LETTER: No new funding for job plan

If an aspiring job seeker was to make that call, no information would be available at that time, nor now.

Issues in the Senate dominate news from Ottawa but there is another debacle citizens should be aware of and that is the Canadian Jobs Grant  (CJG). The Government announced this new program with much fanfare in the spring during Stanley Cup playoffs. The advertising promised under employed persons “up to $15,000 towards retraining” with the financial assistance being shared equally between employers, the Federal Government, and the Provincial (Territorial) governments.

Unemployed persons were advised to call for further details on the 1-800-ocanada info line. If an aspiring job seeker was to make that call, no information would be available at that time, nor now.

The Government announced the program in order to be seen as being proactive in dealing with the skills gap which they assure us needs to be addressed in order to ensure an adequate supply of skilled workers is available to work within mega projects and emerging technologies. Sounds like a good plan.

There is no plan. The skills gap is not defined, the delivery of the program is unknown, how a person qualifies as a recipient of the program is not defined, and the source of the funding is, to say the least, extremely controversial.

The Federal Government’s share of the funding is to come out of revenue already committed to the Provinces and Territories under an umbrella of funds known as the Labour Market Agreement (LMA). The Province, through local organizations such as Kootenay Career Development Society, directs those funds to assisting the most marginalized residents to develop skills towards self sufficiency within our communities.

This is the point we should be concerned about; the Federal Government is not planning on directing new funding to the CJG but to re-direct existing money that is already earmarked to help those most in need. Current recipients of the LMA funding include persons with disabilities, aboriginal persons, and other citizens who have been unable to make successful transitions to the labour market.  Yes, there is a need to encourage training and re-training for high demand occupations, but that should not come at the expense of others who need more basic assistance.

A program to upgrade skill levels to address skill gaps for the emerging economy should be highly flexible, have a fast response cycle, and be adequately funded in order to encourage active participation from both workers and employers. Existing programs could have terms and conditions ‘tweaked’ in order to address the needs of the skill gap and the EI account could provide core funding accompanied by appropriate employer/industry contributions.

Please consider contacting Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment, and protest . The LMA is providing needed opportunities within our community and should not be shorted in order to fund an ill defined initiative.

 

Rob Thomson

Balfour

Just Posted

Company granted leave to appeal Lemon Creek charges

Executive Flight Centre won a decision in the BC Court of Appeal

Police: cougar still wandering Nelson

The cougar was seen in Lakeside Park

Burlesque fundraiser to benefit Sinixt

Reclaim: A Powerful Evening of Indigenous Burlesque Art runs May 29 at the Capitol Theatre

Nelson to hire climate change co-ordinator

The new position is being funded by a $125,000 grant

Glacier Gymnastics big winner in annual grant funding

Columbia Basin Trust doled out $1.4 million in grants to the regional organizations

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

Most Read