Government of Canada helps Canadians with disabilities in Newmarket gain job skills

NEWMARKET, ON, April 13, 2015 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada will provide almost $450,000 to the YMCA of Greater Toronto as part of its goal to help Canadians with disabilities gain the skills and experience they need to find jobs.

The announcement was made today by the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, along with Lois Brown, Member of Parliament for Newmarket–Aurora.

The YMCA is receiving $441,392 from the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities for its project to help 90 people with disabilities in Newmarket gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the job market. During the 52-week project, participants who have little or no labour experience will learn to obtain and maintain employment through one-on-one and group workshops, job coaching and actual work experience. The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charitable organization offering opportunities for personal growth, community involvement and leadership.

Since 2006, the Opportunities Fund has helped 40,000 people with disabilities across Canada. This is part of the Government of Canada's overall strategy to equip all Canadians with the skills and training they need to connect with available jobs.

Today's announcement is one example of what the Government is doing to help Canadians. In its ongoing effort to help hard-working families, the Government is also enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.

Quick Facts - Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

  • To provide more demand-driven training solutions for people with disabilities, the Government's Economic Action Plan is increasing funding to $40 million annually to the Opportunities Fund. Employers and community organizations will be involved in designing and delivering training projects.
  • Projects such as this one demonstrate how important it is that we support Canadians of all abilities in finding a job. The Opportunities Fund build upon our Government's strong record of supporting those Canadians who need it most.
  • Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government is providing $15 million over three years to the Canadian Association for Community Living to help connect people with developmental disabilities with jobs. It is also providing $11.4 million over four years to the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada to expand vocational training programs for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.


Quick Facts – Family Tax Cut and Benefits Plan

  • All families with children will benefit from the new measures. Combined with tax relief introduced by the Government since 2006, a typical family of four can receive up to $6,600 in tax relief and enhanced benefits in 2015.
  • Low- and middle-income families will receive two-thirds of the overall benefits provided.
  • The Family Tax Cut will eliminate or significantly reduce the difference in the federal tax payable by a one-earner couple relative to a two-earner couple with a similar family income.


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"Our Government's top priorities are creating jobs and economic growth. To support Canada's long-term prosperity, we must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so. The project announced today will help Canadians of all abilities get the skills needed to obtain jobs and enable employers to benefit from their skills and talents."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development

"Canadians with disabilities deserve every opportunity to participate in the job market, and that's why partnerships with organizations like the YMCA of Greater Toronto are so important. Through this project, people with disabilities in the Newmarket area will gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workforce." 
Lois Brown, Member of Parliament for Newmarket–Aurora

"As an open and inclusive organization, the YMCA of Greater Toronto works to create personal growth and leadership opportunities for all members of the community. Last year the YMCA's employment programs helped more than 34,000 community members, including individuals with disabilities, gain access to employment support services. The funding made available by Service Canada will allow the YMCA's Head's Up program to continue to assist persons with disabilities with both finding and maintaining meaningful employment opportunities."
Darlene Holowachuk, Senior Vice-President, Employment & Community, YMCA of Greater Toronto

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The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists Canadians with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment, or become self-employed, to help them participate fully in the workforce and increase their independence.

Economic Action Plan 2013 announced a $10-million increase in funding for the Opportunities Fund, to $40 million annually, starting in 2015–16. Recently announced reforms will place a greater emphasis on hands-on experience, including work experience for more youth with disabilities, and ensure employers and community organizations are involved in the design and delivery of projects.

To further help Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the Government has:

  • extended the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces; and
  • provided 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 disabilities.

Other measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups, including people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth.


SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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