Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 22, 2009 09:37 ET

Government of Canada and Provinces Support Workers Affected by Economic Downturn

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 22, 2009) - At least 144,000 Canadians hardest hit by the global recession will receive help to get back to work as a result of agreements signed by the Government of Canada and nine provinces. Under the agreements, the Government of Canada will contribute $1.4 billion. This is part of the $1.5-billion investment for training and skills development announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan.

"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our government is taking quick action to counter the effects of the global economic downturn here at home," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "We are focused on getting Canadians back to work and working with the provinces to create long-term solutions to provide workers with the skills they need for the economy of the future."

Today, Minister Finley announced the signing of amended Labour Market and Labour Market Development Agreements with the governments of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. These agreements will provide new funding for the provinces' employment and training programs.

"Through these agreements, workers across the country will get the training they need for new jobs," said Minister Finley. "This means that laid-off auto workers in Ontario or forestry workers in New Brunswick who have started looking for a new job can get the help they need to develop new skills after working 20 years in the same industry. This will also help the young woman graduating from high school in Montreal who hopes for a career in Web design, but can't afford the tuition, or the single mother in British Columbia who wants to get back into the workforce and support her family by learning a trade."

Minister Finley noted that today's announcement means that the Government of Canada now has amended Labour Market and Labour Market Development Agreements in place with nine provinces. Amended agreements with Nova Scotia, Quebec and British Columbia are already in place. It is expected that agreements will be reached with Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the three territories in the near future.

Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $1 billion over two years to help the provinces and territories provide employment and training programs to their industries and Employment Insurance-eligible residents. It also provides $500 million to support provincial and territorial initiatives that help workers, whether or not they are eligible for Employment Insurance. Together, these new investments will help an estimated 150,000 Canadians across the country get back to work.

These new investments are in addition to the nearly $5 billion provided to the provinces and territories over the next two years for employment and training programs under the existing agreements.

Canada's Economic Action Plan is the Government of Canada's strategy to protect Canadians from the impacts of the global economic downturn and to help provide for the country's long-term growth. Through major targeted initiatives, the Government is investing an unprecedented $8.3 billion to support workers and their families, including measures for income support, skills and training. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.


BACKGROUNDER

To support Canadians during the global recession and invest in the country's long-term growth, the Government is investing $8.3 billion in the Canada Skills and Transition Strategy. Measures include:

- An additional investment of $1 billion over two years under existing Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDA) with provinces and territories that will help respond to the higher demand for labour market programs and training due to increased unemployment. This additional investment would respond to the demand for skills training, as well as the changing needs of Employment Insurance (EI) clients.

- Investing $500 million in a two-year Strategic Training and Transition Fund (STTF) to support the needs of individuals, whether or not they qualify for EI. This fund will support provincial and territorial initiatives that help meet the different training needs of workers in affected communities and sectors in retaining employment or making the transition to new jobs. The Fund will be administered through existing Labour Market Agreements (LMA), but will provide provinces and territories with enhanced flexibility to implement measures tailored to meet their specific needs.

These investments provide an additional $1.5 billion over the next two years in employment and training programming to help Canadians weather the economic downturn. Including these new investments, the Government of Canada is investing a total of close to $6.5 billion over the next two years to help Canadian workers improve their skills and get better jobs.

New Funding by Province

Amended LMAs and LMDAs were announced today in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Agreements with Nova Scotia, Quebec and British Columbia are already in place.

A table of the total new funding by province is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Human_Resources_table_0522.pdf

This news release is available in alternative formats on 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