KENORA – LEADERS LEDGER – Since 2015, our government has worked hard to grow our economy and support youth in the North. Over 1 million jobs have been created throughout the country, which has brought our unemployment rate to a 40-year low. We need a skilled and competitive workforce to keep that momentum going. That’s why, we’re investing in Northerners by providing skills training and on-the-job experience to prepare them for the modern workforce.
Our continued success depends on young Northerners getting the education, ongoing training, and experience they need to fill the jobs of the future. Last month, 47,000 new jobs were created for young Canadians, and youth unemployment rate was at its lowest in over 40 years. Through investments in the Youth Employment Strategy, the federal government has helped 220,000 young Canadians get the work experience or training they need to launch successful careers. Supporting youth as they transition into the workforce and giving them the tools they need to succeed is how we will continue to grow our economy.
Just last week, I highlighted the value of the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program by hosting an announcement at the Ye Olde Chip Truck, a regular sight around Kenora, and one of our many CSJ recipients. This year alone, the riding of Kenora received CSJ investments totalling $685,171, creating 229 jobs. We also enhanced the CSJ program this year, so that youth between the ages of 15 and 30, not just students, can apply for positions. Not only does this program help our youth gain employment, but it also provides employers with additional support in the busy summer months.
In this year’s Budget, the federal government introduced the Canada Training Benefit to give Canadian workers the time and money to keep their skills up-to-date. With the new Canada Training Benefit, working Canadians will get: four weeks for training every four years, up to $1,000 to help pay for training, income support to help with everyday expenses, and the security of knowing they’ll have a job to come back to when their training is done.
As we know, the labour movement in Canada has been the driving force behind exceptional progress for all workers, and we know that organized labour has help shape the country we have today. It was organized labour who; fought for better wages, demanded safety on worksites, and worked tirelessly to secure a stable retirement for workers. Unions are essential and provide good quality jobs for Canadians, which is why the federal government has taken the necessary steps to strengthen and grow the labour movement in the North and across the country.
Since 2015, the federal government repealed anti-union legislation by passing Bill C-4 and invested in unions to help them purchase the most up-to-date training equipment to train apprentices through the Union Training and Innovation Program. We are also investing in projects to help break down barriers for women, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and newcomers who are looking to get into the trades.
We understand the value of investing in young Canadians and making it easier for them to get ahead. Here in Ontario, Doug Ford’s Conservatives have shown their true colours, and residents are becoming more and more aware of Mr. Ford’s true agenda, or lack thereof. Whether it is through unfair changes to OSAP, cuts in funding to post-secondary education, or reducing support for low-income students who need it most, these cruel and short-sighted decisions continue the trend of Stephen Harper, and they also set the tone of an Andrew Scheer potential government – cuts that hurt Canadians, except those at the top.
From getting their first job, to retraining for a second career, we are committed to supporting young Northerners and Canadians at all stages of their lives. Our plan ensures that no one is left behind. When everyone has a fair chance at success, we all benefit. It’s as simple as that.
Bob Nault MP