VANCOUVER - The Conservative government has cut thousands of dollars from the federal 2008 Canada Summer Jobs program. In Vancouver, this will mean a decrease in the number of summer jobs for post secondary students, as well as cutbacks to day camp programs typically run with the funding.
Libby Davies, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, says her riding has been particularly hard hit. While the program’s budget in East Vancouver for 2007 was $684,772, in 2008 it will receive only $423,473 - a whopping 38% decrease. “I know of one agency that is suffering a 40% cut compared to last year, and another a 30% cut. Both provide services that support vulnerable inner city children and families, who will now be in jeopardy.”
The government uses a funding formula based on outdated 2001 Census information concerning student population and unemployment rates.
The reduction also means high quality, career-related student jobs will go unfilled, and students will be unable to earn enough salary to pay tuition fees.
Davies has been lobbying the Hon. Monte Solberg, Minister for Human Resources and Social Development, for adequate funds. Given the federal government’s massive savings due to last year’s municipal strike, there should be funds this year to support a viable Canada Summer Jobs program.
“Because many municipal day camp programs were closed due to the Vancouver civic strike last summer, the federal government saved hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’d like to see those savings reinvested into this year’s Canada Summer Jobs program.”