Provinces press for training changes

Ottawa's new Canada Job Grant would leave lower-skilled workers and many small businesses behind, provincial employment ministers agree


The federal government’s new Canada Job Grant would leave lower-skilled workers and many small businesses behind, provincial employment ministers agree.

B.C. Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister Shirley Bond joined her provincial counterparts in Toronto Tuesday to emphasize their worries that Ottawa’s new plan will take money from an effective network of retraining programs designed to fit local needs.

The Canada Job Grant is due to take effect in April, diverting millions in federal skills training funding to a three-way program that requires employers and provinces to match a $5,000 investment from an employer to upgrade a worker’s skills.

The provinces issued a joint report pointing out that “vulnerable clients” of provincial training programs don’t have jobs. With no employer to put up a share, they won’t qualify for the new program.

“The federal government has provided no evidence that the proposal would help workers or employers,” the report states. “However, it would divert funding from existing provincial and territorial programs that are delivering good results.”

Bond said federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney has agreed to meet with provincial ministers to hear their concerns. She said small businesses have also raised the alarm that Ottawa’s plan doesn’t work for them.

Provinces say full implementation of the Canada Job Grant would take $600 million a year out of current programs, particularly those for young people, disabled people, aboriginal people, recent immigrants, social assistance recipients, long-term unemployed and older workers.

Bond said one such B.C. program at risk is BladeRunners, which targets young aboriginal people.

Service providers funded by BladeRunners include:

• Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre Society in Williams Lake and Quesnel

• Ktunaxa Nation Council in Cranbrook, Kimberley and Creston

• Metis Nation B.C. in Abbotsford, Mission and Aldergrove

• Sto:Lo Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training in Surrey, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission

• Nanaimo Youth Services Association in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Courtenay and Comox

• Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in Port Alberni and Ucluelet

• Coast Salish Employment and Training Society in Duncan, Nanaimo and Victoria

• Laichwiltach Family Life Society in Campbell River and Port Hardy

• Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association

• John Howard Societies in Kelowna and Victoria

Just Posted

B.C.’s north heats up to record highs

Bella Bella, Masset, Prince Rupert and the Cassiar Area all broke records

Special prosecutor appointed in Burns Lake mayor sex assault case

Luke Strimbold has been charged with numerous sex related charges

U.S. proposed steel, aluminum tariffs leave uncertainty for B.C. site

Rio Tinto has been operating in British Columbia for over 60 years, but tariffs cause fear

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read