Provinces & Ottawa fight over funding for Canada Job Grants program

Jason Kenney, the federal minister responsible for the Canada Job Grant, said Dec 9, 2013 that he accepts that the provinces don't have the ability to match Ottawa's funding under the program and is trying to find a solution. (CP/Sean Kilpatrick)


Last spring the Canadian government spent millions advertising a program that doesn't yet exist. With our national unemployment rate stands at just over 7-percent, we look at the political fight over funding for skills training.

CBC's Rick Mercer, ranting about the Canada Job Grant, a controversial skill training program Ottawa announced in the 2013 budget and advertised during last spring's NHL playoffs.

The problem then -- and now -- is that the provinces and territories that actually run job training programs haven't signed on. Employment Minister Jason Kenney is meeting with his provincial counterparts this week in an effort to bring them on board. But the two sides are still far apart.

The Canada Job Grant is meant to provide $15,000 grants for employee training. But the $300-million the federal government has promised to fund the program would come from money Ottawa was already giving to the provinces to run existing job training programs. Some of the people running those programs worry they wouldn't be able to get funding under the new Canada Job Grant.

One organization that may be affected is BladeRunners in British Columbia. It has been around for 20 years and won awards for helping marginalized people get work.

  • Brad Duguid is Ontario's Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. He joined us in Toronto.

  • Scott Armstrong is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development, and the Conservative MP for Cumberland - Colchester - Musquodoboit Valley. He was in Ottawa.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley and Sarah Grant.

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