The 2013/14 budget was introduced March 21. I would like to report on key ways your government in Ottawa is spending your money.
Your government has had a plan in place since the 2008 economic meltdown. Our economic action plan will provide jobs, growth, and prosperity for Canadians and balance the budget by 2015.
Our plan is working by helping the business sector create 950,000 new jobs. We have the lowest debt to GDP in the industrial world. During the global recession, we were the only country with no bank defaults.
During the past couple of years, we have identified the largest threat to Canada’s prosperity — the lack of skilled workers to meet the needs of all sectors of our economy.
The provinces and territories provide the trades and skills, apprenticeship programs, but more was needed to make the training seamless between provinces, and employers. Budget 2013/14 introduced the Canada Job Grant. This will make available $15,000 per year to help Canadians obtain the skills needed for in-demand jobs. This funding is a partnership between the provinces/territories, the federal government and employers, each providing $5,000 per year.
To help First Nations youth fill job demands, we have budgeted $241 million to help them access the skills and training they need to participate in large economic projects, like those in the resource sector, near their communities.
Further to this, your government has increased the funding for internships for recent post-secondary graduates by investing $70 million to support an additional 5,000 paid internships.
People with disabilities have not been left out of this opportunity. Your government is providing funding to ensure accessibility is not a barrier to employment.
As well, funding will be provided for educating employers of the opportunities to employ people with disabilities.
Your government in Ottawa is doing everything to empower people to get a job, because we believe this is the effective way to lower unemployment and poverty not to mention supporting personal development for Canadians to be all that they can be.
Colin Mayes is MP for Okanagan-Shuswap.