Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

April 21, 2008 11:00 ET

The Government of Canada Helps Canadians With Disabilities Find Meaningful Employment

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - Mr. Rick Dykstra, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced a national training and development project led by the National Network for Mental Health, which will help 288 Canadians with disabilities to find meaningful employment, or to become self-employed.

The National Network for Mental Health receives a federal contribution of $1,084,833 to deliver the BUILT Network program. This project will be delivered in St. Catharines, Moncton, Winnipeg, Calgary, New Westminster and North Bay. An online version will also be available to some participants.

"The Government of Canada is proud to provide this funding, which will help 288 people in St. Catharines, North Bay, Moncton, Winnipeg, Calgary and New Westminster," said Mr. Dykstra. "Our government is ensuring that Canadians with disabilities have access to the training they need to find and keep quality jobs."

The Government of Canada supports this project through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. The Fund supports a wide range of employment activities for unemployed people with disabilities who are not normally eligible for Employment Insurance benefits under the Employment Insurance Act.

"The National Network for Mental Health is pleased to receive continued support from the Government of Canada for the BUILT Network program," said Ms. Constance McKnight, National Executive Director of the National Network for Mental Health. "This funding allows us to provide support and skills to people with disabilities and mental health issues in Canada. The success of this program is due to the incredible commitment by the project's participants, whose dedication to change and improvement is the true measurement of the success of this program."

With an annual budget of $30 million, the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities helps Canadians with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and retain employment or self-employment, thereby improving their economic situation.

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities works in partnership with organizations, including from the private sector, to support an array of activities such as increasing employment skills, providing work experience, and preparing individuals for self-employment.

In Budget 2008, the Government of Canada announced plans to make the costs of training that helps people cope with disabilities or disorders exempt from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The Government also plans to expand the list of GST- and HST-free medical and assistive devices to include service dogs. These commitments expand on the 2007 commitments to implement the Registered Savings Plan, which will help individuals save money to care for children with severe disabilities, and to introduce the $45-million Enabling Accessibility Fund, which will improve physical accessibility for people with disabilities.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Minister's Office
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary