Local MP Cathy McLeod responds to critic

McLeod: Liberal Human Resources and Skills Development critic's letter misleading

To the editor:

On May 29 (page A9), Liberal Human Resources and Skills Development critic Rodger Cuzner wrote a rather misleading letter to the editor, headlined Backward Tory priorities hurt students, with some distorted claims about the Canada Summer Jobs Grant.

What I can tell you is that in 2011, our government permanently increased the annual budget for Canada Summer Jobs by $10 million, bringing the total program budget to $107.5 million.

The Canada Summer Jobs initiative is an important part of our Youth Employment Strategy (YES), which also includes the Skills Link and Career Focus programs.

With an annual budget of more than $300 million, YES helps youth obtain career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed.

Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2013 also proposes an additional investment of $70 million over three years in YES to support 5,000 more paid internships.

This is further to the extra $50 million that was invested through EAP 2012 to enhance YES with a new initiative that connects young Canadians with jobs that are in high demand and helps them develop tangible skills and gain work experience.

This funding has helped organizations and youth across the country, including here in the region, where, for example, $455,983 was provided to employers in our riding to hire students this summer, and the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre received $275,746 just last month.

While the Liberal critic claims our government’s priorities “seem to have been set in a bubble” on investing in our youth, the facts clearly demonstrate otherwise.

He concludes that Canada’s youth should be helped until their job market recovers, and thankfully under a Conservative government, they are.

Cathy McLeod, MP

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo