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that we have not yet dened. So let's dene whether we have a problem, the nature of the problem, and then let's take a look at what the options are for a prescription. it may well be that counsellors are a viable option, but at the same time we're not standing still.

i indicated that we have introduced the ita dir- ect access system, which is going to give apprentices and employers a great deal more support. as well, we are in discussions currently with the ministry of Social development — which, as you know, has received the o-load of the ei responsibilities from the federal gov- ernment and will be establishing a network in 2012 of approximately 80 regional employment centres. We are in discussions with the ministry to ensure that those centres have apprenticeship expertise on stato ensure that employers and apprentices who need that face-to- face assistance will be able to receive it.

[1125] is that enough? We'll take a look at the results of our study, make that determination and act accordingly.

b. Ralston (Chair): i appreciate that response. en just in terms of timing, this evidence-based study that you're engaging in is there a target date for when a de- cision might be made, or is that not yet established?

K. Evans: it will be in our service plan. it's not yet es- tablished, but a date will be in our service plan so that we can be held accountable to delivering that report when we said we would.

K. Corrigan: i wanted to follow up a little bit more on the red Seal program in the context of the com- ments that you made about pan-canadian initiatives to strengthen the red Seal program.

one of the concerns that we have expressed is to keep the standards up in the drive to harmonize, which is a good idea across the country. Particularly, i was concerned about the potential impact of the trade, investment and labour mobility agreement and then the labour mobility act in British columbia and the agreement on internal trade.

one of the concerns, of course, was that when the mechanism is there to challenge training requirements by an employer or some investor, what could happen is that we could have a downward push of the standards. i'm wondering where we are right now with that.

K. Evans: Sure. Well, i believe the glass is half full. my view is that the ait and tilma are an opportunity for the red Seal to demonstrate its relevance more than ever before. even though the ait and tilma require govern- ments to recognize the credentials from other provinces, it doesn't compel an employer to do anything.

an employer is now in the position of people coming to them from another province looking for a job, and if


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they don't have the red Seal, they have this cornucopia of papers. an employer doesn't know what they're get- ting. With the red Seal, an employer knows what they're getting.

my point is that with ait and tilma, employer de- mand to see that red Seal is actually increased.

K. Corrigan: But i guess the concern is whether or not a challenge could be taken by an investor who wants to maximize their prot and doesn't want to have that level of training. You're not concerned about that?

K. Evans: i'm sorry. i'm not sure i understand the scenario.

K. Corrigan: let's say, for example, there is a govern- ment contract for building, a municipal contract or a provincial or federal government contract, and bids go on, say, B.c. Bid. e person who can have the lowest labour costs could, therefore, have an advantage in the bid process, which is now required.

is there not a natural tendency, then, for a push down- wards of standards and thus lower wages, as opposed to keeping the standards up?

K. Evans: Well, i think you're actually entering the arena of debate with respect to compulsory trades in British columbia.

K. Corrigan: Yeah, that's true.

K. Evans: of course, we do not have compulsory trades in British columbia.

  • K.

    Corrigan: at's right.

  • K.

    Evans: it was decided that those trades where there

is a safety concern should be regulated by a safety regu- lator, either the B.c. Safety authority or WorkSafe B.c. We've not had compulsory trades in British columbia since 2004. have we seen a race to the bottom? again, that is, with respect, certainly a political level of debate.

  • K.

    Corrigan: Yeah, fair enough.

  • K.

    Evans: from my seat, i can only say that we have

not heard or seen that there has been that race to the bottom that some have feared.

K. Corrigan: okay. Well, that's interesting. i had one more question. i wanted to follow up on what our chair was asking about the involvement of labour.

i'm really glad to hear that there has been this meeting and that there are going to be further meetings. i think it's a shame when labour is not at the table, and fully at

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