Irish recruitment to Sask. hits glitch
The so called Irish mission has hit a "technical glitch", according to Tim
McMillan, Saskatchewan's Energy and Resources minister.
The comment comes after Monad Industrial issued temporarily lay-off notices to 50 workers, including 20 Irish workers, from the company's project at the Agrium potash mine near Vanscoy.
The workers came to Canada during the first wave of the province's high-profile recruitment trip to Ireland in March this year.
A gap developed in the construction schedule between the pipefitting job these workers completed and the next stage which would resume sometime next year, said Mike Long, spokesperson for PCL, Monad Industrial's parent company.
In the meantime, Long said they've had sit-down meetings with the workers to discuss transferring them to the company's other jobs in province.
He said none of the 20 Irish workers have taken that option.
"We brought the government officials to these meetings to help explain the process and help facilitate it with them to say, 'OK, here's some opportunities we have and here's some help with the logistics in doing that' and as I said unfortunately it wasn't a message that was well received," said Long.
Cam Broten, MLA with the provincial NDP, said putting himself into the shoes of some of these immigrant workers he can understand why they would be against relocating for temporary job.
"They've moved around the globe, often with their partners and their families. In many situations, I assume, entered into leases for houses and thinking about schools in the fall," Broten said.
He said the situation is very concerning.
"It really leaves people in a lurch and I think Saskatchewan is better than that and these people really deserve to be treated fairly," Broten said.
He said accommodations need to be made when families are recruited to move to Saskatchewan and that promises made are fulfilled.
McMillan said the province will utilize the Exceptional Measures Provision in their agreement with the federal government to act quickly in employing these immigrant workers elsewhere.
"There are multiple job opportunities potentially coming to each of these employees," he said.
The visas they were given were under the federal stream, which allows different provisions than the Saskatchewan stream. He said bringing them into the Saskatchewan stream is a smooth process.
"Instead of possibly waiting for a labour market survey, which can take three weeks it takes about a day or two and they can be hired very quickly," McMillan said.
He said this was a case of a technical difficulty and the province's need for foreign workers is not changing any time soon.
Follow on Twitter: @StephanieFroese