MONT-JOLI, QC, May 17, 2018 /CNW/ - All Canadians deserve the opportunity to participate and thrive in an innovation-driven economy. That is why the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec are taking immediate action to ensure workers in seasonal industries have access to the supports they need when they need them most.
Today, Rémi Massé, Member of Parliament for Avignon–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, together with the Honourable François Blais, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, announced signing a transfer agreement of $6.4 million for the Government of Quebec to provide training and financial support to workers in seasonal industries, as well as support for businesses in seasonal industries.
As part of a pilot project, this transfer will enable the Government of Quebec to improve existing training programs and financial support to meet the needs of workers in seasonal industries. The pilot project also aims to provide financial support during training, as well as enhanced financial support for businesses in seasonal industries who accept to extend their workers' period of employment to train them.
Even before the agreement was signed, Quebec was proactive by implementing its pilot project to support workers in seasonal industries. The regional branches of Services Québec affected have already been working for several weeks with their partners to update and improve training activities for all workers, including those in seasonal industries.
In the coming months, the Government of Canada will continue to work with the Government of Quebec to ensure that workers in seasonal industries have access to skills training and employment supports when they need them most.
"The Government of Canada understands the reality and challenges of workers in seasonal industries and is working with the Government of Quebec to support them. The funding announced today will help seasonal workers get the help they need, when they need it most."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
"Our government recognizes the concerns of workers in seasonal industries and the real challenges some face in the off‑season from the loss in income, especially due to the decline in unemployment rates and the resulting decrease in entitlement for Employment Insurance benefits. We are pleased to fund this pilot project for Quebec's seasonal workers to ensure families make ends meet until the new work season begins."
– Rémi Massé, Member of Parliament for Avignon–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia
"I am delighted at the agreement which will help us put concrete measures in place. Seasonal workers will be able to take training while receiving an income and seasonal businesses will benefit from support to prolong their employment relationship with their employees by developing their skills. Our government is committed to supporting seasonal workers because they are an important part of the province's economic development."
– The Honourable François Blais, Quebec Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity
"As the minister responsible for the Bas–Saint-Laurent region, I pay close attention to issues related to seasonal employment. The Government of Quebec is acting proactively in order to support seasonal industries and will continue to do so to the benefit of workers and affected businesses."
– Jean D'Amour, Quebec Minister for Maritime Affairs and the Minister Responsible for the Bas–Saint-Laurent Region
- Funding under this agreement is part of the commitment announced in Budget 2018 to help workers in seasonal industries who have used all their Employment Insurance benefits, but are still waiting to be called back to their seasonal job. As a result, in 2018–2019, Employment and Social Development Canada is reallocating $10 million to existing departmental resources in order to offer income and training support to workers in seasonal industries. Budget 2018 also proposes to invest $80 million in 2019–2020 to support workers in seasonal industries.
- The Government of Quebec is responsible for workforce training, and as a result, is entering into agreements with the federal government to support the deployment of its service across the province. Through these agreements, Quebec maintains control over the project and has the necessary flexibility to offer measures and employment services to address the unique issues of its regions, workers and industries.
- To help workers in seasonal industries who have used all their Employment Insurance benefits, Quebec will launch a pilot project to improve training benefits, making them equivalent to the Employment Insurance benefits workers were receiving. The benefit amount cannot be less than the amount normally granted for Québécois Employment Insurance claimants who register for training, i.e. $300 per week.
- The pilot project implemented by the Government of Quebec also helps support businesses seeking to increase their productivity by investing in their employees' skills. Seasonal businesses can have 100% of eligible training expenses reimbursed, including their employees' wages, up to $20/hour, to enable workers in seasonal industries to take part in business training before or after the operating season. As a result, participating workers will receive wages for a longer period, which will delay the start of their unemployment period and may give them access to more weeks of Employment Insurance benefits.
- At the initiative of the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, the regional branches of Services Québec in affected regions have already been working with their partners for several weeks to update and improve training activities for all workers, including those in seasonal industries. This initiative is ongoing. Even though some regions are affected more than others, workers in seasonal industries in all regions of Quebec are eligible for the pilot project.
- The Government of Canada offers additional measures to help workers in seasonal industries, including the Working While on Claim pilot project and other flexible measures that enable Employment Insurance claimants to defer the weeks when their benefits will be reduced.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries : Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, firstname.lastname@example.org; Anne Rochette, Press secretary, Office of the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, 418-643-4813; Media Relations, Communications Branch, Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi Et de la Solidarité sociale, 418-643-9796