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Christopher Smillie

Senior Advisor, Government Relations and Public Affairs Canadian Building Trades

Chris Smillie’s current role is Senior Advisor -- Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, Canadian Office, also known as the Canadian Building Trades. The Canadian Building Trades represents more than 550,000 skilled tradespeople in 15 trades in every province and territory.

Chris is responsible for government relations and legislative affairs with the Government of Canada in Ottawa, On. Chris interacts with Members of Parliament and various federal government departments on national issues affecting our industry. Chris works for and with the affiliated construction trades to deliver a united message in Ottawa for our membership in Canada.

Chris attended and graduated from the University of Western Ontario in London,ON and holds an honours Political Science degree. His interests range from golf to mountain biking, economics to travel and is an avid hockey fan.

Chris is originally from Oakville, ON and has lived in a number of cities including Calgary, AB, Burlington, ON and now resides in Ottawa, ON with his daughter Aislynn. Chris worked for the Royal Bank of Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada for a number of years as a relationship manager and commercial lender. BIO
Canadian Press

Where Is My Muskoka (Election) Chair?

On a hot Sunday in August 2015, Governor General David Johnston dissolved Parliament at the request of Prime Minister Harper. Thus, the 41st Parliament concluded and Canada was thrust into a 78 day campaign, much of which will be fought over the summer months. This campaign is not about the decided voter. It isn't about keeping the base happy. It is about the undecided, meandering, and regular Canadian.
08/13/2015 08:00 EDT
Bee-Creative via Getty Images

The U.S.-Canada Border Needs to Open For the Skilled Workforce

Workers and industry face enormous regulatory burden when trying to move people back and forth between Canada and the United States for economic purposes. A workforce that is mobile, highly-trained and competitive with the rest of the world is a necessity in the new world economy. Why wouldn't our two governments facilitate the movement of skilled workers to work on major projects in both countries and help manufacturing (or technology) giants get the talent they need where they need it?
03/18/2015 08:11 EDT

Canada's Economic Action Force Doesn't Help the Labour Force

Missing from the plan, however, are important policy enablers for the Canadian labour force. Canada is faced with a changed economy and the labour force has to be more flexible and mobile than ever to meet the demands of employers.
10/31/2014 12:56 EDT
Getty

Pipelines Connect Jobs -- Why the Disconnect?

Pipelines deliver energy directly to consumers or to industry and have operated safely in Canada for a generation. Pipelines contain the raw goods people and industry demand to heat homes, fill our stores with strawberries in the winter season and ultimately, run our economy.
10/28/2014 09:19 EDT
AP

Canada Should Look to the U.S. for Skilled Workers

Canada is faced with finding 300,000 or so skilled workers to meet economic demand and retirements over the next 10 years. I can think of no better source country for skilled workers than the United States while we are busy training our young people and refocusing our education system
09/05/2014 01:23 EDT
Getty

Federal Funding for Toronto's Subway Is Bad News for Canada

The recent announcement by the federal government that it will fund Toronto's subway system is not good news for Canada. It means more of the same style of infrastructure funding we have always had. Instead of predictable, reliable and rules based projects, Canada is riddled with a mish mash of almost completed and almost dead projects politicians pick and choose to save (or not).
09/24/2013 05:51 EDT

Is Canada Serious About Immigration?

Recently, Minister of Employment Jason Kenneyrightly highlighted the Foreign Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) as an important plank in Canada's complicated immigration system. The announcement itself by the Minister was made on a lazy, hazy, slow news day in August and stopped short of any real news -- how about an increase in this important stream?
08/23/2013 12:06 EDT
CP

Canada Job Grant Will Transform our Training System for the Better

The Canada Job Grant is an attempt to realign priorities. If the provinces want to align training programs to industrial demand, great. If not, and provinces continue to offer training programs not directly linked to occupations in demand, the federal government has every justification to step in and demand value for money.
07/25/2013 05:27 EDT