Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

November 07, 2007 10:30 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding for Labour Cooperation Program in Colombia

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 7, 2007) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, formalized the funding announcement of $1 million to Colombia under the International Program for Professional Labour Administration (IPPLA).

"This funding will help the Colombian Government to strengthen and enforce labour laws on behalf of workers here, and will support good governance by building capacity for the effective administration of labour legislation," said Minister Blackburn. "The Government of Canada is committed to the Americas, and we see Colombia as a key partner in this regard," added Minister Blackburn.

Minister Blackburn will meet with the President of the Republic of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe Velez, and the Vice-President, Francisco Santos. He will also meet with the Colombian Minister of Social Protection, Diego Palacio Betancourt, and the Deputy Minister of Labour Affairs for Colombia, Andres Fernando Palacio, to discuss the IPPLA. He will take this opportunity to convey the Government of Canada's commitment to reviving and expanding its commitment in the Americas.

The IPPLA is a two-year, $8.5 million project co-financed by the Canadian International Development Agency and the Labour Program of Human Resources and Social Development Canada. The IPPLA focuses on the following four areas: enforcement of national labour legislation; open dialogue between stakeholders and government; modernization of labour administration; and occupational health and safety.

The IPPLA will assist countries to more effectively implement commitments arising from their trade-related labour agreements, and deliver on obligations resulting from the Summit of the Americas and the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour.

During his trip to Latin America in July, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it clear that the Government of Canada's re-engagement in the hemisphere is a critical international priority for the country. The Prime Minister also stated that greater economic integration through trade and investment will help alleviate poverty and create new wealth and employment opportunities for Colombians and Canadians.

"The Government of Canada is also acting on its Throne Speech commitment to strengthen Canada's place in the world," said Minister Blackburn. "We are working with our partners in the hemisphere to promote the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law," added Minister Blackburn.

During his visit, Minister Blackburn also met with Colombian workers unions and industry associations.

This week, Minister Blackburn is meeting with his counterparts in Argentina, Peru and Colombia to highlight the Government of Canada's renewed engagement in the hemisphere. Canada's focus on the Americas seeks to increase prosperity and improve security throughout the hemisphere.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

BACKGROUNDER

International Program for Professional Labour Administration

The International Program for Professional Labour Administration (IPPLA) is financed by the Inter-American Program of the Canadian International Development Agency, which contributes to the achievement of greater equity in the Americas by helping to fulfil commitments made at the Summit of the Americas.

It is a two-year, $8.5 million project managed by the Labour Program of Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). The IPPLA seeks to strengthen labour administration in countries (especially smaller economies) of the Andean, Central American and Caribbean sub-regions of the Americas.

The IPPLA will primarily help countries to:

- strengthen and modernize their labour administration and adhere to international labour standards;

- enhance national occupational health and safety standards to promote safer and healthier workplaces; and,

- facilitate social dialogue between the government, employers and unions.

Partner organizations such as the International Labour Organization, the Organization of American States, regional non-governmental organizations and local labour experts will likely be involved in designing, managing and delivering activities and components of the project in order to respond to local priority needs.

Project activities that are part of the IPPLA may include workshops, seminars, conferences, collaboration on policy or legislative development, study tours, studies and research exchanges, as well as social dialogue between the social partners themselves and with governmental authorities.

In the spirit of a multi-stakeholder approach, the IPPLA project will encourage the participation of governments as well as of representatives of organized labour and employers' groups.

HRSDC's Labour Program represents the views of Canada abroad on matters such as working conditions, workplace health and safety, industrial relations and labour standards, and participates in the negotiation of international labour agreements. Much of this work is designed to improve living standards, working conditions and workers' rights both in Canada and abroad.

This project supports the Government of Canada's commitment to re-engaging in the hemisphere. Our engagement will focus on increasing prosperity and improving security throughout the hemisphere, as well as promoting Canada's fundamental values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

For more information, please visit the following Web site: www.Labour.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Office of Minister Blackburn
    Michael Winterburn
    819-953-5646