Quebec, Ottawa reach deal on job training program
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, March 4, 2014 4:47PM EST
OTTAWA -- The federal government and Quebec say they have reached an agreement on job training.
Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Quebec Labour Minister Agnes Maltais made the announcement at separate news conferences this afternoon.
Ottawa and Quebec renegotiated a current labour market deal that will be valid for six more years.
It will have the same funding but be subject to more conditions.
Several observers had contended the lack of an agreement would help the sovereigntist Parti Quebecois government win a majority in a provincial election expected to be called Wednesday.
Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said last Friday the conclusion of an agreement in principle on the Canadian Job Grant program with all the provinces and territories except Quebec would emerge as an election issue in the province.
The Harper government has insisted that the $115 million for the Quebec deal will face more accountability.
The province will have to present data on employment outcomes more often and more financial data.
Ottawa wants to ensure that the funds go toward training and not more bureaucracy.
Quebec will also continue to involve employers closely in the training system.
Quebec had argued that Ottawa was interfering in provincial jurisdiction and had wanted to be able to opt out of the job training program with financial compensation.