Edmonton

Alberta STEP program not on NDP's cutting board: finance minister

A program that helps employers hire students for summer jobs is not among Alberta government programs being reconsidered due to low oil prices.

Other government programs being reconsidered, Joe Ceci says

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci, in Ottawa on Monday for talks with his federal and provincial counterparts, said Tuesday the STEP program is not going to be cut. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press)

A program that helps employers hire students for summer jobs is not among Alberta government programs being reconsidered due to low oil prices. 

"Lots of things have to be on the table because of the financial challenges we have," Finance Minister Joe Ceci said Tuesday during a teleconference call to discuss the finance ministers meeting in Ottawa Monday. "I just want to clarify that STEP was not one of them."

The Summer Temporary Employment Program will be back in place this summer for the first time in three years, he said.

Other programs that were in the NDP party's platform, but not yet announced, will be reconsidered due to budget restraint, he said. 

STEP will cost the province $10 million a year to subsidize more than 3,000 student jobs.

The program applies to municipalities, non-profit organizations, school boards, post-secondary institutions and small businesses.

The program runs from May to August.

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