HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative MLA Alfie MacLeod says the fact that Irving Shipbuilding is looking overseas for workers is a complete failure of the McNeil Liberals.
This week, it was reported that Irving has been hiring shipbuilders and carpenters from outside the country to fill jobs that should be held by Nova Scotians.
MacLeod says the problem is twofold. Not only are our existing skilled workers being overlooked, but the next generation of tradespeople are impacted as well.
“It’s shameful,” says MacLeod. “While this province is in the middle of a jobs crisis, Irving Shipbuilding is looking to Poland and Spain for workers. Nova Scotia tax dollars were used to secure this deal. Our workers deserve a fair shake at these jobs.”
MacLeod is questioning why the McNeil government neglected to have a plan in place to make sure enough Nova Scotians were trained with the necessary shipbuilding expertise.
When the deal was announced in 2012, McNeil expected the government of the day to have a plan. Now that he’s at the helm, all bets are off.
“My hope is the government has put in place measurables that will determine whether they’re meeting the commitments to job creation,” McNeil said at the time. He also added he wanted to see the opportunities spread across the province.
MacLeod says that isn’t happening, and now, that rests squarely on McNeil’s shoulders.
“Training workers for the Halifax Shipyard should have been a priority for government for the last four years. This embarrassment goes to show the Liberals have no plan for creating jobs in this province,” says MacLeod. “They weren’t prepared for this, and now jobs that belong to Nova Scotians are being given away.”
MacLeod adds that this disgraceful situation only highlights the need to bring vocational training back into schools, which is something the Progressive Conservatives will do when they form government.