Union leaders meet with Premier Christy Clark at cabinet office in Vancouver Monday.

Union leaders meet with Premier Christy Clark at cabinet office in Vancouver Monday.

B.C. unions pledge skills partnership

Construction unions accept olive branch from Clark over their role in skills training and apprenticeships

Construction union leaders emerged from a meeting with Premier Christy Clark Monday with a deal to work as “equal partners” on trades training for liquefied natural gas and other industrial development.

B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair and Tom Sigurdson, executive director of the B.C. and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council, said they want to put political differences with the B.C. Liberal government behind them.

“During the course of the election campaign, Christy Clark was the only leader who wore a hardhat,” Sigurdson told reporters after a meeting at Clark’s Vancouver office. “And I can assure you that what I’m trying to do is put a couple of union stickers on there.”

Sinclair, more familiar with speaking at protest rallies against the government, said skills training is in a “crisis” that needs cooperation.

“It’s obvious the LNG is a critical part of our future,” Sinclair said. “It’s not the only part where skill shortages exist. The mining industry, the forest industry, the other energy industries, and many other places require skilled trades.”

Clark said a committee representing government, employers and unions has a target of Sept. 30 to formalize a plan for increased trades training.

Skills training was a major focus of the spring election campaign, with NDP leader Adrian Dix promising to return unions to a partnership he said was left out by the government’s Industry Training Authority.

Since winning a majority government, Clark has promised to review many functions of the B.C. government, including the structure of the Industry Training Authority.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

Crews disassemble the iconic red and white KFC bucket from a sign on Goldstream Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Mark Schoor)
Iconic KFC bucket removed from Goldstream Avenue

Popular fast-food chain closes Langford location

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Most Read