P.E.I. needs to turn toward immigration to fill skilled worker shortage: MacLauchlan

Nigel
Nigel Armstrong
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Former UPEI president tells information session some employers already having problems

Martin Marcoux, left, president of RDÉE Prince Edward Island, welcomes the two main guest speakers at Monday’s information session on hiring immigrants, Lori-Ann Cyr, executive director of Diversis Inc., and Wade MacLauchlan, businessman and former president of UPEI.

As the Island workforce continues to diminish, the province has no choice but to immediately turn towards immigration to compensate for a skilled worker shortage if it wishes to maintain its current level of services, says former UPEI president Wade MacLauchlan.

During an information session about the LIENS immigrant integration program Monday in Charlottetown, MacLauchlan and other speakers offered striking statistics and statements that opened the eyes of several of the more than 40 participants.

The province is expecting the loss of 40 per cent of its workforce within the next 40 years, mostly because of declining birth rates, the increasing mortality rate of the aging population and the out-migration of Islanders to other parts of the country.

The effects are already being felt. In fact, some employers say they are facing a shortage of skilled workers since they’re having a hard time recruiting employees who are qualified for their specialized positions.

The speakers noted that 40 per cent of Islanders haven’t acquired a level of literacy or numeracy to allow them to complete their high school studies.

In his speech entitled Demographics and Destiny: A Challenge for P.E.I., MacLauchlan said the Island should follow the example of Manitoba, which developed its own immigration strategy.

That province has been able to retain 85 per cent of its immigrants, which is much higher than the results attained by all other provinces.

Manitoba figured out how to align its realities along with the skills of its current and immigrant workers with existing and potential opportunities within the local work market, in an effort to create sustainable jobs. P.E.I. should follow that lead, MacLauchlan said.

For P.E.I. to succeed in its immigrant recruiting efforts, all players will have to work together, they will have to maintain an open mind that is both welcoming and authentic and the host community must be completely convinced of the approach being used, he said.

MacLauchlan said he believes the approach has to be community-based rather than government-based.

The province foresees the establishment of 300 newcomers on the Island every year. MacLauchlan said this number “isn’t very optimistic.”

If a proactive and strategic approach is used, that number could easily be raised to 2,000 a year, he said, adding that number has been consistently surpassed in the last few years.

MacLauchlan said P.E.I.’s efforts should be directed towards people from other countries who are already here — such as temporary workers and international students — since they already know a bit about the local lifestyle.

Lori-Ann Cyr, executive director of Diversis Inc., offered a whole list of advantages of hiring immigrants during her presentation entitled Hiring Newcomers: A Solution?

She said newcomers contribute new skills and knowledge, they have networks of international contacts, they are familiar with international markets and commercial policies of other countries, they bring innovative approaches and perspectives to the table and they often have advanced linguistic skills that can help companies broaden their clientele and markets.

They also tend to be extremely loyal, Cyr added.

Organizations: Diversis

Geographic location: Iceland, Manitoba, Charlottetown

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  • Andy
    April 09, 2013 - 14:15

    Wow, i was hoping on immigrate to PEI since i have a few friends over there, but i do not know what to think of all those comments i just read.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 18, 2013 - 12:57

    Wade MacLauchlan is an elitist and a globalist. He cares nothing for Islanders. HE SHOULD NEVER GET ELECTED TO GOVERNMENT. There is no shortage of skilled workers in PEI, just a shortage of employers who wish to pay a fair wage. Show me the list of the shortage and the companies that are looking and the wages that those companies are offering.

  • For your information, minimum wages in canada
    January 18, 2013 - 12:40

    Alberta 9.75, Quebec 9.90, Sask. 9.50, NFLD 10.00, N.B. 10.00, N.S. 10.15, B.C. 10.25, Man. 10.25, Ont. 10.25. Ont., Alberta and B.C. have 2 to 3 times the cost of renting or home ownership. Why is it PEI is always crying poor me?

  • Nancy
    January 18, 2013 - 11:50

    I guess all of these people who are being laid off have no skills: http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-01-17/article-3159051/Veterans-Affairs-announces-55-job-cuts/1

  • look behind the curtain
    January 18, 2013 - 11:00

    I would just like to point out here that the real issue isnt the current lack of skilled workers its the PROJECTED lack fo skilled workers. The very serious situation we are going to run into in the next 40 years as 40% of our workforce retires. What happens when they retire? they need more social services like healthcare which means even more of a financial strain on that sector of government. If half the island population is retired we cannot expect the other half to generate enough tax revenues to sustain our current services. Even if every islander that moved away came back it would barely be enough to sustain our way of life once the majority of our health care dollars are going toward caring for our retired parents and grandparents. I agree we should pay a better wage to our young skilled workforce to give them reason to stay. But that isn't the only reason they want to leave. It's boring here for young people, not enough culture and diversity. Many want to leave to experience the world but then come back later on to raise families. The bottom line is we need more tax payers to add to our tax base if we want to sustain our way of life, let alone improve it. Immigration is going to happen at an increased rate in the coming years look at the more than 1000 apartment units which have gone up recently, developers know what issues are on the horizon in our islands future and immigration makes sense.

  • Will
    January 18, 2013 - 06:37

    I recently relocated to the island because in Ontario you can not get a job at a Tim Horton's or fast food restaurant because of all the immigration we have here in Canada. Its sad that you can no longer have a back up plan such as working in a fast food establishment. Wake up, there are great people on this island all around us. Immigration is not the asnwer when you see people trying so hard like the dear young lady in Montague last week trying for work. We need to build better jobs and attract clean long term industry to PEI.

  • Pius from BC
    January 17, 2013 - 20:19

    Wade MacLauchlan- give your head a shake. There isn't enough work for the PEI residents! Are you posturing for a job at the UN or something?

  • laughing
    January 17, 2013 - 19:54

    Lets just say what they mean " we ask to much from people for $10/h so we need more people that will work for it and goverment will pay half of that $10" damn right. sounds like when they payed the chinese a bowl of rice a day to build the rail road lines back in the 30's and the goverment covered half the price of the bag of rice.Don't sit there and tell us we can't do something till you have proved us wrong.

  • AMAZED
    January 17, 2013 - 19:51

    What a sickening pile of cod-swallop. We need more immigrants like we need more politicians.Offer people more money and you will have more workers than you need but these knobs only want immigrants who will work for peanuts.There was a place paying $14.50 an hour for labourers and$16.00 for A-rate welders.What is the sense of going to school for 4 years for an extra $1.50 an hour.Same thing for fish plants and farm labourers,pay $15.00 an hour and you will have to turn people away,if you can't pay this you are nothing more than a sweat shop and should be closed for the good of all Islanders.

  • Disgrunted Islander
    January 17, 2013 - 16:08

    This is very distrubing... I am unemployed, have a business diploma and working on my degree, worked within the workforce for over 15 years ... You'd think I shouldn't have a problem finding a job... I wish... I am well educated and have lots of experience in different areas... but I am at home unemployed and have applied almost everywhere in Charlottetown and no calls for an interview... This article just pisses me off... YOU WANT SOMEONE SKILLED ... I'M RIGHT HERE ...

  • SG
    January 17, 2013 - 15:14

    I also find this article more than upsetting. While our lack of job opportunities have left Many Islanders no choice but to move to Central or Western Canada to find work now we read we need Immigrants! To do what? If Islanders can't find jobs here how exactly is our Island going to employ Immigrants? Wouldn't that only serve in Decreasing Job Opportunities for Tax Paying Island Citizens? Our minimum wage is the lowest in Canada now how much lower can it go? What we need on P.E.I. is more job opportunities for Islanders with a livable wage not Immigrants! We also need a University that can Provide Programs, Degrees and Doctorates in Science and Technology Fields! What is the purpose of having Companies on PEI that are involved in such fields if Islanders have to go off Island to other Universities to achieve such Degrees? Will they return to PEI if offerered a position with a more lucrative salary?

  • Gerry
    January 17, 2013 - 14:49

    Has it ever occurred to some die-hard Islanders that there are actually "other" Islanders who are jut simply keen on living elsewhere? The decision to uproot oneself in search of a better or different lifestyle (not necessarily $ related) is a very personal undertaking. Not all exodus from this fair Island is driven by employment opportunities. Yes, there are adventurous Islanders out there, and power to them if they wish to move away from home-home. It's not the end of the world-chill!

  • Time to smell the coffee
    January 17, 2013 - 14:47

    Step aside, if you do not learn to read and write or graduate high school and learn a skilled trade or dedicate yourself to a profession others will be there for the careers that become available. The parochial {that means narrow minded} and "hard done by" me does not work anymore and the gov't cannot be blamed for your bad choices. This comment is of coarse a waste of time because " against stupidity, even the gods throw up their hands", I am paraphrasing, not making up the phrase. Oh, by the way I have a grade 9 education and started as a dishwasher at 15, did not have a kid as a teenager, worked 2 jobs, bought a house on my single person income. I also had to relocate from a small town because there was no work. p.s. {that means post script} the article is about skilled workers, not minimum wage jobs with no skills. Enjoy welfare and whats left of your E.I.

  • NOT A PROBLEM
    January 17, 2013 - 13:26

    There is not a problem with the workforce. The problem lies with the employers that refuse to pay anything except minimum wages. They keep saying there is lots of work. There is you can survive on slave wages. These companies are the first to have their hands in the taxpayers cookie jar yet are the last to pay a liveable wage. greed, greed , greed

  • IT'S REALLY SIMPLE
    January 17, 2013 - 13:21

    It's really simple. People on this Island who have become skilled in different occupations willl no longer work for wages they cannot survive on. Henceforth, the companies and good old boys that keep the political parties coffers full need a new workforce who will work for slave wages and the Government will provide it. Quite simple really.

  • Garth Staples
    January 17, 2013 - 13:06

    As a former employer who created 100s of jobs without govt assistance from 1969 to 1995 I can assure you one of my problems was the ongoing shortage of QUALIFIED workers. Over the years the schooling/training system has been inadequate but Islanders are too proud to admit it. So they end up with lower wages and less job opportunities. If immigration from the REST of Canada and abroad helps change this negative dynamic so much the better for our Island community.

    • intobed
      January 17, 2013 - 16:42

      Why should my money go towards training the people who make YOU money Garth? Why didn't YOU put them through training courses so they have the skills necessary for them to make YOU money? Islanders have lower wages and opportunities because business will not pay them enough due to greed.

  • Reality Check
    January 17, 2013 - 12:01

    I found this article upsetting to say the least. I see fathers leaving their families behind to find work in Western Canada because they are skilled workers. They don't go for the fun of it. They go because they invested in learning skills, got some experience, and couldn't find work close to home, or found work that was grossly underpaid for the amount of time invested in learning a trade. I also see brilliant young people with degrees in all disciplines leaving PEI because there is no work offered to them, including doctors and other professionals. We are a tiny population, yes I agree, but maybe that is because our industries are seasonal...fishing, farming and tourism based on summer activities. If Mr. MacLaughlan and his band believe that PEI needs to import skilled labour from off-shore, it is not the fault of the skilled workers or educated youth that they are leaving. It is because there aren't any jobs available. Not sure what immigrants will find for work that will make them self-suffiicent. Perhaps a lower income tax rate, a higher wage for skilled worker who are born and raised here would keep our youth here. We have hard working people on PEI who would love to keep close to their roots. I have nothing against immigration, being an immigrant myself, but I don't agree with chasing the Islanders to Alberta and inviting others in with all kinds of government funded perks when our own kids are jobless. I strongly feel the statements made by MacLauchlan and Cyr are a real slap in the faces of PEI's youth, particularly where they admit that the education systems are failing our people.

  • E
    January 17, 2013 - 11:58

    We need to quickly come to the realization that we cannot all be whatever we want to be. There is no market for teachers at the moment or youth workers - there are no jobs for you when you graduate. There are jobs for carpenters, plumbers, steel workers - and a number of other professions. Supply and demand. It's simple. So what if you have a pricey education and you bought into the idea that you can do whatever you want to do if you're good at it. That's not the world or the island we are living in. People get a grip. Get a job (even if it's a minimum wage job) get off EI and stop feeling so entitled.

    • alexandria
      January 17, 2013 - 13:24

      I agree with Reality Checks comments. If we are not training our youth properly then fix that. Maybe if the government would put their(our) money towards our youths education instead of what they are doing we could fix the problem. What did Mr MacLauchlan do when at UPEI to fix this problem?????

  • Joe Blow
    January 17, 2013 - 11:53

    Training current Islanders and Canadians should always be the first thought. Lots of able bodied people here on PEI and in Canada to do skilled labour jobs but most Islanders can't get the proper training because they can't afford it or because they are too busy working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet so they can support their families and pay all the extra taxes our government force upon us to help pay for immigrants and give them everything they need while Islanders who were born and bred here suffer and do without. Once the government starts supporting its current citizens and genuine Canadians FIRST...then we won't have a problem with a shortage in skilled workers. We just want the same advantages that the immigrants get.....afterall, its our taxes that pay for everything.

  • SAP
    January 17, 2013 - 11:14

    What do mean, no skilled people to compete against the world? Holland College turns out lots of grads from their golf programs, that's gotta help, right?

  • The Truth
    January 17, 2013 - 11:09

    The speakers noted that 40 per cent of Islanders haven’t acquired a level of literacy or numeracy to allow them to complete their high school studies. This is a big problem here. That said, for people here a huge problem is that wages are 1/3 to 1/2 of what they are in the rest of the country. I saw an ad the other day for a construction company looking for a carpenter. $10-$14 an hour. Immigration built this country, and the lack of it and the hate for anyone not here for 4 or 5 generations is what is turning PEI into a 3rd world country within a 1st world country

    • intobed
      January 17, 2013 - 16:31

      The hate for anyone not here 4 or 5 generations? What kind of drivel is this? Is there some regulation that you have to wear a big badge on your forehead, or a law that says you must say where you were born within three minutes of meeting someone? I have lived here most of my life, and I can' recall anyone ever asking where I was born. It is Harper and Ghiz turning PEI into a third world country, not lack of immigration. Get over yourself.

  • What BS
    January 17, 2013 - 10:57

    There are times when the BS is so deep you have to buy a new pair of hi waiders. This is one such time. Massive out migrations, deep cuts to unemployment insurance, lowest wage rates in the country, an education system with massive failures, ,,, and these wealthy folks need more immigrants - 2,000 per year. Just where are these 2,000 jobs every year going to come from? Tt get's tiresome hearing the same old line from the wealth elite of PEI,,,maybe they should move out west!

  • lover of the island
    January 17, 2013 - 10:57

    I HOPE THE PEOPLE IN P.E.I. GOVERNMENT READ THE SUBMIT AND COMMENT I KNOW THEY ARE READ IT TKS (ALL THE BEST TOO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE SKILL WORKERS HERE NOW WITH NO JOB)

  • Carmen
    January 17, 2013 - 10:52

    Perhaps if you listed the Jobs in question, some of the young people who are still on the Island, might be interesting in Applying, or even going back to school to further their education in the fields available. I'll tell you, I couldn't find a job on the Island in 1999, (well, I was offered full time enployment one day, but that offer was retracted the following day, by UPPER Management) and I've done just about everything... including Clerical/Retail Management.... you bring in more Immigrants, hopefully a few dozen of them will be Doctors to support the growing population of PEI.

  • skilled, educated looking for work
    January 17, 2013 - 10:49

    Where are these jobs that Need to be filled? There arnt any and skilled workers are on ei. Ei is at an all time high, yet we give away jobs to outsiders.Good job pei.

  • fred
    January 17, 2013 - 10:40

    I don;t think the problem is not having enought skilled workers here; but not having a skilled enought gov. to get us out of this mess they created . Start by putting min. wage up to $15.oo an hour and create some decent jobs instead of throwing money around to the same old chosen few. With these new changes to E.I. and the H.s.t ; Will only drive wages down. $10.00 an hr. 30 hrs a week will hardly pay to keep a vehicle on the road. There is people here that made $11.00 an hour ; 10 years ago . Guess what!; they are still making $11.00 an hour.The price of everything more than doubled; except wages.

  • Richard
    January 17, 2013 - 10:31

    iF WE RUN OUT OF PEOPLE IN THE WORKFORCE, IT IS A MATTER OF REALLOCATING PEOPLE. WE MAY NOT HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO DO FLAGGING, --- SO WE DO AWAY WITH FLAGGING, AS THEY DO IN OTHER PLACES. IF WE NEED PEOPLE IN OTHER PLACES, MAYBE WE DO AWAY WITH ALL THE GOVERNMENT P.R. JOBS, - ANYTHING WE CAN DO WITHOUT CAN BE ELIMINATED AND THOSE PEOPLE DO JOBS WE NEED DONW. WE ALL UPTEEN USELESS UNNESSACARY JOBS BEING DONE NRIGHT NOW, - SO IF WE DON'T HAVE PEOPLE ENOUGH, CHANGE TJE JOB MARKET, - SDVERTISE NO MORE S FORINSTANCE, - SO THOSE PEOPLE CAN BECOME NURSES, CAREGIVERS ETC. , IS IT A MATTER OF CHANGING ADDIITUDES AND JOBS NEEDED DONE. THE CHANGE WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF, AS THE JOBS ADVERSTISED WILL DICTATE THE TRAINING AND INTEREST PEOPLE WILL NEED.

  • Robby McRobb
    January 17, 2013 - 10:29

    The FIRST thing Islander have to do, in order to welcome Immigrants is to, get rid of that ghastly expression CFA " come from away? I spent 5 of the lonliest years of my life on PEI. I have lived and worked around the Globe, my granddaughter was born at CFB Summerside. yet I cannot count the number of times I was asked Why? did I come to PEI as I was a foreigner. Born and bred in Scotland? The drinking and driving culture in PEI is also a detterent to law abiding immigrants. Otherwise it is a historical Island that I did enjoy.

  • Checker
    January 17, 2013 - 10:25

    The notion we need more immigrants is hogwash. As Hans Connor pointed out, more is just more. What jobs do we have for immigrants when we can't keep our own at home. The comment by MacLauchlan that 40% of our population is illiterate is shocking. If that is the case, what was he doing about when he was President of UPEI? Better yet, what is he going to about it now? Bring in immigrants to compensate for the provinces failure in education! Sometimes people get lost in their own rhetoric. The reality is PEI is a small province with very little to offer other than undemocratic and tightly controlled political system. The last thing we need is more unemployed people.

  • Underemployed
    January 17, 2013 - 10:11

    Do they think that a skilled job is working at Tim Hortons? If so let's import more immigrants and exploit them so the people that own the island can increase their profit margins. I have friends with different university degrees that cannot find a job on PEI. There is no mention of what these jobs are, is that because they aren't skilled jobs? If this happens every skilled young person will leave the island and never look back. Is there a place we can voice our opinions other than a comment forum?

  • Nor'easter
    January 17, 2013 - 10:08

    PEI doesn't need more Imports. The government were so good to help our young people get well educated in , welding, Machinists ,Carpentry and alot of other things which was needed for the island. There was quite a drive on to get all the young people into the job force. Big companies got oodles of money to provide jobs for those young people and all they done was pocketed the money and offered our kids the same money as you get at a fast-food spot or coffee spot.All the kids left for the out-west bright spot and got offered twice as much as on PEI so if you want workers all you have to do is look at all the people we sent "away" and bring them back with good wages and dont tax them to death when they get here. We do have a good work force out there, we just need to bring them back home.

  • UPWESTER
    January 17, 2013 - 10:05

    The province foresees the establishment of 300 newcomers on the Island every year. MacLauchlan said this number “isn’t very optimistic.” If a proactive and strategic approach is used, that number could easily be raised to 2,000 a year, he said, adding that number has been consistently surpassed in the last few years....That was called the PNP program, and how many of the 5000 Chinese stayed" MacLauchlan says there is a shortage of skilled workers on the Island. My question to him would be "what were you doing all those years as head of Holland College"? It seems to me that the failure for a lack of qualified workers rest solely at his feet.They like to brag that all the H.C. gradutes found jobs after graduating, where were these jobs at? There are no jobs on the Island, that is the problem. By bringing in immigrants to fill any jobs is just taking away any work for locals. You would think that a man with his insight would have figured that out years ago and ran HC accordingly. The lack of education is the fault of the educators, not the students.

    • Upwesterareyounuts?
      January 17, 2013 - 10:44

      @ UPWESTER - did you not read the article? Your obvious ignorance in what Wade MacLauchlan's role with post-secondary education on PEI is astounding. He was the president of UPEI - not Holland College. Please tell me how a University President is capable of "running HC accordingly"....you're just so wrong on so many levels and have proven the narrow-mindedness some "rural" residents possess. I'm not surprised that you wouldn't understand how being proactive and strategic in maintaining our workforce would work since you seem unable to read a simple Guardian article.

    • Chet
      January 17, 2013 - 12:56

      So you found a detail to attack rather than the rest of the comments, eh? You know I agree with you on the need for strategic immigration. And I have lived in multicultural societies and loved it. PEI needs the change that diversity brings. But employers do not pay people enough here. I have two employees. I pay them over 15 bucks per hour each, about two bucks more than everybody else around here for similar work. They love the work and I can count on them. Instead of hammering away on deficiencies in the work force we should look more critically at the short sighted greed of people who have already made millions. There are many who suck up every grant including mucho PNP and begrudge any working person an extra dime. It does nobody any good. Especially themselves. For the record I was offered PNP 'free' cash. I refused it because it stank. I am a small business operator voting NDP. If we want to change how we do things then we have to change those who are doing things now. I refuse to see our economic problems as something to do with the working people. It is not right and it is not fair. Thanks very much.

    • UPWESTER
      January 17, 2013 - 16:50

      I may have been wrong on my institution but the end results are still the same.There are not enough skilled people on PEI. Yes, I am rural,(Toronto) and I guess you are a big city boy from Charlottetown,and that makes you so wise. I would put you in MacLauchlans' 40%. If he was so great as you say, why don't we have the necessary skilled people that we need to grow?

  • bob from cardigan
    January 17, 2013 - 10:04

    All the comments here sum it up. This is all just propaganda and hogwash. If there are so many jobs needing to be fulfilled, then why do we experience such a mass exodus of educated Islanders heading out West. Maybe if these so called companies that need skilled workers invested in local residents through training to get them up to speed, maybe we wouldn't see such an exodus. I'm not sure why there is such a campaign to increase immigration into Canada beyond the current unsustainable limits. Perhaps it is the slave worker mentality? It's time that government start investing in their own people, we can't even get doctors to move here and work for Pete's sakes. Time for some real answers and let's stop the band aid solutions.

  • Greeneyed Monster
    January 17, 2013 - 09:49

    Immigrants is a baindaid solution at best. The majority of immigrants will be migrating west within a year of landing. You cannot retain employees if their wage will not support their basic needs for survival.

  • what a crock
    January 17, 2013 - 09:44

    Will the immigrants be able to get jobs here?? Seems like on PEI you get a job based on who you know or are related to, not your competence - that's why we're in such a mess. The immigrants won't put up with that sort of crap so they'll soon leave - I know, I'm one of them! Still, maybe moving out some Islanders and moving in some immigrants might widen the gene pool and broaden a few minds.....................maybe a few CFA's in government might shake things up too, one can only hope..........

  • anton
    January 17, 2013 - 09:41

    It is amazing that we keep on sining the same refrain. More immigrants, more immigrants---- look to Europe, more profit, more immigrants----- and look at them now, the buble burst and unemployment is rampant in countries that before 'needed' working people. When the itimes were good the general population lived with the problems brought along with the immigranst. The cultural differences, the demands once the immigrant goups got large enough to form associations, the accomodations needed by the hosts to live peacefully with the 'guests', the drain on public resources to pay for these accomodations,but probably the saddest part is that those countries, cuturally and economically have lost their identity, and their pride and ambitions. I beg the 'authorities' that promote immigration as a panacea, to take a look around the world, --- are the gains worth the sacrifices, --- all in the name of profit, really.

  • Gerry
    January 17, 2013 - 09:32

    "The province is expecting the loss of 40 per cent of its workforce within the next 40 years. The speakers noted that 40 per cent of Islanders haven’t acquired a level of literacy or numeracy to allow them to complete their high school studies?" Is the journalist fixated with the number "40" or is it just a random, yet repetitive, number thrown out there? Where does one find the proven statistics to back-up the "40%" of Islanders haven't acquired ......" comment?

  • Where to begin
    January 17, 2013 - 09:29

    Instead of a strategy to attract immigrants, who may or may not be skilled workers, from other countries, how about a strategy to retain the skilled workers we have? How about a strategy to get our fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters back from out west? No high paying labour jobs on PEI, only minimum wage part-time jobs so employers don't have to pay benefits. Immigrants are loyal? Until they have enough money to go to Toronto or Montreal maybe. They also often come from a lower standard of living, which is saying a lot in terms of the current PEI situation where the a$$hats in province house have given all the province's money away to themselves and a small circle of friends. This is an attempt to have government subsidized workers brought in to work for less than minimum wage and like it because they come from a place where our money is worth more. Attract some industries here for god sakes! Get OUR people back, and then worry about filling jobs with immigrants!

  • walter
    January 17, 2013 - 09:27

    The same old arguments and statistics are bandied around, - companies need SKILLED workers-- for me to believe this is reality I would like ti see the list of companies and the kind of jobs that are going unfilled on PEI, --- please somebody. I would also like to see if all the people that find it nessecary to leave PEI to make a living, could fill any of these jobs that goes unfilled. Why is there not an effort to retain those Islanders, and avoid the hardship and cost of families living apart to make ends meet and go out West. Why is there not a concerted effort being made that the unemployed be re-trained to fill these jobs, an effort right out of highschool. Aside from leaving large numbers of our 'own' people 'behind' , there is a while ethical question of robbing other countries of their best citizens, - to obtain cheap and 'faithful/thankful' employees. Although Mr. MacLauhlan does not fall in that catagory, many of the people championing more immigrants have a vested insterest in it, by being employed or engaged for profit in bringing immigrants here, although perhaps not as lucratively as the PNP. I want to see the employment catagories we are nunable to fill, and a possible explanation why,/ PLEASE

  • Chucker
    January 17, 2013 - 09:21

    The time for this discussion was about five years ago before Rob and Rich did th PNP grab for the buddies and themselves. Now it is tough to get people paying HST, higher fees on all provincial services, and higher and higher food prices all of the time to open their arms to more job competition. Just so a bunch of high rolling local big shots- red and blue- can stuff their pockets again. We can discuss immigration even PNP in a few years time after we dump the Liberals here and the Cons in Ottawa. A proper PNP can only be trusted to the NDP. The red and the blue should not be allowed to deal in it no matter which wolves are howling for it. Change the governments first. Obviously.

  • johnny cash
    January 17, 2013 - 09:11

    There are not enough jobs here for the population and we have a brain drain happening now to the west. Seems the business leaders want their low wage help at any cost, next we'll hear we need yet another round of PNP as well. Give me a break.

  • Patricia
    January 17, 2013 - 09:06

    We need to to retraining our People instead of the mass exodus of them leaving here . Seriously your would rather chase our Young People out of their homes and bring in immigrant S TO FILL THE VOID ,this makes no sense to me there is something much much more to this as far as I am concerned . Why would wouldn't we off retraining to keep our People here your going to have to train immigrants too .And if literacy is still an issue on this Province that doesn't say much about our education system here now does it . Fix the problems instead of chasing everyone away

  • mr.nobody
    January 17, 2013 - 09:03

    Heed the cry of the wealthy...."We are running out of slaves!!". Perhaps this issue could be addressed by paying people a livable wage to keep our youth here, and maybe attract a few Canadians from other provinces.

  • William
    January 17, 2013 - 09:02

    This is the old song and dance we've been hearing for the last twenty plus years! Shortage of skilled workers! This makes me sick! If this island would smarten up and get with the rest of Canada there wouldn't be a shortage here on the island. Pay people more money!!!!!!!!!! No wonder skilled people move west. This Island has turned into Little Mexico!!!!! It's pretty plain to see. How discusting this government is.

  • Quiet Observer
    January 17, 2013 - 08:58

    So, oh learned ones, where are the skilled job shortages on PEI? Don't see any advertised in the newspaper, job line, Workopolis or anywhere else in any great amounts? Oh, I do see employers wanting to hire carpenters for just above minimum wage, or computer technicians for the same, etc. The problem on PEI is not a shartage of skilled workers, it is that employers do not want to offer a competitive wage to our skilled youth. That is why our skilled workforce is moving west. heck, my son moved to NB to get a carpentry job that paid a decent wage because all the employers wanted him, as an apprentice, to work for $11 or $12 an hour. So, we will bring in all sorts of workers from foreign lands who will work for these employers for minimum wage so our young people will move west to get a decent paying job. Hint to whining employers - offer a living wage and you will get your workers.

  • booby f
    January 17, 2013 - 08:52

    PAY THE YOUNG PEOPLE HERE A FAIR WAGE INSTEAD OF MAKING THEM MOVE WEST 12 FAMILIES ON PEI CONTROL 80 PERCENT OF THE WEALTH .. THESE POWER FAMILES ARE HOARDING THE WAGES

    • Marty
      January 17, 2013 - 17:51

      "12 families on the Island control 80 percent of the wealth" . . . "The wealthy are running out of slaves" . . . Yes indeed. Mitt Romney would be right at home with the local oligarchy. But if Islanders continue to kow-tow to the wealthy few by electing them to political office, then Islanders will continue to wave goodbye as their loved ones head off to jobs in Alberta.