Kenney prepares to meet with provinces hostile to his jobs grant program

OTTAWA – Employment minister Jason Kenney is in for a hot reception when he sits down today with his provincial and territorial counterparts.

The provinces are coming to the Toronto meeting well-armed with complaints.

They’re particularly unhappy about Kenney’s plan to shave $300-million from the Labour Market Agreement that the Harper government brought in six years ago.

The program provides funds to train unemployed workers not eligible for employment insurance.

It’s aimed at aboriginals, immigrants, women, youth, older workers, people with disabilities and those with low literacy levels.

Kenney has often said the fund is ineffective, adding most of the people involved are “habitual welfare recipients.”

He says if the provinces want to train their welfare recipients, they should pay for it out of their own budgets.

Kenney says he’s “constructive criticism” from the provinces, but his Ontario counterpart

Brad Duguid says he’s seen little evidence the federal government is open to rethinking the job grant program.

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