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Youth programs suffering

By Ken Boshcoff

Last September, the Conservative Government announced over $1 billion in spending cuts to a multitude of programs and services including literacy programs, volunteerism initiatives, museum funding, and economic development to name just a few. One of the cuts that will be felt long into the future is the elimination of $55.4 million for the Youth Employment Program.
Launched in 1997, the Youth Employment Program has been instrumental in developing Canada’s workforce of the future by providing young Canadians access to programs and services that help them gain the skills, knowledge, career information and work experience they need to find and maintain employment. In the Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding, the program has provided assistance to over 250 youth each year.
In just a few months, youth across the riding will start looking for a summer job…little do they know the extra challenge they will now face in this search. By cutting the Summer Work Experience program funding in half, the Government has eliminated funding for over 125 student jobs across our riding. Many of the businesses that participate in the funding program can not afford to hire a summer student without this assistance. Because of this heartless funding cut, students will have an even tougher time getting a job this summer.
But the bad news doesn’t stop there. What if our youth are unable to find a summer job? Will your son be forced to take out additional student loans to pay for his post-secondary education? Or worse, will he need to postpone his education plans in order to save enough to cover the costs?
Will your daughter need to leave the area to find summer employment? Will our youth who are studying away from home be able to come back for the summer? After spending so much time away, will they ever want to come home?
As you can see, the detrimental effects of this cut will be deeply felt, not only by our youth, but by our families and communities as well. As your Member of Parliament, I am working diligently to have this funding cut reversed and I ask for your help in these efforts. Please write to me with your letter of support for the Youth Employment program.