Remarks in Halifax announcing investment to help young people get jobs
Hello, everyone. It’s just great to be here at Common Ground... Common Good Solutions.
And I want to begin by thanking Josh for his warm welcome this morning and for his strong voice in a community that is known for its strong voices. It’s just great to have you leading here this morning. Also, very pleased we’re joined by Minister Qualtrough, Minister Jordan, Andy Fillmore and other members of our great team of MPs here in Nova Scotia -- each and every one of them a leader in the community.
I had a chance to sit down with some of the hardworking folks here to talk about the great work they do, and I’m deeply grateful to everyone gathered here today to make time for it this morning. I know all of you are probably incredibly busy in all sorts of different things, and being able to gather today to talk about the work you’re doing and highlight how important it is, not just for this community but for the country; that you be given the tools to continue this work is a great opportunity for me.
What brings us all together today is working hard to make sure that Canadians are on the path to success. Just this morning, we were talking about a story that really, really illustrates why this is so important. And it’s Rodney's story. Rodney, where are you? There you are. Yeah!
Rodney, as many of you know, had a rough start a few years ago. He had an encounter with the law, an arrest, and then a number of contentious trials. It was hard on him. It was hard on his family; it was hard on the community. Things were looking tough. But then he got a degree. He started working in the community, and soon Rodney was helping other young people overcome the same barriers that he himself had faced. Today, Rodney is the director of the One North End Community Economic Development Society, a Halifax organization that empowers young African Nova Scotians and helps them find a job. It just goes to show how much a hand up can mean in a young person’s life.
And that’s exactly why we’re here today to make sure that everyone can get ahead.
And this isn’t just about young people. If they can’t find good jobs, it’s not just them who miss out, it’s our entire economy. From entrepreneurs creating growth to innovators developing clean tech, our future comes down to the next generation, and to harness that potential, we need to make sure people have the training to turn their talent into careers and their ideas into results.
So today, our government is investing over $492 million dollars for youth skills and employment programs across the country which will benefit tens of thousands of young people.
This funding will go towards projects doing vital work, from getting students their first jobs, to helping newcomers with language skills. Here in Atlantic Canada, we’re talking about more money for great organizations like Common Good Solutions and Phoenix Youth Programs, or the Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre.
That said, investing in community organizations is only part of the solution. If we want everyone to have the chance to get training, we have to look at education as a whole. For too many students, it is becoming harder and harder to cover tuition. Our government therefore increased student grants by 50% and lowered the interest rate on student loans.
These investments in young people and in breaking down the barriers they face, change lives for the better. Maybe it’s your son, who after months of trying to land work gets the coaching he needs to ace that interview. Maybe it’s your niece who couldn’t find a job in her rural community, but now has the skills to stay and start her own business online. Or maybe it’s the hardworking newcomer down the street who gets extra help learning English or French and goes on to college or university.
The take-home message is this: when we invest in the middle class and in those working hard to join it, we are helping to build a better future for everyone. Whether it’s here in Nova Scotia or elsewhere in the country, Canadians can count on their government’s support.