Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 08, 2009 12:05 ET

Government of Canada Helps Raise Awareness of Job Opportunities for Manitobans with Disabilities

BRANDON, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 8, 2009) - A local employment conference helped raise awareness about employment opportunities for persons with disabilities thanks in part to support from the Government of Canada, as highlighted by Mr. Merv Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government was proud to contribute to the success of this event," said Mr. Tweed. "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. This conference was an opportunity to develop more and better strategies to prepare Canadians with disabilities for jobs."

The Westman Coalition for Employment Opportunities Inc. received $16,775 under the Enhanced Employment Assistance Services component of the Opportunities Fund for the organization's Pathways to Employment conference, which raised awareness of employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the Brandon area.

"The conference was a tremendous success and truly met the needs of our partner organizations in southwest Manitoba and throughout the entire province," stated Ms. Tracy Williams, Project Coordinator for the Westman Coalition for Employment Opportunities Inc. "The feedback I have received from both the presenters and delegates confirms the need for these types of events in our province."

The federal government works 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 supports 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 which is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


The Westman Coalition for Employment Opportunities Inc. is a non-profit partnership that provides coordinated, quality, employment-related services to address the needs of individuals living with disabilities in the Brandon-Westman area. On April 30 and May 1, 2009, the organization, in partnership with the Manitoba Supported Employment Network, hosted Pathways to Employment, a two-day conference that provided networking opportunities for people with disabilities, their families, employers and professionals working in the field. Delegates at the conference were able to build on their skills and expertise, and discussed strategies for enhancing employment programs available for people with disabilities.

The $30-million Enhanced Employment Assistance Services component of the Opportunities Fund helps Canadians with disabilities who have little or no work experience, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance benefits. The Fund works with community organizations and the private sector to support projects that help Canadians with disabilities develop the skills and work experience they need to participate in the job market.

Contact Information

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