There is a lot more to be done to get the provinces onside with a federal plan to change the way it funds job training, says Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allen Roach.
Roach told CBC News the provinces and territories came out of a teleconference call Friday afternoon united in concerns about the new Canada Job Grant, which is scheduled to come into effect April 1.
Last month federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney made a counter proposal to the provinces saying they did not need to match federal funding for the Canada Job Grant. But Roach said that does not address concerns about cuts to existing Labour Market Development Agreements, which provide skills training, in order to fund the new program.
"If the federal government are going to fund their Canada Job Grant for existing businesses there's no new funding. The feds aren't announcing any new funding," said Roach.
"That funding is going to take away from those small businesses and those various organizations and individuals that benefit from that now. That's where that money will come from and that's where our concern is."
At the end of Friday's teleconference, the provincial ministers put together a letter to Kenney with their own counter proposal. They say they appreciate that provincial-territorial cost-matching requirements were removed in the revised federal offer, but they still have concerns about cuts to current labour market agreements.
Kenney's office released a statement in response late Friday, saying the federal government has listened to the provinces' concerns and "significantly restructured the offer based on their feedback." Federal officials say they hope to receive a formal counter-offer from the provinces shortly, and hope provincial governments show a willingness to also be flexible in these negotiations.