Saskatchewan’s trade workers are concerned about finding work in the province, espcially on bigger projects.
Several tradespersons were present at Monday’s sitting of the Legislature, including Troy Knipple.
“In the last two years, I’ve worked one year,” he said. “In the last 15 to 20 years, I’ve never been off work. It’s dramatic.”
Knipple said many workers have concerns with contracts put out of province or contracts awarded to out of province contractors, bring in other workers.
“Using the Chinook Power Centre as the most obvious, two thirds of the license plates in the parking lots are from BC and Alberta and even outside of Canada,” he said.
For Knipple, it’s about Saskatchewan first.
“We want the opportunity and we think we’ve earned it.”
The Saskatchewan NDP have called upon the province for a community benefits agreement, which they say would ensure Saskatchewan tradespeople working on projects in the province.
On the other side, Trade Minister Jeremy Harrison noted there’s a balance to be reached between both procurement preference and trade.
“What I hear when I’m talking to our companies is ‘Look, we’re happy to compete, we think we can compete,'” he said. “And the flip side of that is they have the opportunity to compete in other jurisdictions.”