Harper Government helps 1,600 Canadians with disabilities get jobs

Ottawa, Ontario – The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk, today announced that the Harper Government is helping 1 600 Canadians with disabilities get jobs.

“Our top priorities are job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity, and we know that employers across this country are looking for workers,” said Minister Finley. “That’s why I am proud to announce that the Harper Government is helping 1 600 Canadians with disabilities get jobs through the Opportunities Fund program.”

According to a recent survey by the Bank of Montreal, 56% of small businesses inCanadahave never hired anyone with a disability. When asked why they had not the most common answer from small business owners was that they do not know how to recruit them. The Harper Government is taking action to address this problem by working with small business owners to help connect willing workers with jobs.

Through the Opportunities Fund, the Harper Government is making an investment in Canadians with disabilities. The new investment is designed to provide work experience to Canadians with disabilities that will lead to ongoing employment in small or medium-sized enterprises acrossCanada. Some of the projects will increase employer awareness of the valuable contribution people with disabilities can make to their businesses and the Canadian economy.

Minister Finley’s announcement is one of a series taking place across the country today. Minister Finley kicked off the nation-wide events by launching a Call for Proposals under the Opportunities Fund to deliver the funding.

“To support Canada’s continued economic growth, we must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity—including under-represented groups such as people with disabilities,” said Minister Finley.

The Harper Government will partner with eligible organizations such as businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Crown corporations and educational institutions to develop and manage large-scale national projects. Organizations have until November 16, 2012 to apply. Information is available at www.servicecanada.gc.ca.

The Harper Government is improving labour market opportunities for all Canadians through a wide range of effective policies, programs and services, including the Opportunities Fund, Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, Youth Employment Strategy and labour market agreements with provinces and territories.

To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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For more information, contact:

Marian Ngo
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482 
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559
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IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.