Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

December 04, 2009 11:53 ET

Canada's Economic Action Plan Creates Jobs and Helps Canadians With More Income Support and Greater Training Opportunities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 4, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, is very pleased with the progress made under Canada's Economic Action Plan (EAP) to help Canadians and their families weather the economic storm, protect and create jobs, and prepare Canadians for the jobs of the future.

"Initiatives introduced under the Government's EAP have been implemented rapidly and effectively to provide Canadians, communities and businesses with more income support and greater training and skills development opportunities, enabling workers to retain or find new jobs," said Minister Finley. "These measures are providing support to more Canadians now and will help our economy emerge from this global recession and make it even stronger than before."

Help Canadians and Their Families Weather the Economic Storm

The Employment Insurance (EI) program provides benefits to help Canadians and their families weather the economic storm in a changing labour market.

More than 395,000 individuals have benefited from an extra five weeks of EI. Freezing the EI premium rates for 2010 at $1.73, the same rate as 2009, has left more money in the hands of employers and employees. In addition to actions taken under the EAP, the Government has introduced the Fairness for the Self-Employed Act, which would extend EI special benefits, including maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits, to the self-employed on a voluntary basis.

This year, the Government will invest approximately $5.8 billion more in EI benefits, providing direct income support to more Canadians.

Create Jobs

The Government is creating jobs by making investments in the construction and renovation of social housing, and by helping low-income and vulnerable Canadians find suitable and affordable housing. These investments are enhancing the energy efficiency and quality of up to 200,000 social housing units across the country, improving the lives of those most in need.

The EAP has fully committed $425 million to provinces and territories to renovate and retrofit existing social housing, $200 million to support housing for low-income seniors, and $25 million to meet the housing needs of persons with disabilities, for a total of $650 million in 2009-2010. The Government of Canada's support is being matched by provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for program design and delivery. In addition, the Government of Canada has fully committed $75 million to renovate and retrofit federally administered social housing, $200 million to support First Nations housing, and $100 million to meet the specific housing needs of northern residents in 2009-2010. Across the country, over 1,700 projects have begun.

Protect Jobs

The enhanced Work-Sharing program has protected a record number of jobs that otherwise might have been lost by allowing employees to continue working a reduced work week while they receive EI benefits for the days they do not work. This has in turn allowed businesses to keep their skilled workers employed until they recover. Since the EAP augmented this initiative in February, over 225,000 Canadians have benefited from the program, of which approximately 167,000 are currently participating.

One such organization, Doepker Industries Ltd., a leading manufacturer of highway semi-trailers in Annaheim, Saskatchewan, benefited from the flexibility of the Work-Sharing program by keeping its skilled employees and avoiding expensive re-hiring and re-training costs in the future.

Prepare Canadians for the Jobs of the Future

The EAP includes targeted investments aimed at developing a more highly skilled, flexible and knowledgeable workforce. These investments have also provided employees and employers with access to the skills and training they need to find a job, including increased investments in apprentices, older workers, Aboriginal skills and employment, and training for those individuals who do not qualify for EI.

Through the Career Transition Assistance initiative, more than 6,000 long-tenured workers are receiving extended EI benefits to enable them to access longer-term training to get new jobs. The Government also recently implemented legislation to temporarily extend EI benefits for long-tenured workers by up to 20 weeks. In addition, more than 90,000 Canadians are benefiting from funds currently flowing to provinces and territories to support training initiatives to address particular labour market needs.

To learn more about the Fourth Report to Canadians on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559