Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia Premier Takes Aim at Changes to Canada Job Grant Program

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia Premier Takes Aim at Changes to Canada Job Grant Program

Article excerpt

Nova Scotia premier slams Canada Job Grant

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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has added his name to the list of premiers criticizing the federal government over proposed changes to the Canada Job Grant.

The changes announced earlier this month in the federal budget will harm provincial literacy programs and won't work for businesses in the province, McNeil said Tuesday after a speech to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

"We also believe that the Canada Job Grant doesn't work for Nova Scotia companies and we've heard it loud and clear," McNeil said. "This absolutely makes no sense."

The proposed grant initially offered $15,000 for each eligible worker to be divided equally among Ottawa, the provinces and employers. But Ottawa has faced intense criticism that the program would siphon federal cash from existing provincially run programs for youth, aboriginals and disabled workers.

"We've clearly stated that we're not happy," McNeil said. "The Canada Job Grant program will cause organizations that are providing literacy programs and life skills to Nova Scotians to be really put under pressure. It's a substantial amount of money."

The federal government has since said it will cover the provincial share and deliver the program on its own if it can't reach a deal with the provinces by April 1. …

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