MARRIED TO SOMEONE FROM OTTAWA, SO I STARTED LOOKING FOR WORK IN OTTAWA. HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT ON-SITE – BY ACCIDENT, IN 1989
From early 1989 onwards I started looking for engineering jobs in Ottawa, rather than Montreal. The reason was partly because I had found Montreal and its business community to be corrupt and dishonest, in addition I had married someone from Ottawa.
The first step was to find out about companies under different categories in the Yellow Pages and telephoning them for information – literally, going through them one by one in alphabetical order. (There was no Internet worth speaking of back then for this kind of basic research). I did this one day a week while still working as a self-employed house painter and decorator in Montreal.
One day, in January 1990, I found myself speaking to Brian Barstead, then President of Energy Pathways Inc.. I had called him because I was interested in energy saving and the environment. He asked me if I would like some more info about the company, which he could mail to me, so of course I said yes’.
On January 11th, I received the said information – a plain text document headed :-
ENERGY PATHWAYS INC.
On the next page, I saw :-
ENERGY PATHWAYS INC.
ON-SITE/ À LA SOURCE
This was followed by the description of the program, which was intended for –quote -…trained, unemployed professionals… federal employment funding is used to pay their salaries for a limited time …. More than 500 companies have participated in ON-SITE since it began in 1983…unquote
I had never heard of this before, from anybody at Employment and Immigration Canada (as it was then), or anybody whom I had approached for employment as an engineer, or anybody else.
This looked good but pursuing it rapidly turned into an exercise in frustration and time wasting, mainly on account of the totally stupid and dysfunctional rules barring entry to this scheme unless you were already receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits - which I never was, due to never having had any so–called insurable employment in the first place, after being illegally dismissed by SNC back in July 1982.
Among other things, in 1990 I tried to persuade Barbara MacDougall s office to intervene over this, for the purpose of assisting me to get some engineering work on the Hibernia offshore oil production platform project. Back then, Barbara MacDougall was federal Minister of Immigration and Employment. The main contracting organization - Newfoundland Offshore Contractors Inc. – was seeking to fill 600 engineering design and procurement jobs in Montreal, on the Hibernia project; I was told there were about 2,000 applicants most of whom were already working with major sub-contractors such as SNC and Monenco. This effort of mine, of course, failed. One of the reasons: Barbara MacDougall s office was getting 5,000 letters per month from other people bringing problems to her attention; another reason was the stupid rule referred to before which her office refused to waive in my case, notwithstanding the circumstances.
This particular story is just one of several I have to tell concerning being barred from this ON-SITE program, in an incompetent manner, based on a stupid rule that nobody would consider changing
Other instances occurred in 1992/1993, 1994/ 1996, 1998/1999 and 2001 onwards. These are dealt with elsewhere on this site.