Canada’s Voice for the Employment and Training Sector

Our Brief for the 2017 Pre-Budget Consultations


On June 3rd, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance launched its pre-budget consultation process, and invited the participation of Canadians. The focus of written submissions to the Committee and appearances in fall 2016 should be the following:

  1. What federal measures would help Canadians generally – and such specific groups as the unemployed, Indigenous peoples, those with a disability and seniors – maximize, in the manner of their choosing, their contributions to the country’s economic growth?
  2. What federal actions would assist Canada’s businesses – in all regions and sectors – meet their expansion, innovation and prosperity goals, and thereby contribute to economic growth in the country?
  3. What federal measures would ensure that urban, rural and remote communities throughout Canada enable residents to make their desired contribution to the country’s economic growth and businesses to expand, prosper and serve domestic and international customers in order to contribute to growth?

CCCBET took advantage of this opportunity to voice some of our concerns regarding employment.

Read CCCBET Recommendations

A report on the consultations will be tabled in the House of Commons in December 2016.

The Forum of Labour Market Ministers to hold consultations on labour market transfer agreements


Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers reinforced their commitment to collaborate on key opportunities and challenges facing the Canadian workforce and agreed to work together to conduct broad-based consultations on the annual $3 billion investment in labour market transfer agreements to ensure they are responsive to the needs of Canadians. Ministers made the announcement on June 28 after a videoconference meeting of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM), where they also approved next steps for the creation of the Labour Market Information Council.

Consultations will take place over the summer months to gather perspectives from a broad range of stakeholders to look at ways to improve the transfer agreements and inform future investments. This work will help support provincial and territorial employment and training programs that address labour market needs in a fast-changing economy. These consultations will be held across Canada, online and through written submissions with a wide range of experts, stakeholders and individual Canadians. Information regarding these consultations will be posted on the FLMM website.

Read the Press Release

Hollowing out the middle: Recasting federal workforce development programs



All developed countries invest in workforce development. These are measures designed to attract and retain talent, solve skills deficiencies, improve the quality of the workplace, and enhance the competitiveness of local firms. They are also meant to incorporate the disadvantaged, integrate immigrants, and help the unemployed find work. Government intervention is necessary to improve market efficiency, pro­mote equal opportunity, and ensure social and geographic mobility among citizens.

As a domain that straddles both social and economic policy, workforce develop­ment is particularly complicated in Canada. This is because our Constitution is am­biguous on whether this is an area of federal or provincial responsibility. Most pro­grams, like postsecondary education and apprenticeship, are clearly under provincial control, but there is less certainty around measures to help the unemployed. Before the Second World War, it was accepted that these kinds of programs were under provincial responsibility. Often the federal government helped financially. After the devastation of the Depression in the 1930s, the federal government and all the provinces agreed, in 1940, to a constitutional amendment transferring significant responsibilities to Ottawa through a national unemployment insurance program.

By the 1990s, Ottawa dominated the policy area through a network of about 500 Canada Employment Centres across the country, delivering both income sup­port and employment services. In 1996, the federal Liberal government offered to transfer responsibility for employment services back to the provinces. Ottawa kept responsibility for income support. It did this by concluding a series of agreements paid for out of money contributed by employers and workers to the employment insurance (EI) fund. Ottawa’s intention was to show “flexible federalism” follow­ing the Quebec referendum on sovereignty.

When the Harper Conservatives came to power in 2006, the job was half done, with devolved labour market development agreements or LMDAs signed in eight jurisdictions. There were co-managed agreements in the remaining five. The new government aspired to have “the best educated, most skilled, and most flexible workforce in the world.” To achieve this goal, not only did the government need to figure out what to do, but the equally important question of who should do it also needed to be worked out.

The chapter looks at the Harper government’s record in workforce development since 2006.

Read the full chapter on Policy Alternatives

Federal Election 2015: What Place for Employment and Training?


The current election campaigning has heard much about the economy and some about jobs. However, very little has been said specifically about how sustainable economy and employment goals will be achieved on the ground in communities across Canada. We are asking political parties to communicate their position on this issue and to commit to ensuring that all people have access to community-based services that support their pursuit of meaningful employment and social inclusion.

Read our Position Paper

Join us at the Cannexus16 National Career Development Conference


The Cannexus16 National Career Development Conference is taking place January 25-27, 2016 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. Register by September 9 for the Super Saver rate. Members of supporting organizations benefit from an additional 10% discount during this period.

Cannexus is Canada’s largest bilingual career development conference and will bring together 800 professionals in the field from across education, community organizations, government and the private sector. It is designed to promote the exchange of information and explore innovative approaches in the areas of career counselling and career development.

Delegates will be informed and inspired by four game-changing keynotes:

–  Spencer Niles, Dean & Professor, School of Education, The College of William and Mary
–  Ratna Omidvar, Executive Director, Global Diversity Exchange
–  The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair, Truth and Reconcilliation Comission of Canada
–  Wab Kinew, Writer, Journalist, Honourary Truth and Reconcilliation Commission Witness

There will be more than 130 education sessions that will bring you the latest trends in effective counselling and facilitation techniques, labour market information, emerging technology and tools, and working with diverse populations. An Exhibitor Showcase will also highlight a range of beneficial products and services in the field.

You can enhance your conference experience by taking an optional pre-conference workshop. Choose among workshops with four popular presenters and go in-depth on these topics:

–  Courageous Career Development: Helping Practitioners Find the Courage to Be Their Authentic Self, Herky Cutler
–  Hope-Centered Career Development Toolkit, Dr Norman Amundson and Spencer Niles
–  Effective Coaching Skills for Career Counsellors, Richard Knowdell
–  Developing an Employer Engagement Action Plan, Mike Fazio

You can also extend your Cannexus15 learning with our post-conference workshop on Return of the Job Search Zombie: Proven Strategies for Motivating the Unmotivated with the highly regarded Dan Walmsely.

Cannexus is presented by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) and supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada with a broad network of supporting organizations.

For more information and to register, visit