Your Canadian government continues its focus on creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. We are doing this by keeping taxes low, making government more efficient and supporting our businesses and communities. Here are a few recently announced initiatives:
Connecting Canadians with Available Jobs
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development announced improvements to Employment Insurance to better connect Canadians with available jobs. Canadians receiving EI benefits will now receive comprehensive job postings on a daily basis from multiple sources.
The improvements include measures to better connect the EI and Temporary Foreign Workers program to ensure Canadians are aware of and can apply for local jobs before employers are approved to hire temporary foreign workers. The Government will also better define suitable employment as well as what constitutes a reasonable job search. This will strengthen the requirements for EI claimants to actively look for and accept all suitable work.
As Canada faces unprecedented skills shortages, it will be critical to better connect Canadians with available jobs in their local area. Clarifying what is expected of claimants looking for employment is just one element of our broader plan to encourage and support Canadians as they seek to return to work. Under our plan, Canadians will always benefit financially from accepting suitable employment.
Increasing Support for Students
Our government recognizes the important role post-secondary education and training plays in ensuring a strong, competitive and flexible workforce in the future. Last week we announced a new measure to help students access and afford post-secondary education and training. The income eligibility thresholds for part-time student loans and grants have been increased so more Canadians can pursue post-secondary education while working. $22.5 million will be invested over the next 10 years to increase accessibility for student financial assistance. Approximately 2,500 additional part-time students will be eligible for a Canada Student Loan in year one, rising to just under 8,000 in year five and ongoing. Nearly 500 additional part-time students will receive a Canada Student Grant in year one, rising to about 1,500 in year five and ongoing.
This measure builds on steps the Government has already taken to increase accessibility to post-secondary education. At the beginning of this year, Canada’s Economic Action Plan eliminated in-study interest on part-time student loans so more Canadians can afford to balance work and school.
Additional improvements are being made to Canada Student Loans and Grants, including increasing the full-time grants income eligibility thresholds for low- and middle-income students (updated annually), and streamlining and modernizing the delivery of student financial assistance.
Helping Youth through Canada Summer Jobs
Organizations in Newmarket-Aurora are receiving over $288,000 to provide jobs for youth this summer. The funding will enable the students to gain the skills and experience they need to be successful, both now and in the future. Canada Summer Jobs is an important part of our government’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES). With annual funding of more than $300 million, YES helps youth, particularly those facing barriers to employment, obtain career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed.
Economic Action Plan 2012 will provide an additional $50 million over two years to enhance YES so that more young people can gain tangible skills and experience. This funding will focus on connecting young Canadians with jobs in fields that are in high demand. This is in addition to the permanent increase of $10 million for Canada Summer Jobs we brought in last year.
First Ever National Urban Park Established
Our Government announced in Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012 its commitment to preserving Canada’s natural beauty and taking action on the creation of Canada’s first national urban park in the Rouge Valley in Ontario. Accordingly, $143.7 million was provided over 10 years for the establishment of the Rouge National Urban Park.
The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), announced the funding last week. This will help bring to fruition the dream of a ‘people’s park’ in the GTA. This national urban park will become a place of national significance and will be enjoyed for generations.
If you would like to contact me on these or any other issue, please call 905.953.7515 or email Lois.Brown@parl.gc.ca. I would love to hear from you.