Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

October 17, 2006 12:51 ET

HRSDC: Older Workers in Hard-Hit Regions Get $70 Million Boost From Canada's New Government

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2006) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced a new national cost shared program to help older workers in vulnerable communities who have lost their jobs. Vulnerable communities are places where jobs are harder to find as they experience ongoing high unemployment. These communities are also places that are often reliant on a single employer or industry.

"Our government has a deep concern for older workers who are left jobless because of industry downturns. At a time when Canada is facing labour shortages, the experience of older workers should not and cannot be overlooked. With some active support and practical help, these workers will continue to make an important contribution to their communities, and that is why we are implementing the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers."

To meet the immediate needs of older workers who have lost their jobs, the Government will implement a two-year national collaborative initiative called the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) which will be available to all interested provinces and territories. Under this $70 million federal initiative, funding will be available on a 70-30 per cent cost-shared basis with participating provinces and territories.

"Following informal discussions, we have sent a letter to the provinces and territories advising them of our plans to support older workers and to move forward on bilateral agreement negotiations so this initiative can be implemented as quickly as possible to help older workers most in need," said Minister Finley, who is confident the new federal attitude to relations with provinces and territories will bear fruit and get things done for Canadians in hard-pressed communities.

Provinces and territories will have significant flexibility in identifying vulnerable communities for programming, and in designing and delivering projects. Projects will include activities such as skills assessment, counselling, skills upgrading and work experience for new jobs.

The TIOW will help older workers in vulnerable communities in sectors such as forestry, fishing, mining and textiles. The initiative is designed to help these workers remain active and productive participants in the labour market.

Minister Finley noted that the initiative will work most effectively when combined with community economic development initiatives, whether provincial, territorial or federal.

In addition, as promised in Budget 2006, the Government will also undertake a feasibility study to better understand older workers' needs and potential measures to assist them.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-O-Canada.



The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) is a federal-provincial-territorial cost-shared employment program created to provide a range of employment activities for older workers who live in vulnerable communities and who have lost their jobs. These activities include skills upgrading and work experience in new jobs to help them stay in the work force.

The TIOW will target communities experiencing ongoing high unemployment and/or a high reliance on a single employer or industry (i.e. 20 per cent of the labour force) affected by downsizing or a closure or closures.

All Census Metropolitan Areas with a population less than 250,000 are eligible for TIOW programming.

The program will apply to older workers aged 55 to 64 who

- have lost their jobs;

- are legally entitled to work in Canada;

- lack skills needed for successful integration into new employment; and

- live in an eligible community.

The cost of funding the TIOW will be shared by federal and participating provincial-territorial governments. The provinces and territories will have the flexibility to identify vulnerable communities eligible for programming, and design and deliver the projects based on agreed-upon criteria. Projects will include activities such as skills assessment, counselling, skills upgrading and work experience for new jobs. Contribution agreements will establish the roles and responsibilities and eligibility parameters for the program.

Federal Allocations to Provinces and Territories

Province/Territory Allocation
Over Two Years
Newfoundland/Labrador $2,586,697

Nova Scotia $2,304,817

Prince Edward Island $746,378

New Brunswick $2,625,684

Quebec $19,059,874

Ontario $21,980,594

Manitoba $1,441,954

Saskatchewan $1,454,374

Alberta $3,649,876

British Columbia $8,169,752

Northwest Territories $660,000

Yukon $660,000

Nunavut $660,000

For more information, please visit or call 1-800-O-Canada.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Colleen Cameron
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office