Ontario Government Objects to New Federal Job Grant Program
The provincial government of Ontario says the diversion of federal funds from existing employment and training programs to the new Canada Job Grant program would threaten vulnerable workers including youth and new immigrants.
The Canada Job Grant program will spend $300 million in federal funds per year and will require matching funds from provinces and territories.
The program will provide grants of up to $15,000 per eligible individual to upgrade their skills for a new job. Employers will apply for the grants on behalf of unemployed and underemployed Canadians that they seek to hire for a job, and will contribute one-third of the grant money.
The Ontario government says that the $194 million in federal funding it currently receives supports many of its employment and training initiatives, including literacy and apprenticeship programs, and a reduction of this transfer to pay for the Canada Job Grant would hurt vulnerable Ontarians.
The federal government says that the new grants program will help 130,000 Canadians become trained for jobs every year, and that paying for it by reducing federal funding for other employment and training programs is necessary for its goal of controlling spending and balancing the budget.
The government is currently seeking the input of the provinces on ways to improve the job grants program.