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November 8, 2013
For immediate release
Provincial and Territorial Labour Market Ministers continue to press for renewal of successful and flexible Labour Market Agreements
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Ministers had a frank discussion and have agreed to work together to understand each otherís positions. Provincial and territorial ministers acknowledged the federal ministerís offer to discuss further flexibility.
Ministers remain united that they cannot support a Canada Job Grant that would pull funding from proven and effective provincial and territorial programs that help the most vulnerable Canadians build skills to participate in the labour market.
Employers are critical in supporting skill development for Canadians. Ministers continue to champion the concerns of small and medium-sized businesses who have stated that the Canada Job Grant would not meet their needs.
Provinces and territories are committed to continue delivering successful programs that achieve results and respond to local labour market needs. This programming has helped Canadians get jobs, including youth, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal people, recent immigrants, social assistance recipients, long-term unemployed, low-skilled and older workers. The federal government and ministers are committed to continuing dialogue.
Provinces and territories reiterated that they have jurisdiction for skills training and labour market programs as acknowledged by the federal minister. They must have the ability to opt out of federal funding agreements or initiatives such as the proposed Canada Job Grant with full compensation.
The Labour Market Agreements are set to expire on March 31, 2014. Provincial and territorial Ministers want to work quickly to find practical solutions that meet the diverse needs of workers and employers across Canada.