Federalism Term Paper

Submitted By momar176
Words: 2283
Pages: 10


In March, 2013, the Federal Government proposed a new employment skills

training program called the Canada Job Grant. The program would provide subsidy

grants of up to $15,000 for training people who are unemployed with the help of

employers. Its purpose would be to train unemployed and underemployed

Canadians for available jobs. Originally the federal government proposed that they

would pay one-third of the cost. This would leave the provinces and employers to

pay the remaining two-thirds. The provinces had a hard time budgeting for this

program, and as a result the Federal Government decided they would pay the

provinces share. The new Canada Job Grant will be funded with $300 million taken

from current transfers for workplace literacy and essential skills training provided

to provinces and territories through Labour Market Agreements(LMA) . The federal

government has provided $500 million annually through the LMA Agreement since

2008/9. This replaced LMA with provinces and territories, which also provided

funding for literacy, essential workplace skills and other skills development. In the

first two years of these programs they reached 550,000 Canadians. Therefor, the

government wants to create jobs by cutting funding for a training program to pay

for another. Right from the beginning the provinces were skeptical over the deal, but

as the year went on, they started to despise the deal. First of all the provinces see

this deal as a jurisdictional issue with the government over who has the

constitutional right over these matters. They also don’t want lose money transfers

they already receive from the government. These cuts can mean Quebec would loose

up to $70 million in money transfers from the government to train unemployed low skilled Quebecers. You can see why this program is so difficult for the government to

implement. Employers are also not confident in this new deal. The costs they would

have to pay are too high and too risky especially for smaller firms. They have no

guarantee they would receive quality employees for their efforts. Basically are the

costs for such an investment worth it for employers? Businesses don’t have the

incentive to train Canadians who need the sills to work for them. The government is

misguided on their desire to provide skills for people who really need the

opportunity to be part of the Canadian workforce. They need to step aside and the

let the provinces use the money to help the people in in their jurisdictions. Every

province is facing a unique situation that are different from each other. Therefore

the provinces are the experts on how to use the money. First I will examine the

background and issue at hand. Followed by the final proposal of the government.

Then I will analyze the shortage of skilled workers. Finally there will be a section on

the lack of essential skills.


In March, the federal government announced a new method to their investments in

skills training. An employer-driven Canada Job Grant, they reasoned, would provide

a better way to prepare Canadians for available jobs.1 After all, this should be their

prime focus, and they should use all resources at their disposal to help marginalized

Canadians. It sounds rational, but the reality is not so simple. As experts and

analysts have rightly pointed out, the federal government’s proposal raises a lot of

concerns; namely, the new grant would be funded by cutting transfers to provinces

and leaving out many of the most vulnerable workers who receive training from

programs funded through these transfers.2 Ironically these jobs are being filled by

foreign temporary workers or are being unfilled. It’s not surprising that the

provinces are opposed to a proposal that threatens programs they know already

work. Although the provinces raise a great point, we should not discount the

evidence that employers in Canada