More young people will get the change to gain valuable job experience this summer thanks to an increase in funding for the Canada Summer Jobs program by the federal government.
On Tuesday, federal Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger announced in Kelowna that Ottawa has approved funding for 203 summer jobs in 93 projects for a total of $612,611 in the federal riding of Kelowna-Lake Country this year.
That, she said, is a 190 per cent increase over the 70 student jobs that were approved last year through the program.
“I’m very happy to say that more local youth will be able to join the job market this summer,” said Chagger, who was brought to town by local MP Stephen Fuhr as part of this grand plan to educate as many new Liberal MPs and ministers as possible about the entire Central Okanagan.
“I want them to see what we have to offer,” he said.
Chagger said she felt is was important to invest in Canada’s youth, as they are “the future of our work force.”
In total, the federal Liberal government approved funding for just under 7,800 student jobs in B.C. this year in 42 federal constituencies, more than double the number approved last year. A total of 77,000 student jobs were approved across the country under annual Canada Summer Job this year.
The Canada Summer Jobs programs provides funding for not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers and small business with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for youth intending to return to their studies for following year. It pays part of, all of, the wages for the young workers and is administered by Service Canada. companies and organizations apply for summer student funding as part of the program.
The local announcement was made at the Kelowna Art Galley, which has two summer students working to develop, organize and run arts programs for children up to the age of 12.
Victoria Moore and Asia Jong are both arts students at UBCO and said they have learned a lot during their first moth of work experience at the art gallery and expect to learn more before they end their job stint at KAG. in August.
Both said the experience they are getting will be invaluable in helping enter their respective chosen fields in the arts sectors after they grduate.
Chagger’s appearance in Kelowna was the first of what Fuhr promised will be a long list of Liberal MPs and minister he plans to bring to town over the sumer.
They will include the parliamentary secretary for democratic reform Mark Holland coming here July 18 to hold an open house/town hall meeting to gather input about possible changes to how Canadians elect MPs in future, a gathering of all B.C. Liberal MPs to talk to number of groups up and down the Valley July 19-21 and a yet-to-be finalized visit by another minister in mid-August.
Fuhr said he wanted to open the “Pacific caucus” meeting of B.C. Liberal MPs next week to all surrounding ridings—which are currently represented by Conservative MPs— because he feels it’s important all people there get to talk to government MPs while here.
He said he feels he has a good working relationship with fellow Central Okanagan Conservative MP Dan Albas (Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola) who also represents parts of the city of Kelowna.
Fuhr said he feels some inOttawa think of the Kelonwa area as primarily rural but wants to show them that is an urban area with many vibrant industries including technology, aerospace and agriculture.