Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Government of Alberta

Government of Alberta

May 22, 2009 15:00 ET

Governments of Canada and Alberta Support Workers Affected by Economic Downturn

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 22, 2009) - To help workers hit hardest by the global recession, the Government of Canada is investing more than $101 million in Alberta'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 10,100 Albertans get back to work.

The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, along with the Honourable Hector Goudreau, Minister of Employment and Immigration for Alberta, announced the signing of the agreement today.

"Our government is taking quick action to counter the effects of the economic downturn," said Minister Prentice. "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."

"The Government of Alberta is well positioned to respond rapidly and positively to the workforce needs of Albertans," said Minister Goudreau. "We welcome the federal government's efforts to work cooperatively in meeting the needs of Albertans during this economic slowdown."

This new funding is in addition to the approximately $315 million provided to the Province of Alberta over the next two years for employment and training programs under existing agreements.

The Government of Alberta will use today's new funding to support provincial programs and services that help eligible individuals return to employment, improve their skills for employment or obtain or maintain employment.

Minister Goudreau also noted that these funds line up well with the Government of Alberta's existing work in strengthening career services and adjusting programs to respond to skills training needs and demands as part of a long-term and strategic approach to developing a skilled workforce.

Under the new agreement, the Government of Canada is investing $68 million to help the Province provide employment and training programs to its industries and Employment Insurance-eligible residents.

The balance, $33 million over two years, will support provincial initiatives that help workers, whether or not they are eligible for Employment Insurance. With a focus on workers under represented in the labour force, programs 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, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. 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 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.

Besides utilizing the $102 million in federal funding over the next two years, the Government of Alberta this year has budgeted $473 million for income supports and related health benefits, $180 million for employment and training programs, $78 million for immigration programs and $45 million to implement the Health Workforce Action Plan.

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
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Alberta Employment and Immigration
    Terry Jorden