Holdout province has existing programs that meet job grant criteria, federal employment minister said
OTTAWA—Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney said a labour deal has been reached with Quebec, the sole holdout province in Canada Job Grant negotiations.
The deal between Ottawa and Quebec comes after the feds reached a deal with the provinces and territories on the contentious jobs program in late February.
The deal with Quebec is a renewal of an existing labour market agreement with the province and doesn’t include the Canada Job Grant, according to Employment and Social Development Canada.
“Quebec already has a long-standing, well-functioning system that puts employers at its centre and requires them to invest in training,” the federal department said.
The existing labour program in Quebec includes all the key components Ottawa was after with the job grant, according to Kenney, and the renewed agreement “reflects the feedback received from Quebec employers and workers” during consultations.
“The main goal of the Canada Job Grant is to ensure greater employer involvement in training,” Kenney said in a statement.
“We recognize that Quebec is already achieving this goal through its formal, legislated training system, which includes mandatory participation of employers, unions and training institutions. The renewed (deal) will help ensure Quebecers have the skills required to fill available jobs.”
Quebec already has a formal collaboration body, the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail, which brings business, education and labour groups together to address needs in the province, as well as legislation that requires employers to invest in skills training.
The province also has an existing dedicated training program funded by employers to support employer-based training, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.