Western labour barriers flattened

Agreement eases flow of workers between Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/21/2011

A few years ago, Janet Salopek was working on a labour market strategy for the oil sands in northern Alberta and one of her biggest concerns was being able to secure tradespeople to build the infrastructure.

At the time, she was able to look west and draw upon workers from British Columbia, thanks to the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) between the two provinces, but that still wasn’t enough. Now, she can also look east and recruit tradespeople from Saskatchewan thanks to the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA), which replaced TILMA.

“The labour market out here, particularly in Alberta, is really starting to heat up,” said Salopek, president and senior consultant at Salopek Consulting in Calgary. “It was and still is a major concern, our labour shortage… and this will basically open up that market.”