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

Jobs

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

Local soccer player Sydney Kelly receives prestigious Premier’s Award

The 18-year-old trained with UNBC’s soccer team while in high school

2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War I

Quesnel legion’s historian Doug Carey documents some of the atrocities of WWI

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

Carlotta Edwards learned to skate in Prince Rupert, before becoming a star with millions of viewers

Union pulls back on job action at Interior and northern mills

Legal strikes will discontinue for now as union is optimistic, vice president says

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Most Read