Nova Scotia and British Columbia are teaming up to enhance workforce training and increase the mobility of skilled workers between the two provinces. Premier Stephen McNeil and Premier Christy Clark signed an agreement in principle today, July 17, that will mean more opportunities for workers in the shipbuilding and industrial marine industry, and ensure that employers in both provinces have access to the qualified workforce they need. “This is a perfect partnership, and one in which our economies and our workers will benefit,” said Premier McNeil. “Our two provinces each have a strong and booming shipbuilding industry. “Working together we will deliver top notch training for our skilled trades workers and help ensure our respective labour market needs continue to be met as these industries grow.” “Shipbuilding and ship repair is worth billions of dollars in our two provinces and we will continue to need trained workers in the coming years,” said Premier Clark. “This agreement means employers will have access to a deeper talent pool, and workers will have more opportunities in a growing economy.” British Columbia and Nova Scotia will prepare a memorandum of understanding to implement the agreement. It will focus on sharing best practices in marine trades training, and exploring joint training ventures using innovative delivery methods. A co-ordinated training strategy will make it easier for skilled trades workers to move between the two provinces for work. In 2012, it was estimated that the shipbuilding business supported a total of 4,423 direct and indirect jobs in Nova Scotia. Estimates suggest that by 2020, that number could be as high as 11,500, including 7,400 in manufacturing.
MONTREAL — An official with a large Canadian producer of medical cannabis is confident consumers will be adequately supplied come next July, but says production will need to be increased.“Right now, the existing capacity and what is already envisioned will not be sufficient to meet the needs of the adult consumer market,” Cam Battley, executive vice-president of Aurora Cannabis Inc., said in an interview Monday.He has urged other companies to ramp up their production ahead of next July 1, when recreational marijuana is expected to be legalized.“We need to expand our capacity right away simply to meet the demands of the rapidly growing medical cannabis system,” Battley said. “When the demand of the adult consumer system is layered on top of that, it’s a rush to build as much capacity as possible.”Battley made the comments on the same day that Aurora (TSX:ACB) began trading common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Alberta-based Aurora, one of several producers now listed on the TSX, is building what it describes as the world’s largest cannabis production facility at Edmonton International Airport.Battley said Canada has a well-developed and successful medical cannabis system.“This is a coming of age, not just for Aurora, but for the cannabis sector and what we’re seeing now is that Canada has established itself as the world leader in a brand new emerging industry that we are literally inventing in real time,” he said.Battley added that officials from around the world have been coming to his facility in Alberta to visit and to learn how Canada has been so successful both on the medical side and on the consumer side.“There’s something very big happening and it’s a global movement and it is being led out of Canada.”Jordan Sinclair, director of communications for Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED), another major medical cannabis producer, agrees.“There’s no doubt that we already are …that Canada is the global leader in cannabis on the medical side certainly,” he said.“The demand doesn’t seem to be slowing down on the medical side of things and then with recreation, obviously that’s a massive market opportunity.”Sinclair pointed out that Canopy, whose headquarters are in a former Hershey chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, southwest of Ottawa, was first listed on the big board of the TSX in July 2016.“We’re very proud to have done that before anyone else in the country,” he added. “It does seem like now the pace is speeding up with other companies following in our footsteps (and) it signals that there is credibility across the sector.”On its website, Health Canada says there are 52 authorized licensed producers of cannabis for medical purposes.Ontario has issued 29 licences, followed by British Columbia with 12.