May 31, 1993 (34th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Sergio Marchi


Mr. Marchi:

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's intervention and question. I do not think it is only a case of dealing with the problems that unions might have in terms of the last on. first off scenario.
I think it probably affects those businesses and operations that also may not be unionized. Perhaps there is also in those factories and plants a system of respecting seniority which one wants to have because the other problem in our economic spectrum seems to be-at least from my riding's perspective-older workers. A lot of those firms and companies do not want to invest in a so-called 55-year old plus worker who may be closing their work life. I do not want to begrudge the seniority aspect in the firms.
I remember a few years ago a plan to address this problem by a former Liberal government, which was very successful by the way, that offered an incentive to those firms to hire young Canadians particularly as a first job opportunity.
The government not only encouraged these firms, but picked up part of the salary. It was of direct benefit to a firm to take a chance on a young person and offer that first job opportunity. The problem was in building one's resume and file in terms of presenting those credentials to that employer.
The program, initiated by the member for Winnipeg South Centre when he was minister of employment, produced very good results, allowing young Canadians to acquire first-time work experience. The businesses were being helped in part by the national government picking up the salary so it encouraged those businesses. It made financial sense to hold on to those individuals. Obviously if those individuals were given the benefit of that experience then it became a win-win situation.
I believe, as this motion tries to address it, that we need to be creative as opposed to simply saying that there is nothing we can do or that things are always too costly. I think there is a way around those problems confronting many of our young Canadians today.

Full View