Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada


May 22, 2009 12:00 ET

Governments of Canada and New Brunswick Support Workers Affected by Economic Downturn

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - May 22, 2009) - To help workers hit hardest by the global recession, the Government of Canada is investing more than $43 million in New Brunswick's employment and training programs under an agreement signed today between the federal and provincial governments. The new federal investment will create more job opportunities, through skills development, that will help an estimated 4,300 New Brunswickers get back to work.

The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Donald Arsenault, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour for New Brunswick, signed the agreement today.

"Our government is taking quick action to counter the effects of the economic downturn," said Minister Thompson. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are supporting Canadians by providing new opportunities for short- and long-term skills upgrading that will help prepare them for the jobs of the future."

"More New Brunswickers will now be able to access enhanced employment and skills development programs, which will ultimately assist in filling the gaps in the skilled labour market," said Minister Arsenault. "We want to make the best use of the skills and talents of New Brunswickers, so that they can contribute to our economy and help us achieve our goal to be self-sufficient by 2026."

This new funding is in addition to the more than $206 million provided to the Province of New Brunswick over the next two years for employment and training programs under existing agreements.

The Government of New Brunswick will use today's new funding to assist its workers and industries in areas such as increasing workplace literacy and skills, developing employment action plans, and providing targeted labour market information.

Under the new agreement, the Government of Canada is investing $29 million to help the Province provide employment and training programs to its industries and Employment Insurance-eligible residents.

The balance, $14 million over two years, will support provincial initiatives that help workers, whether or not they are eligible for Employment Insurance. With a focus on low-skilled workers, these initiatives will help people retain their jobs or make the transition to new ones.

Nationally, the federal government has announced $1.5 billion in new investments over the next two years to respond to the economic downturn and provide training and skills development for more than 150,000 workers.

Similar announcements were made today in Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Agreements with Nova Scotia, Quebec and British Columbia are already in place.

As a result, the Government of Canada now has in place amended Labour Market and Labour Market Development Agreements with nine provinces. Agreements with Newfoundland and Labrador as well as the three territories are expected to be concluded shortly.

Canada's Economic Action Plan is the Government of Canada's strategy to protect Canadians from the impacts of the global economic downturn and 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

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education,
    Training and Labour
    Sheri Strickland
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office