Friday, August 22, 2014

Job grant deal close

OTTAWA—The federal government has agreed to two key demands from the provinces and territories on its contentious Canada Job Grant that could pave the way for a deal on the national job training program, The Canadian Press has learned.
Federal Employment minister Jason Kenney sent a final counter-proposal to his provinces and territorial counterparts today that addresses the primary obstacles to an agreement.

The offer, obtained by The Canadian Press, states the federal government “agrees with the main request by provinces and territories in their most recent offer and will allow maximum flexibility in the source of funding for the program.”
That means, essentially, that the provinces and territories can use whatever federal funds they choose to—or their own—in order to participate in the program.
They had railed against being forced to use money from so-called labour market agreements—the federal cash they insist successfully provides job training to their most marginalized citizens.
The counter-proposal also reiterates the provinces are not required to match Ottawa’s contribution to the program.
As well, the provinces now have until July 1 to start delivering the Canada Job Grant, instead of the original April 1 deadline.

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