The premiers of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia are working together to design a series of initiatives in order to make moving between provinces easier.
A New West Partnership meeting on Thursday in Regina between Premiers Brad Wall, Alison Redford, and Christy Clark resulted in a series of initiatives designed to break down some of the barriers which make it inconvenient to move to a neighbouring province.
One initiative will see the three provinces making changes for individuals and families to register their vehicle in another province. Currently, vehicles need to go through an out-of-province inspection before they can register that vehicle in their new home province. Starting April 1, 2015, people moving between Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia can get an inspection exemption in order to register their vehicle more quickly. These changes were enacted to make it easier, faster and less costly for many workers and their families to move to where the jobs are, while ensuring that unsafe vehicles are repaired or taken off the road. Currently, all vehicles must be inspected at a designated inspection facility once arriving in the new province.
BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan will also be working together to make it easier for apprentices in the skilled trades to move across western Canada. For the majority of trades, Red Seal qualifications are the same between all three provinces, however, the levels of training for apprentices may not be. The existing protocols currently in place to remove barriers to mobility are useful, however there is an opportunity to improve targeted harmonization efforts.
The three provinces and and Apprenticeship Authorities will work together to:
1. Adopt a common policy to:
- Establish a single point of contact for apprentices in each jurisdiction to address their mobility barriers;
- Track, monitor, and regularly review differences between the jurisdictions’ apprenticeship training levels and processes.
2. Engage with employers who have operations in multiple jurisdictions to understand the issues faced when interacting with multiple systems of apprenticeship.
3. Establish mechanisms(i.e. through web links or central point of contact within the apprenticeship authority) to publish training availability for low volume trades across the three jurisdictions to provide more options for apprentices.
Removing existing mobility barriers will help to increase efficiencies for employers operating in more than one province, make training across multiple provinces easier for apprentices, and allow western provinces to more easily share training resources.
The trio of provinces also signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding Open Educational Resources, pledging to cooperate in the sharing and development of Open Education Resources. In Saskatchewan, this responsibility will be assigned to Planning, Strategy and Evaluation Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education.
The participants agreed that educational materials produced pursuant to this MOU will use open licences to ensure they are open and free to use by anyone within the meaning of the definition of Open Education Resources.
The provinces also looked at cooperating in the areas of aboriginal employment and developing their shared areas of interest in the growing Asian markets.