Steel and Aluminum Tariffs: Important Notice

The Government of Canada is prepared to support workers and their families who may be affected by the United States’ decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum shipments.

In addition to existing benefits and supports, the Government announced $25 million over four years to extend Work-Sharing, a job retention program, and an additional $50 million investment over two years for provincially delivered skills training and employment services for affected workers and employers in the steel and aluminum industry.

These are the measures currently being put in place by the Government. As the situation evolves, the Government will continue to consider further action as required in order to support workers and their families.

To learn more about our Service Canada’s programs and services visit or call 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232).


The primary tool of the Government in such a situation is Work-Sharing, an adjustment program to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The program provides income support to workers eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who agree to work a temporarily reduced work week and share the available work while their employer recovers.

The Government of Canada has announced $25 million over the next four years to provide temporary special Work-Sharing measures for employers affected by the steel and aluminum tariffs. These measures extend the duration of Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks, for a total of 76 weeks. The mandatory waiting period has also been waived so that employers with a recently expired agreement may immediately apply for a new agreement, without waiting between applications. These measures will help employers avoid layoffs and retain skilled workers.

If you are an employer interested in Work-Sharing please call 1 800 367-5693

More information on Work-Sharing

Employment Supports and Skills Training Agreements with the Provinces and Territories

To help workers impacted by the steel and aluminum tariffs, the Government will invest an additional $50 million through the Labour Market Development Agreements over the next 2 years to provide displaced workers with training and employment supports they need to successfully transition to new jobs.

The Government invests nearly $3 billion each year in labour market transfer agreements with provinces and territories so they can support Canadians with skills training and employment assistance. An additional $2.7B was provided over six years in Budget 2017 to bolster these investments and help more Canadians access skills training and employment supports.

Under these agreements, provinces and territories can offer a range of programs, from skills training to career counselling to job search assistance, to help unemployed and underemployed Canadians improve their skills to find and keep good jobs. Increased flexibilities were introduced in Budget 2017 to ensure programs and services best meet the needs of their labour market and provide targeted supports to Canadians, including through broadened eligibility for EI-training and expanded flexibility for employer-based training.

More information on Workforce Development Agreements

More information on Labour Market Development Agreements

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) provides temporary income support to Canadians when they have lost their job through no fault of their own while they look for work or upgrade their skills, and helps them to balance work and life responsibilities resulting from illness, pregnancy, the birth or adoption of a child, or family caregiving needs.

Apply for Employment Insurance

Working While on Claim

Working While on Claim helps Employment Insurance (EI) claimants stay connected to the labour market and earn some additional income while receiving EI benefits. This allows beneficiaries to continue receiving a portion of their EI benefits along with all earnings from a job.

More information on Working While on Claim

Skills Boost / EI Flexibility

EI claimants who have lost their jobs after several years in the workforce can participate in full-time training to upgrade their skills as part of the Skills Boost initiative.

Eligible claimants can request permission from Service Canada to continue receiving EI benefits when they take a full-time course or training program at an approved institution after August 5, 2018. When claimants receive this permission, they are considered to meet the EI program availability-for-work requirement and can continue receiving EI benefits.

More information on Skills Boost EI Flexibility

Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy

The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) helps Indigenous people in all parts of the country get the training and develop the skills they need to fully participate in the economy and contribute to the success of their communities.

To ensure affected Indigenous workers have the opportunity to enhance or develop their skills to find new jobs, ASETS are well placed to support retraining and reskilling as necessary

More information on ASETS

Job Bank

Job Bank is a convenient, one-stop, online source for interactive tools and information for workers and job seekers. It has an electronic listing of jobs provided by employers from everywhere across Canada. Job Bank also features helpful labour market information that helps Canadians learn more about different occupations, wages, career outlooks, skills required in the marketplace as well as employment-related trends and news.

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For more information

For information on the steel and aluminum trade dispute, please visit Global Affairs Canada’s main website

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