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April 4, 2006
(Human Resources, Labour and Employment)

The following statement was issued today by Paul Shelley, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. It was also read in the House of Assembly:

I rise today to inform my honourable colleagues about meetings I attended with federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for labour on March 17.

The purpose of these annual meetings is to promote cooperation among labour jurisdictions in Canada. Throughout the year, the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation works on common labour issues and challenges being faced throughout Canada.

One issue that sparked much discussion was labour supply and demand. A shortage of skilled workers is a serious issue here in Newfoundland and Labrador, just as it is in other provinces. I used the opportunity to highlight the strategic approaches our government is taking to this problem: our White Paper on Education, our Immigration Strategy, our Poverty Reduction Strategy, and the retraining of our workers.

Another theme was the need to promote a safe and healthy workplace. A productive workplace is one where reasonable and cost-effective policies allow workers to perform at their best. Employers, workers and unions must recognize that everyone benefits from a workplace environment that promotes good mental and physical health.

A separate meeting of Atlantic ministers of labour is scheduled for June to further discuss these and other issues. At that time, I expect to report further on the significant progress made on our immigration and poverty reduction strategies.

2006 04 04                                            1:55 p.m.

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