Tag Archive | "Minister Jason Kenney"

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Minister Jason Kenney talks jobs and skills with employers at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce

Posted on 13 November 2014 by admin

 

November 7, 2014 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Employment and Social Development Canada
In a speech to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, highlighted how government and industry must work together to ensure Canadians have the skills and training needed for jobs in demand in the Canadian economy. He explained that this is the route to Canada’s future economic opportunities and continued prosperity.
In his address, Minister Kenney said the path to success includes more employer-led training and faster foreign credential recognition for internationally trained professionals, as well as better labour market information. He also pointed to the need to harmonize apprenticeship training across jurisdictions, an area where the Atlantic Provinces are leading the way, and underscored the benefits of the Government’s recent improvements to the immigration system, which include quicker access to highly skilled professionals.
Minister Kenney pointed to programs and policies that the Government has put in place since 2006 that are benefiting Canadians and ensuring employers have access to a highly skilled workforce, which is essential to fill the pending skills gaps left by retiring baby boomers.
Earlier in the day, Minister Kenney also toured the Irving Shipyard in Halifax and spoke with employees and management about the Government of Canada’s support for skills training and training for apprentices, two crucial needs as Irving Shipbuilding prepares to build combat ships in support of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. The Minister took note of the advancements being made in the working model project involving local Aboriginal communities—a project supported by the Government of Canada with an investment of $6 million under ESDC's Skills and Partnership Fund.
Quick Facts
  • According to the Conference Board of Canada, Halifax’s economy is expected to grow by over 2.5 percent in 2014.
  • The Government of Canada is helping Canadians get the skills employers are looking for with the Canada Job Grant and the Apprenticeship Incentive and Completion Grants. The Government also offers tax credits, such as the tuition, education and textbook tax credits, tradesperson’s tools deduction and the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit.
  • The Canada Apprentice Loan provides apprentices registered in Red Seal trades with interest-free loans of up to $4,000 to complete their technical training. At least 26,000 apprentices are expected to apply annually.
  • Through the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, federal departments and agencies have been working in partnership with Irving Shipbuilding and Aboriginal leaders to anticipate industry needs and train potential workers to access increased job opportunities throughout Nova Scotia.
Quote
“Our government’s top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians. That is why our government is dedicated to making sure that Canada has access to highly skilled workers who are able to fully contribute to the economy. We need to work together with businesses, like members of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, as well as provinces and territories, post-secondary educational institutions and stakeholders to maximize our economic growth potential as a country.”
– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
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Minister Jason Kenney steps into the temporary foreign worker program conundrum

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

Courtesy: Canadian Business

Stepping into the delicate politics of filling Canadian jobs with foreign workers, Jason Kenney was bound to appease no one. Prized by the business lobby, loathed by unionized labour, the temporary foreign worker program is either a solution to or an exacerbation of a problem that may or may not exist. The immigration minister spoke of the “paradox” of polarized opinion in announcing the program’s overhaul. There are, Kenney said, “constant pressures suggesting that the program is far too lax, and then from many, many employers and industry groups suggesting the program is far too rigid.”

He tried to strike a balance between the two, leaving the program in place but making it more difficult and more expensive for Canadian employers to import temporary labour. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business called the reforms “the worst decision this government has made since taking office.” The Alberta Federation of Labour said the program “has to be scrapped.” So much for the spirit of compromise.

The program stoked public anger when some Royal Bank of Canada employees complained their IT jobs were being handed to temporary foreign workers. Last fall, a B.C. company said it needed to bring in 200 Chinese miners for lack of qualified Canadians. In 2011, including the agricultural sector, nearly 450,000 temporary foreign workers came to Canada, more than doubling the size of the program over the last decade. In a country with 1.4 million unemployed, “that is just outrageous,” says David Gray, a labour economist at the University of Ottawa. “It looks like the temporary foreign worker program in many cases is serving as an escape valve for many employers,” who resort to imported labour rather than raise wages to attract Canadian candidates, he says.

The government shares those concerns. Kenney suspended an option to fast track applications and ended the rule permitting businesses to pay foreign workers up to 15% less than average. He told the country’s employers: “Don’t just double, but triple your efforts to hire and train available Canadians.” But the government already had the power to administer the program properly, says Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “They took a program that was a last resort for many employers and made it that much more difficult and costly to access.”

The rationale for the program relies on pockets of acute labour shortages, for which there is anecdotal evidence, but little in the way of analysis. Beatty says those shortages do exist, particularly in lower-skilled jobs in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the resource sector has diminished available workers. “They’re simply making it impossible for these small businesses to meet their staffing needs.” The program’s numbers will fall, he expects, to the detriment of Canadian businesses.

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Minister Kenney Announces New Start-Up Visa, First of its Kind in the World

Posted on 24 January 2013 by admin

Minister Jason Kenney


News Release — Historic New Immigration Program to Attract Job Creators to Canada

Toronto, January 24, 2013 — Canada will launch a brand new program on April 1 to recruit innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” said Minister Kenney. “Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.

The Start-Up Visa Program will link immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector organizations in Canada that have experience working with start-ups and who can provide essential resources. The Program is part of a series of transformational changes to Canada’s immigration system that will make it faster, more flexible and focused on Canada’s economic needs.

As a way to help these in-demand entrepreneurs fulfil their potential and maximize their impact on the Canadian labour market, they will require the support of a Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund before they can apply to the Start-Up Visa Program. Initially, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will collaborate with two umbrella groups: Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO). These groups will identify which members of their associations will be eligible to participate in the Program. CIC is also working with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation to include business incubators in the list of eligible organizations as soon as feasible.

CVCA is honoured to partner with the Government of Canada in the launch of the Start-Up Visa Program,” said Peter van der Velden, President of the CVCA and Managing General Partner of Lumira Capital. “Through this Program, we want to attract high-quality entrepreneurs from around the globe and help build best-in-class companies in Canada.

We’re excited to be a part of the Start-Up Visa Program,” said Michelle Scarborough, Board Chair of NACO. “Working with CIC and angel groups across the country, this initiative will create Canadian jobs and position Canada as a leader in innovation.

The Start-Up Visa is the first of its kind and will be a powerful incentive to attract individuals with great potential who will have a real impact on the Canadian economy. By providing sought-after immigrant entrepreneurs with permanent residency and immediate access to a wide range of business partners, Canada will position itself as a destination of choice for start-ups. Linking forward-thinking immigrant entrepreneurs with established private sector organizations is essential to the success of both investors and entrepreneurs in building companies that will compete globally and create Canadian jobs.

Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity remain priorities for the Government of Canada, and this new Start-Up Visa Program underscores our commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canadian labour market,” Minister Kenney concluded.

This is a News Release of Citizenship & Immigration Canada

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News Release — Minister Kenney concludes successful visit to India

Posted on 15 January 2013 by admin

Ankara, Turkey, January 14, 2013 —Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has completed a productive visit to India, part of a three-country trip that also includes Sri Lanka and Turkey. Minister Kenney’s six-day visit to India saw him travel through five of the country’s regions.

This official visit to India was a great opportunity to promote Canada internationally,” Minister Kenney stated. “Our two Commonwealth democracies share a deep and growing bond as many Indians come to visit friends and relatives or study in Canada, while others come to Canada to start new lives, through our new fast and flexible immigration programs.

Minister Kenney first traveled to Cochin, Kerala, to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBDs), a large gathering of India’s overseas diaspora at which he spoke on Canada’s model of pluralism, and the success of the more than one million Canadians of Indian origin. He was joined by Member of Parliament Joe Daniel and Senator Asha Seth.

During his time in Cochin, Minister Kenney met with Shri Vayalar Ravi, India’s Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, who he encouraged to move forward with legislation to regulate the conduct of immigration agents and recruiters to better protect from exploitation Indians seeking to visit or immigrate to Canada.

He also met with External Affairs Minister Shri Salman Khurshid and Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, to discuss matters of mutual interest as Canada and India continue to strengthen human and commercial ties. He spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy about the contribution of Canada’s growing Malayali community, and commercial opportunities between Canada and the state. Minister Kenney also met with His Eminence George Cardinal Alencherry, together with some 40 Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church on historic Mount St. Thomas to discuss the state of minority communities in India’s diverse society.

Minister Kenney then became the first Canadian Minister ever to make an official visit to the State of Goa, when he met with Chief Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar regarding the success of Canada’s large Goan community, and commercial opportunities such as Canadian energy exports. He also met with Archbishop Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrão, Archbishop of Goa and Daman.

The Minister continued on to Delhi, where he met with Indian Home Affairs Minister Shri Sushil Kumar Sambhajirao to discuss joint efforts to combat immigration fraud. He also met with leading Indian business and political leaders at a reception to discuss growing opportunities for bilateral trade and investment.

Minister Kenney met with officials at Canada’s High Commission in New Delhi, Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) largest overseas office, to review operations and thank staff for processing record numbers of visas for Indian nationals visiting Canada.

While in New Delhi, the Minister presented flowers at the historic Shri Lakshmi Narayan Temple in memory of Jyoti Singh Pandey, the victim of a recent brutal gang rape.

Minister Kenney then traveled to Amritsar, Punjab, where he announced that in 2012, CIC’s Chandigarh office issued a record number of Temporary Resident Visas to Punjabi visitors to Canada in 2012, 17,608, nearly three times the number issued in 2005. This is thanks in part to greater cooperation with Punjab State officials in combating illicit activities by unethical immigration agents. He also met with Punjab State Minister Bikram Majithia to discuss efforts to combat immigration fraud, and implementation of Punjab's new Anti-Human Smuggling Act.

While in Amritsar, Minister Kenney visited the Harmandir Sahib, Sikhism’s Golden Temple, where he was accompanied by Minister of State Tim Uppal and Member of Parliament Parm Gill. “I was deeply honoured to visit the Golden Temple for a second time, and to witness the quiet beauty of this place of prayer and devotion that is the spiritual home of hundreds of thousands of Canadian Sikhs,” Minister Kenney said.

Other holy sites the Minister visited while in India included the Paradesi Synagogue in Cochin, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth; the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, which holds the relics of St. Francis Xavier; and the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham Mahdhir Temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. “All of these sacred places reminded me of the stunning diversity of India, and that it is a land of great faith.”

The Minister completed his visit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat to attend the Vibrant Gujarat 2013 Summit, where he was joined by Members of Parliament Patrick Brown and Devinder Shory. Minister Kenney gave the keynote address at the inaugural Canada-Gujarat Business and Trade Opportunities seminar, promoting investment in Canada, and spoke at the closing plenary of the conference attended by more than 50,000 delegates from 120 countries saying that “just as Gujarat has the strongest economy in India, Canada has the strongest economy in the G-7. Working together, the potential to support each other’s prosperity is boundless.”

Minister Kenney met with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who expressed appreciation for Canada having the largest overseas delegation at Vibrant Gujarat, and expressed keen interest in the prospect of importing Canadian energy products and other commodities.

Prime Minister Harper’s historic six-day visit to India last November underscored the enormous progress that we have made in Canada-India relations. The finalization of the Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and Social Security Agreement, the progress being made on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement, Canada's expanded diplomatic and trade promotion presence all help to explain 23% growth in bilateral trade in just one year,” said Minister Kenney. “I was pleased to contribute to this momentum, particularly through the human and cultural bridge between Canada and India made possible through CIC's visitor and immigration programs.

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News Release: Minister Jason Kenney voices Canada’s concern

Posted on 08 January 2013 by admin

Colombo, Sri Lanka, January 7, 2013 — Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney reiterated Canada’s strong concerns about human rights, government accountability, and post-war reconciliation in Sri Lanka during his recent visit to Colombo.

“Canada wants to see a successful 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, but as host of the event, Sri Lanka is under close scrutiny for its adherence to Commonwealth values and principles,” stated Minister Kenney. “Canada’s level of representation at this meeting will depend on real progress on political reconciliation and accountability, including an independent investigation of allegations of human rights violations endured by civilians at the hands of both sides during the civil war,” Minister Kenney stated.

During his visit, Minister Kenney met with key interlocutors of the Government of Sri Lanka as well as major opposition parties to convey Canada’s concerns, including about the disappointing lack of progress toward reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka. He also met with members of civil society organizations working on the ground to address humanitarian concerns and advocate improvements in the human rights situation.

Canada continues to be concerned about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, including the Sri Lankan government’s failure to investigate accusations of bombing of hospitals and mass shelling of civilians by the military during the 2009 civil war.

Minister Kenney also voiced concern about the recent impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake, Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, which does not appear to have followed the established procedures or traditional grounds for judicial impeachment – standards which are necessary to ensure the independence of the judiciary and the protection of rights in Commonwealth nations. He also raised concerns about the harassment of members of the media and non-governmental organizations as well as the recent and ongoing detention of students in Jaffna as troubling indications of a shrinking of democratic space in Sri Lanka.

“Canada will continue to stand up for freedom and political accountability in the world, including in fellow Commonwealth member nations,” Minister Kenney said. “We further urge Sri Lanka to demonstrate its commitment to fundamental Commonwealth values and principles, including the importance of fundamental human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.”

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