TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister
of State for Social Development, today announced new support that will
help Canadians with disabilities gain the skills and experience needed
to get jobs.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs and economic growth.
Since 2006, through the Opportunities Fund, we have helped over 34 600
people with disabilities across Canada get the training they need for
available jobs," said Minister Bergen. "What we are announcing today
will help even more Canadians with disabilities gain work experience,
particularly with small and medium-sized businesses that would benefit
from their skills and talents."
The Government of Canada will provide the March of Dimes Canada with
more than $7 million through the Opportunities Fund to help Canadians
with disabilities across the country overcome barriers to employment.
This investment is in keeping with the Government's overall strategy to
equip all Canadians with the skills and training they need to connect
with available jobs.
Participants in the March of Dimes project will develop the skills
needed to enter and participate in the job market. The March of Dimes
will also raise awareness among employers of the valuable contribution
that Canadians with disabilities can make to the workforce and the
"The March of Dimes would like to thank the Government of Canada for its
support," said Andria Spindel, President and Chief Executive Officer of
the March of Dimes Canada. "This project will help facilitate
employment for people with disabilities by linking them to employers
who are actively hiring. Our goal is to create awareness among
employers that hiring people with disabilities is not only a good thing
to do, but good for business."
"Often, people with disabilities have the very skills and abilities
needed to grow a business but not the means to transition into a
thriving workplace," said Corinne Pohlmann, Vice-President of National
Affairs at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). "The
CFIB hopes that businesses struggling to find employees will use this
opportunity to meet their needs and grow their team."
"This project is a true win-win for people with disabilities and the
restaurant industry," said Joyce Reynolds, Executive Vice President of
Government Affairs at the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
Association. "It will open up new opportunities for people with
disabilities who want a foothold in the labour force, while giving
restaurant employers access to a committed group of workers who are
currently under-represented in the workplace."
Canadians with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer employers
but they remain under-represented in our workforce. That's why the
Government of Canada works in partnership to help them develop the
skills and experience they need to get jobs. Economic Action Plan 2013
is maintaining funding for the Opportunities Fund for Persons with
Disabilities so the program can provide even more training to Canadians
with disabilities for in-demand jobs.
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities helps Canadians with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep
employment or become self-employed.
This March of Dimes Canada project will help 350 Canadians with
disabilities from across the country including Newfoundland and
Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and
Economic Action Plan 2013 introduced other measures to connect Canadians
with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they
need. These include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for
apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups,
including people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, newcomers and
To help Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the Government
introducing a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons
with Disabilities with an investment of $222 million per year to better
meet the employment needs of Canadian businesses and improve the
employment prospects for people with disabilities;
extending the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15
million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada,
including workplaces; and
providing funding of $7 million per year for the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council of Canada, some of which will support
research related to the labour market participation of people with
For more information about the Opportunities Fund, or to propose a
project, visit servicecanada.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information:
This news release is available in alternative formats on request.
A/Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Social Development)
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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This news release is available online at actionplan.gc.ca.