Minister O’Regan addresses the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, North America’s oldest continuously operating trade union

News release

February 20, 2023              Miami, Florida              Employment and Social Development Canada

Workers are at the forefront of our prosperity, and one of Canada’s priorities is to build a strong and resilient workforce. Today, Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. addressed and met with members of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers at their Executive Council Meeting in Miami, Florida. The event brought together members of the union, which represents skilled trades workers, from across Canada and the United States.

Minister O'Regan reaffirmed the Government of Canada's support for workers in the skilled trades and construction industries. He discussed the Government’s Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP), which supports union-based apprenticeship training, innovation, and enhanced partnerships in the Red Seal trades. The UTIP previously provided $25 million annually through the Investments in Training Equipment UTIP Stream, which provides unions with up to 50% of the costs of new, up-to-date equipment and materials that meet industry standards or investments in technology in the Red Seal trades. Through Budget 2022, permanent funding for the UTIP was doubled to $50 million annually with the addition of a new stream of funding. The UTIP’s new Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream provides support for innovative approaches and enhanced partnerships to address long-standing challenges limiting apprenticeship outcomes. In recent years, the Government has provided more than $2,700,000 in funding to the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers  through the UTIP.

The Minister also highlighted the Government’s new Labour Mobility Deduction, which provides up to a maximum of $4,000 per tax year for temporary relocation expenses. Eligible tradespersons and apprentices can apply for the deduction for the 2022 tax year. 

In the coming months, the Government will also launch a new union-led advisory table of labour and trades associations. The table will advise the Government on key areas of investments to help workers navigate the changing labour market.


“Across North America, trades workers build our homes, hospitals and schools. Right now, we need them more than ever. It’s trades workers like the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers that built the middle class and continue to do it every day.”

–Minister of Labour, Seamus O'Regan Jr.

"Prime Minister Trudeau and his government have been loyal and innovative partners of the labour movement throughout some of the most challenging years of the 21st Century. We're truly honoured that Minister Seamus O'Regan Jr. was able to join us for our Executive Council meeting and share his perspective on the progress that the government has made in apprenticeship and training, labour mobility, and other areas critical to our members and their families. We look forward to continue working with him and the Ministry of Labour to strengthen opportunities and workplace relations across Canada."

– Tim Driscoll, President, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

Quick facts

  • Budget 2022 doubled funding for the UTIP with an investment of $84.2 million over four years. This will help an additional 3,500 apprentices from under-represented groups—including more women, newcomers, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and racialized Canadians—access good-quality jobs in high-paying skilled trades. 

  • The Labour Mobility Deduction provides an eligible tradesperson with a deduction for certain transportation, meals and temporary lodging costs incurred for travelling significant distances to earn income at a temporary work location in Canada from temporary employment in construction activities during the 2022 and subsequent taxation years.

  • The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers was founded in 1865, it became an international union in 1881 with the admittance of locals representing workers from Hamilton and Toronto in Ontario, Canada. The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers represents highly skilled trowel trades craftworkers across the United States and Canada including bricklayers, stone and marble masons, cement masons, plasterers, tilesetters, terrazzo and mosaic workers, and pointers, cleaners and caulkers. 

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Hartley Witten
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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