News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 13, 2024

Statement From the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers

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Provincial and Territorial Labour Market Ministers Continue to Call on Federal Government to Immediately Reinstate the $625-Million Cut to Funding for Workforce Training

Provincial and territorial labour market ministers held an emergency meeting on May 7 to discuss the federal government’s decision to cut more than half a billion dollars in workforce training funding and the impact it will have on all Canadians. 

Last month, Federal Budget 2024 cut $625 million from workforce development programs that help people find jobs in sectors facing labour shortages like construction, child care and health care. 

Contrary to federal minister Randy Boissonnault’s recent public remarks, provinces and territories were not advised of the funding cut prior to the release of the federal budget. In those same remarks, Minister Boissonnault further stated that the $625 million in funding was specifically provided to provinces and territories to address the need for more workforce training across Canada. While this implies that the needs have diminished and the funding is no longer required, ministers assert that the need for training has only increased as employers continue to struggle to find the skilled workers they need. 

Ministers unanimously decried the federal government’s decision because it will reduce programs and services that help Canadian jobseekers – including newcomers, persons with disabilities and Indigenous peoples – develop the skills and training needed to enter the workforce. 

Ministers are united in their belief that these essential programs must be prioritized in bilateral engagements and that the federal government must give these programs – and the Canadians they support – the urgent attention they deserve.  

Despite requesting an urgent meeting with Minister Boissonnault immediately following the federal budget, he has not agreed to meet until mid-June. In the meantime, the future of the essential programs and services Canadians rely on to find and train for work remain at risk because of this federal cut. 

Until that meeting occurs, provinces and territories must focus their attention on addressing the impact of this decision in their home jurisdictions and will not engage in the work of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers. 

Provincial and territorial ministers remain resolute in their view that worker training is still a national priority and they will continue to advocate for workers and employers. 

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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this statement on behalf of the provincial and territorial ministers of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers.