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Canada looks to lure energy workers from the U.S.
LA Times ^ | Nov. 10, 2012 | Ricardo Lopez

Posted on 11/12/2012 12:10:06 AM PST by Alaska Wolf

Canada looks to lure energy workers from the U.S.

EDMONTON, Canada — With a daughter to feed, no job and $200 in the bank, Detroit pipe fitter Scott Zarembski boarded a plane on a one-way ticket to this industrial capital city.

He'd heard there was work in western Canada. Turns out he'd heard right. Within days he was wearing a hard hat at a Shell oil refinery 15 miles away in Fort Saskatchewan. Within six months he had earned almost $50,000. That was 2009. And he's still there.

"If you want to work, you can work," said Zarembski, 45. "And it's just getting started."

U.S. workers, Canada wants you.

Here in the western province of Alberta, energy companies are racing to tap the region's vast deposits of oil sands. Canada is looking to double production by the end of the decade. To do so it will have to lure more workers — tens of thousands of them — to this cold and sparsely populated place. The weak U.S. recovery is giving them a big assist.

Canadian employers are swarming U.S. job fairs, advertising on radio and YouTube and using headhunters to lure out-of-work Americans north. California, with its 10.2% unemployment rate, has become a prime target. Canadian recruiters are headed to a job fair in the Coachella Valley next month to woo construction workers idled by the housing meltdown.

The Great White North might seem a tough sell with winter coming on. But the Canadians have honed their sales pitch: free universal healthcare, good pay, quality schools, retention bonuses and steady work.

"California has a lot of workers and we hope they come up," said Mike Wo, executive director of the Edmonton Economic Development Corp.

The U.S. isn't the only place Canada is looking for labor. In Alberta, which is expecting a shortage of 114,000 skilled workers by 2021, provincial officials have been courting English-speaking tradespeople from Ireland, Scotland and other European nations. Immigrants from the Philippines, India and Africa have found work in services. But some employers prefer Americans because they adapt quickly, come from a similar culture and can visit their homes more easily.

Since 2010, about 35,000 U.S. workers a year have been issued work permits, according to Canadian immigration statistics. That's up 13% from earlier in the decade. And that figure is expected to grow as provinces continue to loosen requirements for temporary foreign workers.

Rudolf Kischer, a Vancouver-based immigration attorney, said his firm can hardly keep up with the processing of work permits for employers hiring U.S. help.

"We're the busiest we've ever been," he said.

Many of those workers are heading to where the labor market is hottest: Edmonton.

One of the fastest growing cities in Canada, this capital city owes its prosperity to the oil sands. Lying a few hours to the north, the sands are a mixture of sand, clay, water and bitumen — a heavy, black, viscous petroleum — that must be mined and processed to extract the oil. Alberta's massive deposits, which rival the conventional crude oil reserves of Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, are being developed at breakneck speed to meet the growing global demand for energy.

Edmonton has become a staging ground for oil companies that include Canada's Suncor Energy Inc., Shell Canada Ltd. and Chevron Canada Ltd. The energy sector has in turn boosted industries such as manufacturing, home building and retailing.

With a population of about 812,000, Edmonton looks a lot like many American cities. There are large strip malls anchored by U.S. retailers such as Costco and Home Depot, and ubiquitous coffee shops — except here Tim Horton's doughnut shops outnumber Starbucks 3 to 1.

The biggest difference: The unemployment rate here is 4.5%, and "We're Hiring" signs are posted in almost every window.

Moving to a city where the economy is firing on all cylinders was a sharp turn from struggling Motor City, Zarembski said.

Fat paychecks allowed him to ditch his battered Pontiac Grand Am for a late-model Dodge pickup truck. He has vacationed in the Dominican Republic and taken his 14-year-old daughter to Universal Studios in Florida. He's planning to buy a house in Edmonton's western suburbs soon.

With so much work available, Zarembski said, trade workers can afford to pick and choose. Jobs near Fort McMurray, a remote town six hours north, are the best-paid; a welder can make up $37 an hour. (At present Canadian and U.S. dollars are almost equivalent in value.) But laborers must stay in barracks-style camps, which energy companies have upgraded to woo them. The best ones offer private rooms with flat-screen TVs, gyms, prime dining and wireless Internet access


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: canada; oilproduction; us
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Is this the reason the unemployment rate in the US is gradually going down?
1 posted on 11/12/2012 12:10:21 AM PST by Alaska Wolf
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To: Alaska Wolf
If Canada was really smart they would setup manufacturing plants right near the border. Then they could siphon off some of the millions of out of work Americans. People could rent or buy homes near the border on the American side and commute to work.

Canada gets a whole bunch of workers who won't be using their Healthcare system and Obama can keep killing business in America for 4 more years but claim he created millions of jobs by chasing our workers out of the country.

Sounds like a plan!

2 posted on 11/12/2012 12:18:11 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Alaska Wolf

Don’t you then pay taxes to two countries?


3 posted on 11/12/2012 12:22:32 AM PST by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: Irenic
Don’t you then pay taxes to two countries?

When your gainfully employed and making good money, it isn't too painful when you consider the alternative.

4 posted on 11/12/2012 12:26:30 AM PST by Alaska Wolf (USA!)
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To: Alaska Wolf

A hard call to make for those who find themselves unable to work here. I applaud those who can make the tough decisions to go WHERE the work is, in spite of the hardships on themselves and thei families by doing so. That is showing the ‘can do no matter what’ spirit that I so love about Americans. I wish them well.


5 posted on 11/12/2012 12:29:33 AM PST by SueRae (It isn't over. In God We Trust.)
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To: Irenic
Don’t you then pay taxes to two countries?

Yes but since the Canadian tax is higher, you only pay whichever is the highest rate. But with the way things are headed, that might be US taxes soon.
6 posted on 11/12/2012 12:30:50 AM PST by plsvn
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To: Alaska Wolf

Canada is becoming the land of opportunity and the US is becoming the land of foodstamps. My how things changed in the last 20 years!


7 posted on 11/12/2012 12:32:00 AM PST by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters of Freedom, Committee of Correspondence)
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To: Irenic; Alaska Wolf

Generally if a U.S. citizen works out of country tax treaties keep him from being taxed twice. Check U.S. code on how long one has to spend out of country, etc.


8 posted on 11/12/2012 12:33:48 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Alaska Wolf

Go North, Young Man!


9 posted on 11/12/2012 12:37:12 AM PST by Argus
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To: SueRae
A hard call to make for those who find themselves unable to work here

Thousands did it for the construction of the Alaska pipeline. There were direct flights to and from Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska to DFW daily for the commuting pipeline construction workers.

10 posted on 11/12/2012 12:38:59 AM PST by Alaska Wolf (USA!)
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To: Argus
Go North, Young Man!

My bride and I did and have never regretted it.

11 posted on 11/12/2012 12:43:25 AM PST by Alaska Wolf (USA!)
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To: Alaska Wolf

It is my understanding that the Eagle Ford Shale project in Texas and the North Dakota drilling areas are hiring like crazy as well.

If I were a young man, not in the military and not in college, I would head there.


12 posted on 11/12/2012 12:44:15 AM PST by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters of Freedom, Committee of Correspondence)
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To: count-your-change; Irenic; Alaska Wolf

I’ve been in that place. Between Canada and the US, you are taxed on the place of residence.

Right now, the Canadian dollar is heading aloft and their unemployment rate is sinking like a recently unplugged toilet. Not for naught is the Conservative government’s economic policies having an effect on the overall economy...


13 posted on 11/12/2012 12:45:43 AM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Irenic

You have to file in both countries. You also have to file documents to indicate bank balances, a separate filing.

In 2011 if you are a bona fide resident of a foreign country, including Canada - which has certain requirements, your first $92,900.00 USD in this case in Canadian income is exempt (you have to convert CDN $ to US $ to figure this out). Over that amount you have to pay US taxes.

As to Alberta, Canadian taxes are higher than in the USA, as is the cost of living, though Alberta is better than most. The health care system is not really free, since you pay for it in taxes, nor does it cover everything – there is inexpensive (relative to the USA) supplemental health insurance for preexisting conditions. Health care is run by the provinces, which means more local control. It is not run by the federal government as it is in the UK and which is where Obamacare is heading.

Housing in Edmonton is expensive. There is a real estate bubble due to the oil patch boom. There is work however. Getting into Canada is not as easy as the article presents, long term the two countries are heading in different directions financially.

The Canadian national debt is too high, and some provinces, such as Ontario, are also from a conservative view point, though Alberta is not one of them. But this is a relative matter. The CDN national debt is about $18,000/ person the USA debt is $180,000 /person- add a zero.


14 posted on 11/12/2012 12:57:10 AM PST by verklaring (Pyrite is not gold))
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To: Irenic

You have to file in both countries. You also have to file documents to indicate bank balances, a separate filing.

In 2011 if you are a bona fide resident of a foreign country, including Canada - which has certain requirements, your first $92,900.00 USD in this case in Canadian income is exempt (you have to convert CDN $ to US $ to figure this out). Over that amount you have to pay US taxes.

As to Alberta, Canadian taxes are higher than in the USA, as is the cost of living, though Alberta is better than most. The health care system is not really free, since you pay for it in taxes, nor does it cover everything – there is inexpensive (relative to the USA) supplemental health insurance for preexisting conditions. Health care is run by the provinces, which means more local control. It is not run by the federal government as it is in the UK and which is where Obamacare is heading.

Housing in Edmonton is expensive. There is a real estate bubble due to the oil patch boom. There is work however. Getting into Canada is not as easy as the article presents, long term the two countries are heading in different directions financially.

The Canadian national debt is too high, and some provinces, such as Ontario, are also from a conservative view point, though Alberta is not one of them. But this is a relative matter. The CDN national debt is about $18,000/ person the USA debt is $180,000 /person- add a zero.


15 posted on 11/12/2012 12:57:26 AM PST by verklaring (Pyrite is not gold))
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To: Alaska Wolf

Any chance (hahahahaha) of Canada changing (hahahahaha) their gun laws?

:)

I’d be there in a heartbeat if they did.

Kudos to them, anyway, for luring disgruntled Americans. Of which there are many.


16 posted on 11/12/2012 12:59:32 AM PST by Bradís Gramma (PRAY for this country like your life depends on it......because it DOES!)
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To: Alaska Wolf

Sounds to me like a person would need to hire professional help on both sides of the border, but the hassle might be worth it in terms of a doable tax bill. Good luck to everyone who goes to the Great White North! Hope you find plenty of work!


17 posted on 11/12/2012 1:03:28 AM PST by pbmaltzman
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To: Brad's Gramma
Any chance (hahahahaha) of Canada changing (hahahahaha) their gun laws?

Actually there have been some changes. The Firearm Registry has been scuttled, to the disappointment of the whining liberals.

I've never experienced any problems transporting or hunting with rifles or shotguns in Canada. No handguns for foreigners.

18 posted on 11/12/2012 1:04:52 AM PST by Alaska Wolf (USA!)
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To: MarkBsnr

Thank you.


19 posted on 11/12/2012 1:06:04 AM PST by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: Brad's Gramma

The Canadian government just got rid of the “Long Gun Registry,” for rifles and hunting weapons.

It is more restricted than the USA. I do not know about hand guns. The RCMP however will also not show up on your door step with a SWAT team to serve a warrant for a house two blocks down the street, and kill your dog if it barks, so some of this is relative.


20 posted on 11/12/2012 1:07:38 AM PST by verklaring (Pyrite is not gold))
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