Government of Canada supports economic opportunities for women

Minister Leitch highlights skilled trades and technical professions at roundtable 

FORT MCMURRAY, AB, July 10, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, and David Yurdiga, Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray—Athabasca, highlighted measures put in place by the Government of Canada to encourage women to enter the skilled trades and technical professions during a roundtable discussion yesterday in Fort McMurray.

Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested over $162 million through Status of Women Canada in support of more than 780 community-based projects across Canada. This includes over $68 million for projects that promote women's economic security and prosperity. Of this amount, over $18 million has been invested in projects that support women in skilled trades and technical professions.

Quick Facts

  • Women now represent nearly half the Canadian workforce, yet continue to be under-represented in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In 2009, women represented just 22.3% of Canadians with occupations in engineering, mathematics and natural sciences. In 2012, women represented only 4% of those working in construction trades, and 20% of those working in primary industries such as forestry, mining, oil and gas.
  • In January 2015, the Prime Minister announced that the Canada Apprentice Loan initiative is now accepting applications. This initiative helps those already apprenticing to complete their training, and encourages more Canadians to pursue a career in the skilled trades. Economic Action Plan 2014 proposed the creation of the Canada Apprentice Loan by expanding the Canada Student Loans Program to provide apprentices registered in Red Seal trades with access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year.
  • In April 2015, Minister Leitch announced a new campaign entitled It Starts with One — Be Her Champion. This campaign challenges leaders in all fields to make a difference in a woman's career by becoming her champion or mentor. Canadians can pledge to join the campaign at
  • Economic Action Plan 2015 announced that an Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs will be put in place to connect women with the tools they need to succeed in business. This Action Plan includes a series of initiatives such as mentorship, networking opportunities, and increased access to financing and international markets.


"Our Government's number one priority is to create jobs and opportunities for all Canadians. That's why I'm proud to promote opportunities for women in skilled trades and technical professions. We know when women succeed, Canada succeeds."

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P.
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"Creating economic opportunities for women in Fort McMurray and across Canada is a key commitment for our Government. I am proud to join Minister Leitch in promoting skilled trade opportunities for women right here in our community."

David Yurdiga
Member of Parliament, Fort McMurrayAthabasca

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SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: For media inquiries only: Andrew McGrath, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P., Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Tel: 819-953-5646,; For all other inquiries: Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Public Affairs, Status of Women Canada, Tel: 819-420-6810

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