HUMA Committee Report
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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENTS
The Government of Canada has established new Workforce Development Agreements with provincial and territorial governments. The Agreements provide over $700 million annually for the development and delivery of programs and services that help Canadians get training, develop their skills and gain work experience. The Workforce Development Agreements consolidate the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers. Provinces and territories can continue offering programs similar to those that were offered under the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and the Canada Job Grant, but also have the flexibility to adapt these models or create new supports to meet local labour markets’ needs.
Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF)
The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) was created in 2007 to support projects that remove obstacles, improve accessibility, and enable persons with disabilities to work and participate fully in the activities of their communities across Canada. Since its creation in 2007, the program has funded about 2,200 projects.
Social Development Partnerships Program—Disability
The Social Development Partnerships Program—Disability offers funding to support the activities of not-for-profit social organizations that help persons with disabilities merge socially into Canadian society and integrate those who want to work.
Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities was created in 2007 with the objective of assisting persons with disabilities with little or no labour force attachment to prepare for, obtain and keep employment, or become self-employed.
Employment Equity Act
The Employment Equity Act (EEA) specifies that special measures may be needed to accommodate differences for four designated groups: women, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities. The EEA requires federally regulated employers to identify and eliminate barriers to employment, establish positive policies and practices, as well as ensure reasonable accommodation in relation to individuals in the four designated groups. It applies to federally regulated industries, Crown corporations and all federal organizations with 100 or more employees.
For the purposes of this legislation, persons with disabilities are defined as “people with a long-term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric or learning impairment who consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment or who believe that an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, as well as individuals with functional limitations due to their impairment that have been accommodated in their current job or workplace.”
FINANCE CANADA/CANADA REVENUE AGENCY PROGRAMS
Canada Social Transfer
Indirectly, the Government of Canada provides financial resources for the disability supports that are offered by provinces and territories through the Canada Social Transfer (CST). The CST is a federal block transfer to provinces and territories in support of post-secondary education, social assistance and social services, and early childhood development and early learning and childcare. Significant numbers of working age persons with disabilities receive provincial social assistance and provincial disability income assistance (e.g., Ontario Disability Support Program, or in Alberta, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped). This is in recognition that persons with disabilities face significant challenges participating in competitive labour markets and as a result, cannot earn adequate income.