News briefs (October 9, 2000)

EXECUTIVE WELCOME WAGON
Winnipeg — Business leaders and local officials are considering creating a Welcome Wagon for executives moving to Winnipeg. Providing relocation services on the city’s behalf would be a boost for companies looking to recruit talent, and for municipal efforts to attract new firms.

ALBERTA WONDERS WHERE WORKERS ARE
Calgary — After years of Canadians moving to Alberta for work, hot regional economies throughout North America have brought a labour shortage shock to the province’s employers. Referral bonuses, paid training and unique perks such as spa treatments are being offered for the first time in memory, recruitment agencies report. Migration to Alberta was half its 1998 peak of 49,000, while the Maritimes is experiencing the return of native sons and daughters drawn by improving economies on the east coast.

INFRASTRUCTURE WARNING
Ottawa — The Ottawa region is ignoring infrastructure and threatening the area’s rapid economic growth, critics of a municipal planning decision say. The Ottawa-Carleton region’s planning committee voted to develop 500 hectares for a business park that will create 36,000 jobs, but did not include any guarantees to improve area roads and other infrastructure accordingly.

STOCKS FOR STUDENTS
Ottawa — High-tech firms in Ottawa are starting to offer stocks to co-op students and interns. Companies such as Cisco Systems and Conexant are also paying tuitions and handing out signing bonuses in their search to land new graduates.

HOT TRADES
Toronto — The Ontario government has released its list of the five hottest trades for the future: electricians, tool and die makers, general machinists, millwrights and auto service technicians.

BENEFITS DEFINITIONS
Brookfield, Wis. — Canadian and U.S. benefits terminology has been gathered online by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Employee Benefit Plans: A Glossary of Terms is available free at www.ifebp.org. More than 2,500 accounting, compensation, regulatory and legal, health-care, human resources, investment and labour terms are defined as they apply to the benefits field. The glossary is also available in book form for $32 US.

BUSINESSWOMEN ONLINE
Winnipeg — A new Web site will keep women informed about business events of interest in Manitoba. The site, www.ManitobaWomenBizNet.com, has information on seminars, conferences and other networking opportunities for women in business.

B.C. WCB RATES BLASTED
Vancouver — Independent contractors providing tree “falling” in British Columbia’s forest industry are crying foul about a Workers Compensation Board policy that will see them pay rates close to three times higher than forest-sector giants. Integrated forest companies will pay $7.75 per $100 of payroll, while independent fallers — with a workforce consisting almost entirely of fallers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country — will pay $20.75.

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