Federal Government
Margaret Thatcher Funeral

April 16, 2013  -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper today departed for London, United Kingdom where he will pay his final respects to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The Prime Minister will be joined in the Canadian delegation by his wife Laureen, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ed Holder, Member of Parliament for London West.

“Baroness Thatcher was a true champion of freedom and liberty, with a strong vision for her country’s future, and was an inspiration to millions around the globe,” said the Prime Minister. “During her three terms as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, she helped to usher in the era of peace and economic prosperity that is still enjoyed today."

The ceremony for Baroness Thatcher will take place at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

 
Start-Up Visa

January 24, 2013 -- Canada will launch a brand new program on April 1 to recruit innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” said Minister Kenney. “Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.

The Start-Up Visa Program will link immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector organizations in Canada that have experience working with start-ups and who can provide essential resources. The Program is part of a series of transformational changes to Canada’s immigration system that will make it faster, more flexible and focused on Canada’s economic needs.

As a way to help these in-demand entrepreneurs fulfil their potential and maximize their impact on the Canadian labour market, they will require the support of a Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund before they can apply to the Start-Up Visa Program. Initially, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will collaborate with two umbrella groups: Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO). These groups will identify which members of their associations will be eligible to participate in the Program. CIC is also working with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation to include business incubators in the list of eligible organizations as soon as feasible.

CVCA is honoured to partner with the Government of Canada in the launch of the Start-Up Visa Program,” said Peter van der Velden, President of the CVCA and Managing General Partner of Lumira Capital. “Through this Program, we want to attract high-quality entrepreneurs from around the globe and help build best-in-class companies in Canada.

We’re excited to be a part of the Start-Up Visa Program,” said Michelle Scarborough, Board Chair of NACO. “Working with CIC and angel groups across the country, this initiative will create Canadian jobs and position Canada as a leader in innovation.

The Start-Up Visa is the first of its kind and will be a powerful incentive to attract individuals with great potential who will have a real impact on the Canadian economy. By providing sought-after immigrant entrepreneurs with permanent residency and immediate access to a wide range of business partners, Canada will position itself as a destination of choice for start-ups. Linking forward-thinking immigrant entrepreneurs with established private sector organizations is essential to the success of both investors and entrepreneurs in building companies that will compete globally and create Canadian jobs.

Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity remain priorities for the Government of Canada, and this new Start-Up Visa Program underscores our commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canadian labour market,” Minister Kenney concluded.

 
Canada Job Grant Consultations

April 19, 2013  -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper today launched consultations with businesses on the Canada Job Grant, an Economic Action Plan 2013 initiative that will create jobs by transforming the way Canadians receive skills training.

He was accompanied by Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament for Brant.

“I am pleased to launch consultations on the Canada Job Grant,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “The Canada Job Grant will take skills-training choices out of the hands of government and put them where they belong: in the hands of employers with unfilled jobs and Canadians who want to work.”

Training in Canada is not sufficiently aligned to the skills employers need or to the jobs that are actually available. There are too many jobs that go unfilled in Canada because employers can’t find workers with the right skills. Meanwhile, there are still too many Canadians looking for work.

The Canada Job Grant will transform the way Canadians receive training. Canadians who have an offer for a new job or a better job may qualify for up to $15,000 or more to learn new skills to accept the new or better job, from a $5,000 maximum federal contribution and matching contributions from an employer and province or territory.

Today’s consultation in Brantford is the first of a series of consultations that will take place with stakeholder groups such as employer associations, educational institutions and labour organizations on the design of the Canada Job Grant.

***

 Background

The Government of Canada is committed to creating jobs, stimulating economic growth and ensuring long-term prosperity. To this end, on April 19, 2013, Prime Minister Harper participated in the first consultation on the Canada Job Grant, an Economic Action Plan 2013 initiative that will help match skills training with employment demands across the country. 

The Canada Job Grant will help ensure Canadians are able to obtain the skills and qualifications they need to get jobs in high-demand fields. The Grant will transform the way Canadians receive skills training by placing decisions in the hands of employers and Canadian workers. It could provide support of $15,000 or more per person, from a $5,000 maximum federal contribution and matching contributions from an employer and a province or territory. Once fully implemented, nearly 130,000 Canadians each year will have access to the training they need to find work or improve their skills. 

The Grant will be for short-duration training, and will include eligible training institutions, including community colleges, career colleges and trade union training centres. Businesses with a plan to train unemployed and underemployed Canadians for an existing job or a better job will be eligible to apply for a Canada Job Grant. 

Through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the Canada Job Grant – which is expected to be implemented in 2014-2015 – will be the centerpiece of Labour Market Agreements between the Government of Canada and the provinces and territories, accounting for $300 million a year of the Agreements’ $500 million annual investments at maturity. The Labour Market Agreements were previously introduced in Budget 2007, with an expiry date of March 2014, to assist Canadians who are low-skilled or not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. 

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has taken measures to support skills training across the country, including: 

  • Providing post-secondary education loans and grants;
  • Encouraging careers in the skilled trades through apprenticeship grants;
  • Developing the Aboriginal workforce by linking training to labour market demand;
  • Supporting workplace literacy and essential skills development;
  • Helping older workers return to work;
  • Selecting immigrants based on their potential to benefit Canada’s economy; and,
  • Facilitating recognition of foreign credentials.

Partly due to these initiatives, employment has increased by over 898,000 since July 2009.

Canada Job Grant Consultations

The first consultation on the Canada Job Grant was held in Brantford, Ontario. In addition to the Prime Minister, participants included representatives from medium and large businesses.

A number of consultations will be held to discuss the development of the Canada Job Grant, as part of the renewal of Labour Market Agreements. The detailed design of the Grant will be negotiated with provinces and territories over the next year in consultation with stakeholders, including employer associations, educational institutions and labour organizations.

The Government of Canada values hearing directly from people involved in skills and employment training initiatives. Their insight is a valuable tool to help determine how best to implement the Canada Job Grant. 

 
Expanding Export Beef to China

January 11, 2013 – China has approved four additional Canadian beef facilities that will now be able to export beef to China, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced today. The newly approved establishments will increase the Canadian export capacity for beef in a market estimated by the industry to be worth approximately $20 million annually. 

"This important step sets the stage to further trade opportunities in China for our beef producers," said Minister Ritz. "Our government's top priority remains the economy, and by expanding markets in dynamic countries like China, we are helping Canadian producers increase their bottom line, which leads to more jobs, prosperity, and economic growth." 

"Today's announcement is another example of how our government's commitment to opening new markets is helping increase Canadian exports and delivering real results," said Minister Fast. "We look forward to continuing to grow our trade relationship with China to ensure it is balanced and produces clear wins for Canadian workers and businesses." 

The following establishments can now export to China: Les Viandes Laroche Inc (Asbestos, Quebec), Ryding Regency Meat Packers Ltd. (Toronto, Ontario), St. Helen's Meat Packers Limited (Toronto, Ontario), and Canadian Premium Meats Inc. (Lacombe, Alberta). 

In June 2011, agreement was reached with China to allow imports of Canadian deboned beef from animals under 30 months of age (UTM), making Canada the first BSE-affected country to resume trade of beef with China. The staged market access approach for Canadian beef products was confirmed under the Cooperative Arrangement announced by Prime Minister Harper in February 2012 during his mission to China. 

According to Canada Beef Inc., the Chinese market for Canadian UTM deboned beef is estimated at about $20 million annually, and once full market access is achieved the Chinese market for Canadian beef and cattle is expected to be worth $110 million. China is Canada's third-largest trading partner, with a two-way trade of over $64.5 billion dollars in 2011, including $3.4 billion in agriculture and agri-food products. 

On November 8, 2012, the Government of Canada released the 2011-2012 Agriculture and Agri-Food Market Access Report, which highlights market access accomplishments. These achievements include continued access for Canadian canola to China, a market worth $1.6 billion in 2011.

Today's announcement is another example of what is being accomplished to enhance competitiveness and long-term growth in Canadian agriculture—priorities under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework. In addition to multi-year funding for risk management programs, Growing Forward 2 includes $3 billion in strategic initiatives for innovation, competitiveness, and market development.

 
Improvements to Veterans Independence Program

December 27, 2012 - Today, Parliamentary Secretary Adams announced that improvements to the Veterans Independence Program, which will put money in the hands of veterans faster, will come into force on January 1, 2013.

The Government of Canada has enormous respect for the men and women who have sacrificed in the service of Canada. Our Government is committed to cutting cumbersome red tape for veterans and improving the way we provide them with support. 

Veterans who receive housekeeping and grounds maintenance services will no longer have to submit receipts and then wait to be reimbursed by Veterans Affairs Canada. Instead, they will receive upfront payments. 

These changes are a part of the Veterans Transition Action Plan, launched recently by Minister Blaney.  The changes will help over 100,000 veterans who receive housekeeping and grounds maintenance services.

Our Government will always stand up for our veterans, and together with all Canadians, we will never forget their service and sacrifice.

For more information, please visit: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/veterans-independence-program.

 

 
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