New and increased funding for education and labour
On February 11 Jim Flaherty introduced his 10th budget, allocating a total of $116 million to “Connecting Canadians with Available Jobs” for 2014-15 (a substantial increase from $2 million in 2013-14) including: the “Canada Job Grant”, $15 million over 3 years help people with disabilities help people with developmental disabilities through the “Ready, Willing & Able” initiative, introducing Labour Market Agreements to help persons with disabilities and their employers and $11.4 million over four years to support the expansion of vocational training programs for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The 2014 federal budget states “creating the Canada Apprentice Loan” and “Eliminating the value of student owned vehicles from the Canada Student Loans Program assessment process to better reflect the needs of students who commute or work while studying”.
Its focus is on new funding for apprenticeship, but university students still have a reason to smile.
New funding is being allocated to help small and medium sized businesses hire internships. On top of that more money is being allocated to grants and loans to help students from low-/middle-income families, $123 million to modernize the Canada Student Loan Program, and $125 million to the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship to “attract and retain world-class doctoral students”.
The budget has also created the “Canada First Research Excellence Fund”, allocating $1.5 billion over the next 10 to post-secondary research and $46 million through the “Economic Action Plan 2014”
With an increase in the Ontario minimum wage to $11.00 on June 1, being adjusted according to inflation, the future looks bright.