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Harper trumpets plans during Fanshawe visit

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | March 23rd, 2009

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Fanshawe College visit was highlighted with the unveiling of an economic plan that targets a wide range of Canadians and should benefit post secondary institutions like Fanshawe.

Harper announced that in anticipation of expected labour shortages come the end of this year the government was moving forward with a Four-Part Economic Action Plan, announced in T building amongst a gaggle of faculty, reporters and handpicked students wearing hard hats and protective eye gear last Friday.

“As the world struggles with a global economic recession, we as Canadians are looking ahead,” said the Prime Minister.

Harper stated the over $1 billion budget is the most important Federal budget in Canadian history and could not have come at a better time.

Workers who have been affected by the recession will receive Employment Insurance (EI) support, skills and training assistance and re-training options as part of the measures the Canadian government is taking.

Since October, Statistics Canada reported the loss of 300,000 jobs in Canada, half of which were in Ontario alone. The number brings the unemployment rate up to 7.7 per cent, which is the worst seen in five-years.

Harper stressed the main goal is to resolve Canada's economic long term needs as well as the present situation while insisting Canada remains in top standing when compared to others.

Harper continues to stress that despite the current global recession hammering the economy, Canada is still better off when compared to the United States and Japan.

Harper along with Fanshawe College president Howard Rundle, and Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley, stressed the importance of a post-secondary education for the long-term economic stability of Canada.

Rundle believes there is a growing need for post-secondary graduates, and stated that Fanshawe graduates have an over 90 per cent hiring rate upon graduation.

“We have graduates working around the world,” said Rundle.

Finley added she is proud to be associated with a government that is taking action stabilizing the Canadian economy.

“Investing in training is the best choice any government can make. We need to protect our country and we need to make sure that Canadians take full advantage of the jobs of tomorrow,” stressed Finley.

Four-Point Action Plan outlined:

Labour Market Development Agreements - with this action plan, additional funding will help provinces to deliver skills training in order to support workers who qualify for Employment Insurance (EI).

The Strategic Training and Transition Fund-workers who have differing needs will benefit from more flexible skills and training programs.

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers-workers between the ages of 55-64, who reside in communities in transition, will have more support with new skills training.

Support for Long-Tenured Workers-workers who have not made a significant use of EI benefits and are seeking long-term employment, will have their income support extended.
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