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Third round of talks underway to convince provinces to accept Canada Jobs Grant

TORONTO - Employment Minister Jason Kenney says he has offered a new Canada Jobs Grant package to the provinces in a third round of negotiations over the proposal.

Kenney admits that the federal government's initial plan was not the best, and has offered up what he calls new "flexibilities" to the provinces.

At the same time, Kenney is voicing frustration with why other levels of government are balking at something that he considers to be a "blindingly sensible" plan.

The minister told the Toronto Region Board of Trade that the main idea behind the job grant scheme remains intact: giving those who create jobs more say over how tax dollars are spent on training programs.

The Canada Jobs Grant model was first proposed by the Harper government in last year's federal budget.

It was supposed to be in place by April 1, but several provinces have objected.

Ontario Training Minister Brad Duguid said earlier this week that he remains opposed to Ottawa paying for its share of the program by cutting transfers to the provinces.

The original plan was to create a $15,000 grant that Canadians could use to receive training for a specific job opening.

Ottawa's initial proposal would have seen the cost of each grant shared three ways among the federal and provincial governments and a sponsoring business.

The Canadian Press

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