Sault MP Terry Sheehan talks about the positives from the Summer Jobs Program in the following article
For a few months now, young people across Canada have been getting hands on experience thanks to Canada Summer Jobs opportunities. Last year we delivered on our promise to double the number of those opportunities to 70,000 jobs, and this year, over 80,000 jobs were approved. I’m pleased to announce that this year, over $1 million has been invested in youth across the Sault Ste. Marie riding – that’s double the jobs approved this summer in Sault Ste. Marie, Prince, Goulais River, Garden River First Nation, and Batchewana First Nation.
Yesterday, I heard a compelling story from a young person who has a Canada Summer Job working at the Prince Township Library. She told me that having a summer job in her home community allows her to stay connected with her roots and affords her the opportunity to work in Prince even though she’s attending university out of town. This is why the Canada Summer Jobs program is so important, especially to smaller communities like Prince and Sault Ste. Marie. Doubling our Canada Summer Jobs across the Sault riding brings youth back to the city every summer and increases the chance they stay here after graduation. If we don’t invite youth back to our community with real opportunities, they have no choice but to leave and find jobs elsewhere!
At the United Way’s Harvest Algoma Food Resource Centre here in Sault Ste. Marie, I heard a similar story. Four young people accessing Canada Summer Jobs are learning valuable skills while giving back to their home community. Jessica Laidley, Food Resource Centre Co-ordinator, had this to say: “United Way’s Harvest Algoma Food Resource Centre often feels like the District’s best kept secret in our community, but we are working hard towards poverty reduction through food security. We have established many partnerships to assist with distribution of surplus food, both acquired from traditional streams for non-perishables and a number of generous local producers. But acquiring surplus food isn’t our only priority: we are actively working to develop programs like FoodRescue.ca, providing education and training surrounding food from seed to preservation, and a space for people to connect and empower themselves through food. We have connected to over 25 organizations to date and redistributed 90,000lbs of food. Without the assistance of Canada Summer Jobs providing us with the additional hands during our busiest time of year, we would never be able to reach the level of work we have so far this year. Having our students here has given the opportunity to teach new skills that can be shared with others and share our message as a non-profit.”
Our Government understands the value of investing in young people and giving them that first shot at kick starting their careers. In contrast, Harper cut the Canada Summer Jobs program by $20M. To him, saving money on the backs of young people was more important.
Doug Ford’s Conservatives have also shown their true colours through unfair changes to OSAP, cuts in funding to post-secondary education, and reducing support for low-income students who need it most.
Since 2015, our government has worked to grow the economy, and our plan is working. Since we formed government, Canadians have created over 1 million jobs, and the unemployment rate is at a 40-year low, including youth unemployment. To keep that momentum going, we need a skilled and competitive workforce, and we need youth to have the skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
From getting their first job to retraining for a second career, our government is committed to supporting Canadians at all stages of their careers. When everyone has a fair chance at success, we all benefit.