Province can 'tailor' funds under new EI agreement

Rob Antle
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Program transfer from feds to be finalized next week

The province is set to take over responsibility for running programs aimed at helping recent employment insurance (EI) claim-ants get skills training and get back in the job market.

"For the average person on the street, they're going to see exactly the same benefits, the same programs and services that they always did," Employment Minister Susan Sullivan said in an interview.

Susan Sullivan

The province is set to take over responsibility for running programs aimed at helping recent employment insurance (EI) claim-ants get skills training and get back in the job market.

"For the average person on the street, they're going to see exactly the same benefits, the same programs and services that they always did," Employment Minister Susan Sullivan said in an interview.

"So, in the short term, we'll just continue to deliver those. In the longer term, I think what it will mean is that we're going to be able to tailor programs and services that will better suit our needs here in Newfoundland and Labrador."

Until now, the programs were co-managed with the feds.

But as of next week, when the new Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) comes into effect, they will be run solely by the province.

All of the cash - $133 million annually, plus a special pot of nearly $15 million per year for the next two years as part of federal stimulus measures - will come from Ottawa.

Sullivan said the change will give the province more flexibility in the future.

The government, she noted, is looking at the "right mix" of programs and services to help create opportunities in industries expected to emerge locally over the coming years.

"If we, for example, had a business come forward to us and suggest to us that they may be able to do business with us within the province, but they would need a certain labour supply, they would need perhaps some help with wage subsidies," Sullivan noted.

"Those might be examples of areas now that we could enter into with that particular businessperson, to say, yes, perhaps we can help you to train up a labour supply."

She said the federal-provincial deal - reached last year, and set to go into effect Nov. 2 - will make it "much easier" to do that in the future.

Last year, roughly 20,000 people in the province accessed help from the suite of programs. That aid has ranged from self-employment assistance to skills development training to wage subsidies and other programs.

The services are offered to EI-eligible people - basically, anyone who has received EI over the past three years, officials said.

As part of the deal, 75 federal employees are transferring to the provincial government. Sullivan said the province will hire some additional staff as well.

There are also accountability measures built into the deal. The province must report back to Ottawa on the number of people assisted by the programs, for example.

rantle@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Ottawa, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Randy, have a clue. These programs have been in existence for years offered through Service Canada. all that's changing now is a switch to the Province, and hopefully less red tape and delays. Good news for the government of NL for sure.

  • Carl Marks
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Actually, bt, the unemployed play a very valuable role in society -- they are a pool of surplus labour, that is used by employers to keep workers in line, knowing that they can be replaced from this pool. How quick would you be to unionize your Wal-Mart knowing that you would be replaced in a heart-beat? Another vital role this groups plays is as scapegoats for when the economy gets sour. Why blame the banks or Bay Street, or your boss, when its so much easier to go after the most stigmatized and berated part of the population. Its easy and, having the working class attacking each other, the privileged remain unscathed.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I only hope the government will subsidize the fishermen, paper workers, welfare, single parents so they can go to work in hopes of getting full time work because I am sure they all are so sick and tired of not contributing to society and living off everyone else.

    I am sorry if I seem pissed at the system but these programs are to help people in hard times and not a life long yearly program that some, not all, abuse over and over.

    I have availed of the Unemployment insurance, as it was called, and was glad it existed. I then got a job and another and yet 1 more until I finally had a full time job. If the job or industry you are in cannot produce the financial results you like or want I suggest getting another job that will, Ok, I hear you say his is all I have done all my life and all I know , do as I did and go back to school as a mature student for a short time for long term gain.

    The government is just a s much to blame for bailing out the same people over and over again. How about the corner store owner who has to close down, he does not get subsidized yearly.

    I suggest the gas station owners go to government when the price of gas goes down and use the same whiny story...the profits are just not there to support my family..I bet society would have a different story then.

    Sorry to sterotype and I know there are legit people using our programs but there are certain groups just plain flogging the system and every tax paying Canadian over and over and expecting it is their God given right to annually or daily abuse the system.

    Bet the floggers will have a field day with this comment.

  • Joanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    BT, do you have any idea of the rate of tax paying Canadians flogging the tax system compared to those collecting income support and what it costs all of us? Perhaps we should get tough with the taxpayers -- that bunch of low-life, bottom feeders. Ooh, sorry to stereotype.

  • Randy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    All this will be is money for make work projects in rural nl. It will be a slush fund to award Pc contractors,nothing more ,nothing less..What a joke

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Randy, have a clue. These programs have been in existence for years offered through Service Canada. all that's changing now is a switch to the Province, and hopefully less red tape and delays. Good news for the government of NL for sure.

  • Carl Marks
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Actually, bt, the unemployed play a very valuable role in society -- they are a pool of surplus labour, that is used by employers to keep workers in line, knowing that they can be replaced from this pool. How quick would you be to unionize your Wal-Mart knowing that you would be replaced in a heart-beat? Another vital role this groups plays is as scapegoats for when the economy gets sour. Why blame the banks or Bay Street, or your boss, when its so much easier to go after the most stigmatized and berated part of the population. Its easy and, having the working class attacking each other, the privileged remain unscathed.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    I only hope the government will subsidize the fishermen, paper workers, welfare, single parents so they can go to work in hopes of getting full time work because I am sure they all are so sick and tired of not contributing to society and living off everyone else.

    I am sorry if I seem pissed at the system but these programs are to help people in hard times and not a life long yearly program that some, not all, abuse over and over.

    I have availed of the Unemployment insurance, as it was called, and was glad it existed. I then got a job and another and yet 1 more until I finally had a full time job. If the job or industry you are in cannot produce the financial results you like or want I suggest getting another job that will, Ok, I hear you say his is all I have done all my life and all I know , do as I did and go back to school as a mature student for a short time for long term gain.

    The government is just a s much to blame for bailing out the same people over and over again. How about the corner store owner who has to close down, he does not get subsidized yearly.

    I suggest the gas station owners go to government when the price of gas goes down and use the same whiny story...the profits are just not there to support my family..I bet society would have a different story then.

    Sorry to sterotype and I know there are legit people using our programs but there are certain groups just plain flogging the system and every tax paying Canadian over and over and expecting it is their God given right to annually or daily abuse the system.

    Bet the floggers will have a field day with this comment.

  • Joanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    BT, do you have any idea of the rate of tax paying Canadians flogging the tax system compared to those collecting income support and what it costs all of us? Perhaps we should get tough with the taxpayers -- that bunch of low-life, bottom feeders. Ooh, sorry to stereotype.

  • Randy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    All this will be is money for make work projects in rural nl. It will be a slush fund to award Pc contractors,nothing more ,nothing less..What a joke