Categorized | Editorial

Governments at War with each other over Funding

Posted on 27 June 2013 by admin

Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Brad Duguid is very critical of the federal government’s ‘Canada Job Grant’ program that mandates provinces and the employers to partner with the federal government to provide necessary training to those who need it.

Minister Brad Duguid said in a teleconference last week that it’s a shell game that could hurt Ontario because it won’t have the flexibility to direct the money where it’s needed.

He said that the federal government is regurgitating the old money that will shortchange Ontario of about $194 million.

 “.. the federal government isn’t providing one additional new cent in expenditure here for these programs,” Duguid said.

“They’re just taking money they’re already giving to the provinces for very important programs that serve in Ontario our most vulnerable unemployed. So I’m concerned about this right now and I think all Ontarians should be.”

He said that there can be about 60 per cent cuts to bridge training programs that train internationally educated professionals and provide language training to “the our most vulnerable”.

To discuss the matter, Minister Duguid has written a letter to federal Minister Diane Finley. In the letter, he has stated ” As it’s currently proposed, the Canada Job Grant could represent a $232 million reduction in funding available for Ontario’s existing programs — $116 million in federal funding and $116 million in Ontario matching dollars.

Paying for the Canada Job Grant by cutting from the fund used to serve the most vulnerable workers would take necessary funding and services away from those workers who need it most. Last year, Ontario used the $194 million in federal funding for vulnerable workers to serve roughly 250,000 Ontarians, including Aboriginal people, youth, immigrants, those who have been out of work long-term, persons with disabilities and social assistance recipients. Funding the Canada Job Grant instead of these programs would put many of these Ontarians at risk.

 Canada has significant regional differences, and a one-size-fits-all job grant will not have the flexibility to serve the diversity of Ontario’s economy and employment needs.”

He says that if Ontario’s concerns are not heard by the federal Tories, Ontario may opt out of the program and expect some sort of compensation from the federal government. He also added that the program would “hardly” be called “a national program” without Ontario’s participation in it.

Not only does Ontario Liberal government has a problem with federal Conservatives’ funding plans for Ontario, this week Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford called cutting funding to the City to the tune of $50 million “disgusting” while Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa was suggesting that the funding to the City has been increased.

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