From the House – John Rafferty MP

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John Rafferty MPTHUNDER BAY – This week has been another chilly one across Northwestern Ontario which makes it as good a time as any to look ahead and think of the warm summer months that are just around the corner.  In the past few days my office has received the 2011 guidelines for the Canada Summer Jobs Program, so I’d like to share a bit of information about the program and the application process for any employers who may wish to gain access to the program funding this year.

With the ever increasing cost of a post-secondary education students have few choices but to take on a summer job to pay for their textbooks and tuition.  In many cases, students are only able to find low-skill summer jobs that simply ‘pay the bills.’  Paying the bills is good, but why should the learning stop once the classes end?  Fortunately, the Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJP) is dedicated to helping students find work while improving their professional skills and helping them adjust to the working world.  It is also an excellent opportunity for local business and service providers to beef up their staff over the summer months.

Under the CSJP employers from across Canada are able to apply for funding to hire students to work in the summer months. For communities across our riding this program helps fund jobs that provide important services that we depend on during the summer months, and helps us deal with the influx of tourists who flock to the region from south of the border and all parts of Canada.  It’s really a win-win situation for students and employers alike.

Under the CSJP any not-for-profit organization, public-sector employer, or small business with 50 or fewer employees can apply for funding. To qualify for funding, employers must first apply for CSJP funding by the deadline, which this year is February 28th 2011.  If the employers are successful in their application, they can then hire students who meet the eligibility criteria for this program.  For students who wish to apply any approved positions, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age;
  • have been registered as a full-time student in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year;
  • are Canadian citizens or permanent residents or have official refugee protection status under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada, according to relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.

The period for employers to apply for Canada Summer Jobs Program funding is approaching and the application period is quite short so I recommend beginning the application process as soon as possible. Employers can submit applications starting February 1st, 2011, but the deadline again is February 28th, 2011. Applications may be submitted online at www.servicecanada.gc.ca, by mail or by dropping them off in person at your local Service Canada office.   As always, members of my staff are ready to assist you with your applications and to answer any questions you may have about the CSJP.

If you are interested in applying for funding and have any questions, then please contact my staff at the following offices;

Fort Frances

Richard or Chris –807-274-9313

Atikokan

Val – 807-597-2000

Thunder Bay

Mary or Margaret – 807-623-6000

Toll-free: 1-800-667-6186

Ottawa

Cameron – 613-992-3061 or raffej@parl.gc.ca