Prime Minister Trudeau announces changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program
Thank you very much. Good morning, everyone. Thanks for being here and thank you, Peter, for that kind introduction.
I’d like to acknowledge Minister Mihychuk, who you’ll hear from shortly, and of course our Member of Parliament for right here in Davenport, Julie Dzerowicz.
And a special thanks especially to Sheldon Taylor and the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club for having us today. Thank you very much, Sheldon, and thank you all, kids.
Today is a very special day for me and for our government. Today marks 100 days since we were sworn in. And as you all know, we’ve been busy. We were elected on the promise of bringing real change to Canada and to Canadians. Have we delivered? Well, you tell me. We followed through on one of our central campaign promises already. We cut taxes for the middle class by asking the wealthiest to pay a little more. This move puts more money into the pockets of everyday Canadians. The plan was grounded in the belief that all Canadians deserve a real and fair chance at success. Our government understands that a healthy economy starts with a strong and growing middle class and cutting taxes is good for families, good for communities, and good for the country.
I was also extremely proud to introduce our gender-balanced cabinet to Canada and to the rest of the world. Why was that important to me? Because it’s 2016.
Ministers Bennett, Hajdu and Wilson-Raybould are preparing the terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This commission of inquiry is long past due. Aboriginal communities are demanding answers, and they deserve justice.
We have shown global leadership by resettling tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in our communities over the past several months. All levels of government have truly worked together. Our premiers and mayors have shared our vision of a supportive and welcoming Canada. These new Canadians will further enrich our communities. It is inspiring to see the extent to which Canadian individuals and families have rallied to their cause. This is—and has always been—what makes our country strong.
Our government has also made important investments in innovative industries like regenerative medicine and clean water technologies. These critical investments will stimulate the economy and create the jobs of tomorrow today. As we know, innovation is key to building strong resilient forward thinking communities. We can and must do more to help innovative firms that are working on new ideas and technologies. We’re very proud to support Canadian industry and innovation as ways of growing the Canadian economy.
And that’s not all. Far from it, in fact. We’ve committed to reopening the Kitsilano Coast Guard base. We’ve restored the long-form census. We’ve introduced legislation to restore fairness and balance in the Canadian labour policy landscape.
Friends, these are just a handful of our achievements after just 100 days in government. I am very happy to announce today yet another example of the kind of real change we are bringing to Canadians.
I am pleased to be here this morning at the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club to announce that our government is creating over 340… over 34,000 summer jobs for students this year. Through the Canada Summer Jobs program we’re investing up to $113 million more to help more youth get invaluable work experience. This means that employers will be able to hire nearly 70,000 students. That’s up from 34,000 students last year.
Our government will continue to provide this funding for the next three years because the needs that our young people are facing in terms of unemployment, in terms of the need to develop work experience, the need to get good summer jobs is massive right now and will continue.
Youth unemployment has remained high since the recession, and far too many young people have been unable to join the labour market. Our government was elected on the promise of responding to this problem right away, and that is what we’re doing. Young people can rest assured that after years of negligence, the Government of Canada is now a friend and partner in Ottawa. We want to help young people like you find good jobs, build solid careers and chart a path to success. It is so important for you to make your voices heard and, in so doing, help build and shape this country.
What makes the Canada Summer Jobs program so wonderful is that it does far more than simply provide employment. It gives youth the opportunity to serve their communities.
One of the things that I made a priority for me when I became Prime Minister but indeed throughout my time as an MP and even before, was to engage young people.
That’s why when I became Prime Minister, I turned to my Minister of Youth and told… Right, I’m the Minister of Youth… I turned to myself and told me that as Minister of Youth, we needed to take seriously our responsibility to give young people the tools and the capacity to succeed. That means investing in our future absolutely, but it also means investing right now in young people not just as leaders of tomorrow but as leaders today. And what we do by allowing 34,000 more young people to get better summer jobs is not just impacting on them and the experience that they’re going to carry through the rest of their schooling, through the rest of their career to give them a strong head start and experience, it’s also having a real positive impact on the community organizations and the communities that they’ll be serving. Their hard work at making a difference in our local economies, in our communities is going to have a significantly beneficial impact for all Canadians.
That’s what we have to understand about empowering young people is that, yes, we’re building a stronger future for them but we’re also building a stronger present for everyone that they work for and touch with their experiences and their hard work. That’s why investing in young people is so important to me and why our government is more focused than any other government in the history of Canada has been on building opportunities for youth and creating a stronger future.
We know that summer jobs are critical for helping young people get the experience they need to start their careers, to pay for their studies and to build self-reliance. But with this announcement, tens of thousands of young people can get started in moving up the career ladder, and not only is this good for them, it’s good for the broader economy now and in the years to come.
I’m very excited about today’s investment. Great things happen when young people are given an opportunity to shine. I believe it because I’ve seen it. By investing in young Canadians we’re investing in all of Canada. We’re investing in our present and we’re investing in our future.
It’s now my great pleasure to introduce to you the Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and our MP for Kildonan - St. Paul in Winnipeg, the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk.