Our richest resource
Recently, I received a note from Shelagh Turner, the dedicated and hard-working Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna & District Branch.
She wrote, “I wanted to send you a quick note to say thank you for the role you play in supporting the Summer Student jobs program. We just said goodbye to Meghan, who just returned to school in Calgary. She assisted us with our reception and admin duties this past summer and was outstanding. Without the financial assistance of the Service Canada program, we could not have afforded to hire anyone. Having her doing such an important job in reception gave us the opportunity to get some really critical administrative tasks completed that ultimately support our staff, clients and the community. Each year we field over 10,000 calls and walk-in inquiries for information, services and support so our reception is a busy place. Many thanks for the opportunity, from all the staff and board at CMHA Kelowna!”
It’s great to get such positive feedback and to know that federal government programs like Canada Summer Jobs, supported by local employers and you the taxpayer, are working.
Support for youth employment is needed more than ever to help young Canadians develop skills that can be matched with available jobs.
There are several ways the federal government is supporting this objective:
- training and employment strategies through Human Resources and Social Development Canada and the Youth Employment Strategy;
- tax savings on amounts paid for tuition and enrolment in post-secondary educational programs.
- tax relief for apprentices and other workers in regulated occupations who must pay to complete certification examinations;
- income tax exemption for post-secondary scholarships, fellowships and bursaries received in connection with a student’s enrolment in a program that qualifies for the Education Tax Credit.
- tax savings on interest paid on loans for post-secondary education received under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or a similar provincial or territorial government law.
- record increases in social transfer payments to BC, which help support education;
- the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, which funded more than 500 upgrade and expansion projects at universities and colleges across Canada.
Additionally, the federal government recently invested $50 million over two years to encourage organizations to connect young Canadians with high demand jobs where there is a clear need for workers.
My colleague the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development has launched two Calls for Proposals that will be used to deliver the funding: one for Skills Link, which connects recent post‑secondary graduates with private sector work experience in high demand occupations; and one for Career Focus, which provides youth facing barriers to employment with skills development and private sector work experience in high demand occupations.
The Calls for Proposals will close October 19th and I invite local organizations to apply. Information and details on how to apply are available at www.servicecanada.gc.ca.
Additional information on ways your tax dollars support Canada’s youth can be found at www.youth.gc.ca.
National Seniors Day
Just a reminder - Canada’s National Seniors Day is taking place on October 1. The Government of Canada officially established National Seniors Day in 2010 to provide an occasion for all Canadians to celebrate and appreciate seniors. It coincides with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.
People looking for ideas to celebrate the seniors in their lives, or who wish to learn more about National Seniors Day and/or programs and services for seniors, are encouraged to visit www.seniors.gc.ca.
On a final note, I hope you are all looking forward to the Thanksgiving on October 8th. Perhaps I’ll see some of you down at the Gospel Mission, where my wife Cindy and I will be serving dinner alongside other community volunteers. In any event, I hope that even in these challenging times, you can find much to be thankful for.
As always if you have any questions regarding this or any other federally-related issue don’t hesitate to contact my office at [email protected] or by calling 250 470-5075.
Ron Cannan is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country.
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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.
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