According to Environmental Careers Organization Canada (“ECO Canada”), a leading human resources organization focused on supporting Canada’s environment industry, job growth in Canada’s green energy sector is expected to experience significant growth over the next few years. These projections are consistent with similar forecasts by Industry Canada and other leading associations currently operating in and monitoring Canada’s renewable energy sector. The recent growth being experienced throughout Canada’s green energy sector can be attributed to many factors. For instance, the enactment of Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2009, which is expected to create approximately 50,000 new jobs throughout the sector; a dramatic increase and awareness of environmental issues and energy use concerns throughout industrial, commercial and residential sectors; and the global ideological shift towards the use of more renewable, cleaner forms of energy.
Despite the rapid growth of Canada’s green energy industry and its significant environmental and economic benefits, Canada’s green energy industry is merely in its infancy. This has resulted in a significant shortage of Canadian workers with the necessary qualifications and experience to lead the industry forward. Given that many foreign countries are well-beyond the advances of the Canadian energy sector – with the United States and Germany among the leading countries in green energy investment, development and technology – Canada must depend almost exclusively on European and U.S. expertise and advanced second and third generation technology.
It is evident is that there is a glaring need for specialized foreign workers and proprietary technology within Canada’s green energy sector. This represents an abundance of opportunity for foreign companies abroad engaged in renewable energy to enter the Canadian green energy market in order to support Canadian local workers and companies while assisting in the completion of major green energy projects throughout Canada. Opportunities for foreign energy companies setting up business operations in Canada have never been stronger, due in part to Canada’s seemingly unlimited access to viable wind and solar energy for energy transfer and prime geographical location for the construction and implementation of wind and solar parks.
Foreign companies interested in entering the Canadian green energy marketplace, or companies already engaged in large-scale project work in Canada may benefit greatly from the assistance of competent representation in the field of renewable energy as well as Canadian immigration law. A fundamental understanding of the opportunities afforded foreign workers under the NAFTA and other applicable immigration categories as well as extensive experience dealing with all aspects of Canadian renewable energy law, including Canadian FIT and micro-FIT applications in Ontario, have proved very valuable to clients establishing or expanding their operations in Canada and throughout the NAFTA marketplace.