A policy developed by the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce was passed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in P.E.I. earlier this month.
Pat Tenney, the executive director of the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce, said that the event was a resounding success, and the Lloydminster policy, if adopted by the Canadian government, will make companies in high employment vacancy areas incentives to attract Canadian workers to that area.
“The policy came about after the chamber of commerce realized that there was pockets of Canada where there is high unemployment,” said Tenney. “We want the government to look at giving incentives to move Canadians where the jobs are at.”
Tenney said that the local policy is called Incentives to Relocate.
“The policy primarily speaks to the need for the Employment Insurance regulations to be changed to provide incentives for those unemployed Canadians to move to locations where there are jobs,” Tenney said.
Some of those incentives are financial.
“We need to make changes to the EI program to entice unemployed Canadians to move to where the jobs are,” said Tenney.
“Other kinds of incentives would be along the lines of relocation incentives and promoting incentives that are already in place to entice people to move to areas in Canada where employment vacancies are at an all-time high.”
Before the policy made its way to Charlottetown, Tenney said that it had to pass provincial chamber of commerce meetings in either Saskatchewan or Alberta.
Tenney said that both provincial wings of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce were on board with the policy that the Border City chamber crafted.
“We put together the policy resolution and we view the policy that has been drafted. And we, as a collective chamber of commerce, either vote on it or vote against the policy, in this case we voted for it and it became our chamber policy,” she said.
“If the policy has provincial ramifications, then it will either go to Alberta or Saskatchewan chamber of commerces. In this case it went to both.
“Once it is adopted by either province, it will go forward to the national chamber meeting.”
Tenney said that having both Alberta and Saskatchewan pass the policy gave weight to the Lloydminster initiative.
When the policy was brought forward in Charlottetown, there were some initial concerns from central provinces and how the policy might be about taking workers from Ontario or Eastern Canada and moving them to the Alberta oilfield, according to Tenney.
“That was not the case,” Tenney said. “We want to bring people from Central Canada and put them in places across this vast country, including Western Canada, northern Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.”
After the clarification of the policy, Tenney said more of the chamber of commerce’s provincial wings were on board with it.
“Once it was explained clearly to them, it passed quite handily,” she said.
With the policy passing the final stage, it will now move onto a federal government agency, which will be decided upon by the national chamber of commerce.
Tenney said that she will be watching the policy as it goes through, whichever federal department the national chamber of commerce decides to submit the policy to.