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i suppose, because you're sort of locked in to having an apprentice system at one basic element, you're sort of at the mercy of people on the other side. if their busi- ness is uctuating, your production capacity uctuates. i understand that.

it seems to me that this isn't a very good way to run this particular segment of our advanced education system. have you given any thought or oered any speculations or vision on how to smooth out the training ow? is is really very disruptive and, frankly, inecient.

K. Evans: Yes, we have. i have to say that the training providers have also done an awful lot of thinking there and shown some leadership there. how do they main- tain their institutions when it's going up and down? is is the thing that keeps them awake at night from year to year.

i would note that we are called the industry training authority, not the industry apprenticeship authority. While it has been necessary for us to stabilize the system and to ensure that we have a world-class apprentice- ship system, i think that in the next couple of years we need to take a look at the fact that there are additional training paths to competency in the trades. i don't know what those are yet, and i don't know whether anything is better than apprenticeship.

We need to take a look at what other countries are doing, and i think we need to broaden what was the original intent of our mandate. We have to meet the ori- ginal intent of our mandate, which was broader than simply apprenticeship training.

R. Sultan: could you, for example, consider of course, everything would have a price — paying people to train in an apprenticeship model, even if it's not ne- cessarily tied into a particular construction project, if you get my dri?

K. Evans: as always, the mla from West Vancouver gives me lots to think about. no, that's not something that i've given a great deal of thought to, but i think those are the kinds of ideas that we need to put into the hopper as we take a look at how we are going to meet those needs at 2015 and beyond, because it ain't going to get any better aer 2015.

J. McIntyre: mine is, i guess, maybe more of a comment and along the lines of rob's comments, too, as we were sit- ting here listening to this discussion back and forth.

i just wanted to compliment you, Kevin, on excellent answers today. i think i learned much more from the back and forth and the questions from both sides of the house. i thought you had very excellent, knowledgable answers to, well, the whole situation.

i'm very heartened. Kevin knows personally that my son is actually doing an electrician apprentice-

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ship through the union, and i was very heartened and delighted to hear the steps you've taken to engage or- ganized labour and work together and gure this out together going forward. i was delighted to hear those answers.

also, i'm particularly heartened about the opportun- ity for red Seal to shine. it's been my view…. i've been a big supporter of tilma and the internal trade agree- ment. i'm just absolutely delighted by your observations on that. i've been very concerned about the fearmonger- ing that goes on about a race to the bottom, because i don't believe that's what's going on at all. i was really delighted with your response on that.

i'm also very heartened about looking at some of the groups who've typically had diculties in the trades, like immigrants, first nations and women. We know that, hopefully again, when we get this economy ring on all cylinders, we're going to need those very groups engaged and properly trained.

Particularly with the work we're doing on children and youth, through poverty hearings and things like that, we know that there's a gap in income between some of these groups. You know, it's very heartening to see that if they get trades and red Seal and proper training, they'll be fully engaged in opportunities. We're asking immi- grants to come to our country to assist, and it's a very important opportunity for them to get training and a good living wage.

anyway, i was just very heartened by what you had to say today. i want to compliment and thank you for tak- ing the direction of the auditor general and continuing to improve, as you have.

finally, to the comment that was made. i agree with rob. i took some oence about an empty ship and an empty shell. When we ask people to take on these chal- lenges, when we're making major change in government, leadership doesn't get there by accident. When we call on talented people like Kevin and i think of larry Blain and Partnerships B.c…. is government has em- barked on a number of canadian leading ways of doing things and looking at things.

We have called upon people who have experience. We're very lucky in government and through our agen- cies and crown corporations to have people such as yourself, Kevin, who have taken on these assignments and have done a great job in moving forward and are still continuing to learn and strive for excellence.

[1140] i want to put these comments on the record.

b. Ralston (Chair): maybe just a caution to members on both sides. We're the Public accounts committee. We're ordinarily charged with trying to be less partisan rather than more partisan. in some of the comments back and forth maybe members should try and resist the temptation to do that. i don't think it really adds to

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