Americans do not have a particularly easy time getting jobs in Canada. I am not saying it’s impossible, mind you, just difficult. But, if you reside in one of the 50 plus countries of the British Commonwealth, you might have a much easier time getting the proper papers to be permitted to stay and work legally in Canada. Why would you want to do so? According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, so-called “green jobs” are proliferating at such a rate there is a veritable shortage of suitable candidates.
It seems that these environmental jobs are not only for scientists anymore. Canadian employers are targeting multi-taskers, interdisciplinarians and passionate folks who want work to protect the environment as their ideal candidates. One thing is clear, however, the number of green job opportunities is growing considerably. According to Grant Trump, president of the Calgary-based Environmental Careers Organization of Canada:
“The opportunities in environmental careers are exploding. Demand is outstripping supply and it’s affecting industry’s ability to meet the environmental challenge. Right now, there are 530,000 jobs in Canada related to the environment, and we are projecting job growth over the next five years to increase by 8.8 per cent. This represents a rate that is 24-per-cent faster than the overall Canadian employment increase.”
This Canadian employee shortage might even open the door to more Americans who are actively seeking, but cannot find similar opportunities in a country that is talking a lot about green collar jobs without actually producing many of them. Speaking from first hand experience, I know that there is a wealth of opportunities in Canada right now in terms of research grants and graduate funding for disciplines in the traditional environmental disciplines as well as some of the less traditional ones.
Photo Credit: Zest-pk via flickr
The demand from Alberta for environmental careers must be interesting to follow. Can a province which gets a large chunk of all income from oil and gas really be wanting environmental positions for anything more than appearing to be doing the right thing?
When you are poluting a river, any suggestions for improving the situation that reduce profits will generally be ignored by corporations until called upon by government departments. Profits rule. To me it looks like greenwashing by hiring qualified staff.
When things really start changing, then I’ll reserve the right to amend my position.
Timothy B. Hurst
Fair enough, Mike. I think you make a valid criticism. Keep in mind, however, that the Canadian system is federalist. A province can go one way, and the central government (or other provinces) can go another.
Case in point: British Columbia has just passed a carbon tax. Not a cap-and-trade. A straight up carbon-tax, one of the most aggressive policy tools available to curb carbon emissions. And they did this in spite of the central government’s wishes. Federalism is surely not perfect. But one thing it does allow for is policy experimentation.
Canada used to lag behind the US in terms of enviro policy, but now I think the tables are turning a little, as CA provinces test out carbon taxes, feed-in tariffs and collaborative policy-making tools.
I’m glad you are reserving the right to amend your position – I wish more people were willing to accept political contingency as an ideology.
Thanks for your comment.