Governments of Canada and Quebec announce agreements to help Canadians, Quebecers and Quebec businesses better adapt to new labour market realities
An estimated 240,000 workers in Quebec to benefit
June 20, 2019 Montréal, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
By investing directly in Canada’s greatest asset—its resilient, hardworking people—the Government of Canada is helping the labour market continue to be a pillar of strength for the Canadian economy.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, along with Jean Boulet, Quebec’s Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region, announced two new agreements that will see the Government of Canada provide Quebec with nearly $5.4 billion to invest in its workers and businesses. These agreements represent an increase in funding of approximately $680 million. The additional funding, committed until 2022–23, means that an estimated 240,000 more Quebec workers will benefit from employment and skills training programs and measures to transition into the job market, maintain employment or gain access to new career opportunities. In addition, these investments will provide more support to businesses throughout Quebec for their recruitment and training efforts to increase productivity in response to the labour shortage the province will experience in the coming years.
Through these agreements, the Government of Canada is helping more people benefit from employment and skills training programs—especially those from groups typically under‑represented in the workforce, such as persons with disabilities, youth and Indigenous people. The programs cover skills development, experiential learning and other supports.
As innovation and technology continue to change how people live and work, Quebec’s workers face new challenges and opportunities. That is why it is more important than ever before to ensure that everyone benefits from an innovation-driven economy—and it means ensuring both employed and unemployed people have the chance to learn the skills they will need for the jobs of today, as well as the jobs of tomorrow.
The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the updated Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). Through these agreements, Quebec will receive nearly $5.4 billion—close to $1.2 billion through the WDA and close to $4.2 billion through the LMDA.
The governments of Canada and Quebec will report results to Canadians about the impacts of employment and skills training programs, including how they increase workers’ earnings and break down barriers that impede the labour market participation of under‑represented groups.
All Canadians deserve a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through investments like the labour market agreements announced today, the Government of Canada is strengthening the middle class and helping the people working hard to join it.
“Our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today’s agreements with Quebec, we’re ensuring our people can continue to be competitive, resilient and responsive as jobs evolve and our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, the middle class grows stronger and workers and their families thrive.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
“The labour market is constantly evolving, and with it the skills in demand by employers. Through agreements like those announced today with the Government of Quebec, we are ensuring that Quebec’s workers can stay competitive and respond to employers’ needs so that our economy and our middle class can grow.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“I wanted these agreements to ensure that Quebec has access to all means necessary to meet its particular labour challenges. These agreements will enable Quebec to strengthen its role of governing active employment measures in the province and provide the best support possible to individuals and businesses based on current labour market realities.”
– Jean Boulet, Quebec Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region
The Government of Canada transfers nearly $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs.
Through Budget 2017, the Government of Canada is investing an additional $2.7 billion from 2017–18 to 2022–23:
- $900 million over a period of six years (in addition to the $722 million provided annually) in new WDAs consolidating funding from the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (expired March 2018) and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired March 2017); and
- $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs in addition to the 2.14 billion provided annually.
From 2017–18 to 2022–23, the Government of Canada will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.
Provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility in the design and delivery of programming and services to respond to the diverse and emerging needs of Canadians.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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