Technical safety agreement in Atlantic Canada

Deal will make it easier for certified tradespeople to safely work across the region

Technical safety agreement in Atlantic Canada
The four Atlantic premiers (L-R): NS Tim Houston, NB Blaine Higgs, PEI Dennis King, NL Andrew Furey Source: Twitter/@Blaine Higgs

In a significant development aimed at improving labour mobility and technical safety in Atlantic Canada, the Council of Atlantic Premiers announced the signing of an agreement which takes effect July 1, 2023, and focuses on streamlining regulations to facilitate the movement of certified tradespeople across the region.

The Premiers expressed their commitment to enabling regulated technical tradespeople to work efficiently and effectively throughout Atlantic Canada. To achieve this, the agreement emphasizes aligning training, certification, and licensing requirements, as well as expediting registration processes for skilled tradespeople such as fuel technicians, power engineers, and elevator mechanics.

"We are pleased to announce the signing of the Agreement to Improve Technical Safety, Interjurisdictional Commerce, and the Mobility of Certified Tradespeople in Atlantic Canada," stated Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island and Chair of the Council of Atlantic Premiers. "This is a significant step towards improving labour mobility for technical trades in our region and another example of our commitment to reducing red-tape and supporting workers."

The agreement commits the Atlantic Provinces to collaborate on several key areas, including seeking opportunities for regulatory alignment in all areas of technical safety, working towards harmonization or mutual recognition of safety standards, reviewing and responding to completed applications from certified tradespeople from other provinces or territories, and coordinating information sharing on related issues and challenges.

Tim Houston, Premier of Nova Scotia, praised the agreement, stating, "This agreement will make it easier for skilled workers in technical safety trades to work throughout Atlantic Canada. It will help us attract and retain the workers we need to grow our economy while reducing barriers to labour mobility and maintaining high standards of technical safety."

Premier Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick also highlighted the significance of the agreement, saying, "We have taken an important step toward improving labour mobility within Atlantic Canada. For too long, certified tradespeople have faced barriers in moving within the region. This agreement will benefit workers and employers and support continued economic growth across Atlantic Canada."

Recognizing the economic potential in sectors such as mining and renewable energy, Premier Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador emphasized the importance of removing inter-provincial barriers for tradespeople. "Breaking down barriers that make it easier to live and work in Newfoundland and Labrador is integral to our sustained economic and community growth. Addressing inter-provincial barriers for tradespeople will allow us to meet growing market demand," he stated.

While maintaining a high standard of technical safety and prioritizing public interest, the Premiers stressed that each Atlantic Province's legislative authority over technical safety would be respected. They also acknowledged the unique needs and circumstances of local stakeholders and the responsibility of regulatory bodies and professional associations to uphold the standards of technical safety in the province where the professionals operate.

The agreement signifies a significant milestone in improving labour mobility and fostering collaboration among Atlantic Provinces. By harmonizing regulations and facilitating the movement of certified tradespeople, Atlantic Canada aims to create a more integrated and efficient regional market, bolster economic growth, and meet the demands of various industries.