of
Engineers Canada are the 12 regulators. We don't have individual engineers that
are members of Engineers Canada. It is the 12 regulators that are the owners and
the members of Engineers Canada.
Mr. Eby: I'm glad you raised that because anything that would be a
barrier for either of my colleagues for their industry would ultimately impact
our industry as well, because we need engineers and welders.
One area we see it specifically is on the safety side. With respect to safety
regulations, say you are a climber and you are going up on a tower to work. You
are under the National Safety Code because it is a federally regulated industry.
But that might not be the only working at heights work you do and you might be
going up other structures that would be under provincial.
There's confusion in the industry about the training you need, the
requirements, or do you have to take a training course to be compliant with
provincial and then another one to be compliant with federal? We have a council
at the association now that's made up primarily of engineers and contractors and
construction companies, and so we're looking at all of those discrepancies in
the requirements and we're going to try to come up with best practices and best
of breed to say that if you meet all of these, you will be good in every
There's a wide variety. If you are driving a truck to a job site and it is a
telecommunications job site, you would fall under the national commercial
vehicle regulation, not provincial. So it is helping people navigate that. It is
always a barrier when you don't know which requirements you fall under.
Senator Bellemare: I have a question on the welding. I think what you
are doing is great, and I congratulate you. I think you will come out with a
model of mobility that comes out of the private-sector initiative. I suspect
that most of the barriers that you encounter with the provinces come from the
education system, the colleges. I know in Quebec the education system has a lot
of problems with respect to training and on-the-job training and recognizing
that it delivers competency and that it is not always in schools that you learn
the best way to do a job. What do you do with immigrants that want to be
welders? Do you give them tests?
Mr. Martin: As with my earlier answer, the answer depends on which
province they would like to work in. As a minimum, the welder would have to pass
the industry segments certification or test. If you want to work on buildings or
bridges or on pressure vessels or pressure piping, the safety standard defines a
minimum level of competence that you have to demonstrate to work on those types
of structures or products. It is usually determined based on the level of risk
to the public. If you are welding a pressure vessel or a bridge, that's a high
level of risk if it should fail, so the number of hoops or the level of
qualification of the welder is quite high.
If an immigrant comes to Canada and is identified as a welder, if they move
to Ontario, as an example, in which it is a recognized trade but not a mandatory
trade, they do not have to apply to become a journeyperson, welder or someone
who has finished a formal apprenticeship. They can use the education they have
in their own country and, provided they can pass the practical tests for the
industry segment that they wish to work in, then they can get to work fairly
quickly. Of course, there are other safety qualifications that they may have to
achieve, depending on the industry.
However, if they move to a province where the trade is mandatory, such as
Alberta, then there would be additional steps they would have to go through.
There is a process for the recognition of foreign-trained people, but there
would be additional steps to go through around the training and evidence of that
training, evidence of number of hours to apply to achieve the equivalent of the
journeyperson qualification in Alberta.
That's an example of the challenge. If I get the phone call from someone who
has just come to Canada and they're at the airport, the answer to their question
says, well, where are you taking your connecting flight? Because that changes.
Senator Bellemare: When you started your initiative, you said it is an
Mr. Martin: Right.
Senator Bellemare: How many companies or efforts or private-sector
interests united to do this initiative? In other words, would it have been
possible in a sector where there are a lot of individual firms or is there a lot
Mr. Martin: I would say we're an example of a sector where, as I
mentioned, we have over 6,000 certified companies, so organizations that are
certified by us to the national standard to perform welding activities. On top
of that, we work with over 60,000 individual members, so people that are
involved in some aspect of the welding profession — engineers, inspectors,
welders. We also deal on a regular basis with the educational community. Each
and every year, as an example, we hold what we call our national educators
forum, and we bring together typically around 80 instructors from coast to coast
to coast to talk about the challenges that they're facing.
We had a number of outlets to reach out to them to ask what the issues and
barriers are in terms of the mobility, but also what are the skill sets that are
not being trained well enough because the industry has evolved? As an example,
20 years ago, robots were very few in Canadian industry. Now the adoption of
robots to the welding operation is quite extensive. That requires a different
type of welder.
The training material that we have developed deals with the latest and
greatest, if you will, and the technological advances because that is what
industry is demanding. We had the ability, even with the large cross-section of
industry that we deal with, because of the network that we have through our
certification program, to reach out to them, as we do on a regular basis, and
ask them what challenges they are facing.
We determined through that consultation that one of the root causes around
mobility and the recognition of trades in different provinces was a disconnect
in what it meant to be trained. That came back to the curriculum, so we focused
our efforts on that, understanding that if we can truly have a national
curriculum that is adopted and recognized in each province, then when you phone
one province and say that you did your training in province A, province B says
that's exactly the same training that we they so there's no problem.
There may be other regulations that the provinces want to make sure are in
place around safety before they issue the qualification, but we're trying to
remove as many barriers as we can to make sure that happens.
Understand that on an industry certification level, the certifications we
provide for the welder are transferable right across the country. It only comes
down to that recognition of the trade. If I'm building a bridge in Ontario,
Alberta, B.C. or the Northwest Territories, the industry certification that I
need is exactly the same, and it is mobile all around the country. It is only
that definition of whether I can call myself a welder in that province where
some of the barriers crop up.
We are well down the road for harmonization. We have been very pleased and
impressed at the efforts we have made over the last five to the years in that
Senator Bellemare: Could it be a model that could apply in many
Mr. Martin: Absolutely. I represent welders and the welding trade, but
certainly in other skilled trade areas, the challenges in many cases are exactly
the same that we're facing, and this approach of a national training curriculum
could benefit other trades as well.
The Chair: Do you certify robots? I am kind of half joking, actually.
Mr. Martin: We certify the operators of the robots to recognize that
unique skill, because the robot may be doing the welding but, to set it up
properly, the programming and that type of stuff, requires a special
The Chair: You can ship a robot from one province to the other without
too many problems.
Mr. Martin: As of now, there's no problem with robots going across
Senator Ringuette: Ms. Sutherland, in one of your comments, you said
that an immigrant coming from an engineering background had to work for one year
in the Canadian field in order to be recognized by you, the national entity, or
any of the 12 regulators?
Ms. Sutherland: I have been sitting here thinking that I missed a big
component of that answer when I gave it. All engineers are required to have at
least one year of Canadian experience, not just foreign-trained engineers.
Engineers Canada does not recognize the credentials or do any licencing. Only
the regulators do that. In my comment about assessing the qualifications of
foreign-trained engineers that come to Canada, what I was trying to convey is
that there may be accommodation made that they don't have to go through the same
stringent, structured this much experience, this much education, because there
may be a more holistic approach to permitting that person who is a qualified,
experienced engineer to be licenced more expeditiously than someone who goes
through the Canadian system.
Senator Ringuette: Who decides that?
Ms. Sutherland: Only the regulators.
Senator Ringuette: Nationally, you have no input?
Ms. Sutherland: That's right.
Senator Ringuette: I was thinking, gee, it is a Catch-22 situation. If
you come to Canada as an immigrant, with a background in engineering and having
been certified in another country as an engineer, you are required to work in
the engineering field for one year before you can apply to a regulator, because
there's also a question of risk and insurance and so forth. It is quite an
undertaking, especially for an immigrant, to be able to identify a sponsor.
That's what it is — a sponsor that will provide Canadian work experience for a
Ms. Sutherland: It is extremely challenging. That's correct. Part of
the challenge is making sure that people who come to Canada believing that they
have the qualifications to be licenced as an engineer in Canada have the correct
information to make an informed decision before they make the decision to come
Sometimes in other countries you may be called an engineer and may be
qualified as an engineer, but it is not the same education system as in Canada,
and you might not qualify. Maybe it is a technologist, maybe it is a technician,
I'm not sure, but it is very difficult.
One of the things that Engineers Canada has developed is a website that is
called the "Roadmap to Engineering in Canada,'' and you can go on that roadmap.
It has an academic assessment tool. You can put in that you graduated from this
university in Afghanistan, it was a four-year civil engineering degree, you
didn't take it online, and you will get a response as to how your credentials
will likely be viewed.
Senator Ringuette: May be.
Ms. Sutherland: Correct. Because it is really the regulator that makes
the final licencing decision. It is an effort to give people more information
before they come.
The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate your testimony today and
your frank answers.