New job fund a victory for Yukon: Taylor

The Canada Job Fund agreement signed with the federal government last week includes significant improvements over what was proposed a year ago, Yukon Education Minister Elaine Taylor said this morning.

The Canada Job Fund agreement signed with the federal government last week includes significant improvements over what was proposed a year ago, Yukon Education Minister Elaine Taylor said this morning.

By working closely with other provinces and territories over the past year, Yukon has negotiated a “modest number of changes” that will “help to minimize the negative impact” of the Canada’s initial proposal, said Taylor.

A year ago the federal government announced with great fanfare the Canada Job Grant, a subsidy for employers looking to train employees or potential employees.

The fund would replace expired labour market agreements that paid for skills training for vulnerable populations.

Here in the Yukon, that money paid for things like Skookum Jim Friendship Centre’s youth employment centre, the Kwanlin Dun House of Learning and Challenge Community Vocational Alternatives’ Bridges employability program.

While it’s true that the new deal still reduces, over time, the allotment for those types of programs, the impact has been greatly lessened from what was offered a year ago, said Taylor.

For one, Yukon’s total allotment under the job fund has doubled, from about $500,000 annually to about a million.

Further, the federal government relented slightly on how much of that money must go towards the Canada Job Grant employer subsidy.

Also, Yukon has signed a separate deal that allows an additional $1.25 million for programs that help people with disabilities get jobs, said Taylor. Many of the programs supported under the earlier agreements are eligible to shift to this new funding stream.

Yukon’s MP Ryan Leef, in an interview yesterday, also pointed to that agreement and other ways the federal government is supporting under-served Yukoners beyond the new job fund agreement.

“When you look at our track record and you don’t look at these programs in isolation but you look at the entire suite of what we’re doing, our record is strong, it’s positive and it’s going to pay off for our territory.”

The Canada Job Grant will replace a business training fund that had been managed by the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.

The job grant requires businesses to chip in a third of training costs, and will not cover travel expenses when programs are not available in the Yukon.

The chamber’s program only required a ten per cent contribution and could be used to offset travel costs.

But the Yukon negotiated some improvements here, too, said Taylor.

Now, businesses with fewer than 50 employees can use the trainee’s wages to cover half its contribution, bringing total investment down to about 17 per cent of training costs.

The Yukon government is also looking at ways that it can use its contribution towards supporting travel expenses, said Taylor.

There also is a new branch of the job fund, still under development, that is intended to provide more flexibility than what is offered under the Canada Job Grant.

“We’re listening and responding to what the employers are telling us they need,” said Leef.

Whether travel might be covered under that program is up for discussion, he said.

So is whether employers may be able to receive some compensation for training programs delivered by business to their own employees, said Leef.

He gave the example a rafting company that requires its guides to achieve a certain certification, and the necessary courses are delivered normally by the company itself.

Under the Canada Job Grant the business is left in the absurd situation where a competing rafting company could receive a subsidy to access that course for its employees, but the company offering the program would not be eligible for any funds offsetting costs to train its own.

The yet-to-be-determined Employer Sponsored Training program could address that and similar issues, said Leef.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

Just Posted

The Fireweed Market in Shipyards Park will open on May 13. Joel Krahn/Yukon News
Whitehorse’s Fireweed Market opens May 13

The Fireweed Market will return with ‘exciting’ new and returning vendors

Ron Rousseau holds a sign saying ‘It’s time for a cultural shift’ during the Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny rally on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Protest held to condemn Yukon Party MLAs’ texts

A rally was held outside of legislature to condemn the inappropriate texts messages of Yukon Party MLAs Stacey Hassard and Wade Istchenko.


Wyatt’s World for May 12, 2021.… Continue reading

Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley announced youth vaccination clinics planned for this summer. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon government file)
Vaccination campaign planned for Yukon youth age 12 and up

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for younger people on May 5.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced two new cases of COVID-19 on May 11. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Two new cases of COVID-19 reported, one in the Yukon and one Outside

One person is self-isolating, the other will remain Outside until non-infectious

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Haley Ritchie/Yukon News file
File photo of the legislative assembly. The previous spring sitting began on March 4 but was interrupted due to the election.
Throne speech kicks off short spring legislature sitting

The government will now need to pass the budget.

The deceased man, found in Lake LaBerge in 2016, had on three layers of clothing, Dakato work boots, and had a sheathed knife on his belt. Photo courtesy Yukon RCMP
RCMP, Coroner’s Office seek public assistance in identifying a deceased man

The Yukon RCMP Historical Case Unit and the Yukon Coroner’s Office are looking for public help to identify a man who was found dead in Lake LaBerge in May 2016.

Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine minesite has created a mess left to taxpayers to clean up, Lewis Rifkind argues. This file shot shows the mine in 2009. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)
Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite

Lewis Rifkind Special to the News The price of a decent wolverine… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: border opening and Yukon Party texts

Dear Premier Sandy Silver and Dr Hanley, Once again I’m disheartened and… Continue reading

Fire chief Jason Everett (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City launches emergency alert system

The city is calling on residents and visitors to register for Whitehorse Alert

Most Read