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(Update) Canada Job Grant / Ottawa willing to compromise and offering to ease the rules

Ottawa offers changes to sway provinces on Canada Jobs Grant 

The Conservative government is offering to ease the rules on how provinces spend $2-billion in federal training transfers in the hope of gaining their support for the proposed new Canada Job Grant.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, federal Employment and Social Development Minister Jason Kenney said Ottawa is prepared to remove a barrier that forces training dollars to be divided into two categories: money for people on Employment Insurance, and a smaller amount for people who are not. He said this might help provinces find the money they need to join the job grant program.

“This is at a high level now. We need to get into discussions with the provinces, and if they’re interested in it, we’d like that to happen,” Mr. Kenney said.

The minister is clearly trying to get ahead of a looming standoff with the provinces over the grant. Initial provincial reaction suggests the minister’s new offer is welcome, but is not yet enough to move them off plans to boycott the program.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 

globe and mail

via Ottawa offers changes to sway provinces on Canada Jobs Grant – The Globe and Mail.

In a renewed effort to show “flexibility” and reach out to the provinces on the Canada Job Grant program, the federal minister responsible, Jason Kenney, has written to the provinces with an olive branch.

The federal government is prepared to make concessions to implement its promised Canada Job Grant program after a show of united opposition from provinces and business leaders, sources say.

A renewed effort to show “flexibility” and reach out to the provinces is underway to rescue the much-criticized measure, with the federal minister responsible for the Conservatives’ showpiece program, Jason Kenney, writing to the provinces with an olive branch.

That could mean allowing provinces to keep more of the skills training money they now receive, reducing the contribution expected from small business employers, or a combination of moves that might bring some or all of the provinces onside.

A big push is on to negotiate with provincial ministers responsible for skills training and labour markets prior to a federal/provincial meeting that a source confirmed would be held in Toronto on Nov. 8.

“We’re exploring flexibility with the program to make it work better for the provinces. There will be a lot of focus and negotiations on these flexibilities in the lead-up to the 8th,” said the source on background.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 

'Lack of skilled labour threatens Canadian economy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says - thestar_com' - www_thestar_com_news_canada_article_1290103--lack-of-skilled-labour-threatens-cana

via Ottawa willing to compromise on job grant program after opposition from provinces, businesses | Toronto Star.

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