Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 22, 2009 15:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps People With Disabilities in Regina Find Meaningful Employment

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - May 22, 2009) - People with disabilities will get help to prepare for and obtain employment thanks to Government of Canada support for a local employment project. Mr. Ray Boughen, Member of Parliament for Palliser, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"In today's environment, it is more important than ever that all Canadians have the skills they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Boughen. "By supporting this project, our government is helping Canadians with disabilities maximize their potential and independence."

The Canadian Mental Health Association Regina Branch will receive $44,253 under the Enhanced Employment Assistance Services component of the Opportunities Fund to support its Job Coach ll project, which will help 45 people with disabilities facing employment barriers.

"The Regina Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association is appreciative of the support provided for this job coach position," said Ms. Louise Handford, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Regina Branch. "The job coach will assist in skills development, training and work engagement in a variety of work environments. Persons with mental health problems can and do contribute to their communities. The first step is meeting a person's basic human needs; once stable and appropriately supported, persons with mental health problems demonstrate the skills and abilities needed by today's workforce."

The federal government is working with stakeholders to make sure that Canadians get the training, skills and opportunities they need to participate in the workforce and contribute to the quality of life in their communities.

The Opportunities Fund helps support an array of activities, such as increasing employability skills, providing work experience and preparing individuals for self-employment. The Government of Canada is committed to breaking down barriers that prevent Canadians from reaching their full potential with a wide range of effective policies, programs and services tailored to people with disabilities.

The Opportunities Fund is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. The Government underscored this commitment in January when it introduced Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development.


The Canadian Mental Health Association is dedicated to supporting people with disabilities by offering counselling, disability management, support and advocacy, as well as education and awareness to the general public. The activities proposed for this project will assist persons with disabilities in preparing for, obtaining and keeping employment or becoming self-employed, thereby increasing their economic participation and independence. Between May 4, 2009, and May 1, 2010, the Canadian Mental Health Association Regina Branch will provide job coaching services within its existing projects to a minimum of 45 Opportunities Fund-eligible participants, providing them with services and instruction tailored to their individual needs in order to help them transition successfully into the labour market.

This project is funded through the Enhanced Employment Assistance Services component of the Opportunities Fund, which helps Canadians with disabilities that have little or no work experience develop the skills they need to prepare for and obtain employment. Under the Fund, individuals must self-identify as having a permanent physical or mental disability that restricts their ability to perform daily activities, be currently unemployed and ineligible for assistance under the Employment Insurance program, be legally entitled to work in Canada, and require assistance to prepare for, obtain and keep employment or self-employment. The Opportunities Fund is an important employment element of the Disability Agenda for the Government of Canada.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office