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Updated: 46 weeks 14 hours ago

Four More Communities to Welcome Government-assisted Refugees

Wed, 2016-04-13 16:16

Westman Immigrant Services in Brandon, Kingston Employment and Youth Services, Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services in Mississauga and the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association have all shown that they have the services in place to accept government-assisted refugees as new Resettlement Assistance Program centres.

There are now a total of 31 communities outside Quebec giving comprehensive and expanded services to refugees under the refugee Resettlement Assistance Program when they first arrive in Canada.

With the addition of these new centres, the call for proposals launched earlier this year to identify new temporary Resettlement Assistance Program centres across Canada is now closed.

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High Value Skills: The Contribution of Canada’s Engineering and Applied Science Technicians and Technologists

Wed, 2016-04-13 15:47

The report, Assessing the Economic Contribution of Canada’s Engineering and Applied Science Technicians and Technologists, found that the number of engineering and applied science technicians and technologists grew at an average annual pace of 3.5 per cent between 1997-98 and 2013-14, to reach around 400,000. Furthermore, their average wage rate has consistently remained above the national average by more than 20 per cent.

Highlights

  • Employment growth for this occupational group has strongly outpaced overall employment growth for Canada as a whole over the past 15 years thanks in part to Canada’s move towards a knowledge economy.
  • Their average weekly wage rate has remained more than 20 per cent above the national average from 1997-98 to 2013-14.
  • Many of the challenges facing the Canadian economy, such as growing global competition, the aging population, slower labour force growth and growing public spending on health care, point to the need for productivity gains. Efforts to increase and maintain a high productivity level would likely involve the participation of technical professionals, such as engineering and applied science technicians and technologists.
  • According to the most recent Statistics Canada data, Canada’s engineering and applied science technicians and technologists contribute $54.7 billion to the economy —3.3 per cent of Canadian GDP.

Engineering and applied science technicians and technologists are found in the professional, scientific and technical services sector, manufacturing, construction, public administration, the information, cultural and recreation sector and the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector. Based on the most recent statistics, they contribute $54.7 billion to the economy or 3.3 per cent of GDP.

However, in order to continue to contribute to Canada’s productivity growth, these technical professionals will need to improve and renew their skills to be able to adapt to changing industrial conditions. Furthermore, the growing wave of retiring professionals will lead to a need for trained individuals to fill both vacancies and future opportunities.

The engineering and applied science technicians and technologists occupational group includes, but is not limited to, user support technicians, computer network technicians, electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and industrial engineering technologists and technicians, chemical engineering technicians and technologists and geological, mineral and drafting technologists and technicians.

The report, Assessing the Economic Contribution of Canada’s Engineering and Applied Science Technicians and Technologists, is funded and supported by Technology Professionals Canada (TPC).

Report authors, Pedro Antunes and Julie Ades, will present the results of the report during a live webinar on April 19, 2016 at 02:00 PM EDT.

City of Toronto Recognizes Excellence in Volunteering

Wed, 2016-04-13 15:42

Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the City’s Community Development and Recreation Committee, joined other councillors and City officials at the annual event held during National Volunteer Week, which recognizes individuals and groups for donating their time, energy and skills to enhance the lives of residents and clients in the City’s long-term care homes.

The quality of life of residents in the City’s long-term care homes and programs is greatly enhanced by the support of more than 2,250 volunteers who contributed 140,000 hours of volunteer service in 2015. The City proudly recognizes and thanks the individuals and groups, who support a wide range of services including arts and gardening programs, friendly visiting, operating the gift shops and bistros, hosting fundraisers, providing end-of-life support, and organizing cultural and religious activities and special events.

Recipients of this year’s Excellence in Volunteering Awards are: Debbie Murney (Bendale Acres); Clement Gomes (Carefree Lodge); Lori Gershon (Castleview Wychwood Towers); Arthur Freeman (Cummer Lodge); Paul Cheung (Fudger House); Karin Loane (Kipling Acres); Margaret Bastin (Lakeshore Lodge); Melissa Gibson (Seven Oaks); Tea Room Group (True Davidson Acres); and Kathy Huang and Victoria Li (Wesburn Manor).

Karen Wianecki and Donna Vibert were the recipients of the divisional award for their service organizing the Secret Santa Program, which benefits residents from various homes. Gerald Robinson, of Wesburn Manor, received the Mary Ellen Glover Award, presented to a resident volunteer whose contribution makes a positive impact for fellow residents.

Launch of Jobs for Today and Tomorrow (Budget Measures) Act

Wed, 2016-04-13 15:35

The government is making college and university more accessible and affordable for low- and middle-income students and their families through the single-largest modernization ever of student financial assistance. The government will be creating a single, targeted, non-repayable Ontario Student Grant starting in 2017-18 to make average tuition free for more than 150,000 eligible low- and middle-income students, and tuition will be more affordable for middle-income families as well.  Details on the new grant will be released later this year.

Highlights of the new legislation also include:

  • Making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history– about $160 billion over 12 years for projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals – supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province
  • Continuing to roll out the Business Growth Initiative, a five-year, $400 million strategy to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale-up and modernizing regulations for businesses
  • Reducing the retirement savings gap by implementing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), which will help working Ontarians save for their retirement. By 2020, all eligible Ontario workers will be covered by a comparable workplace plan or the ORPP; with employer and employee contribution collection beginning in 2018
  • Investing in the low-carbon economy, with $325 million in 2015-16 through theGreen Investment Fund to projects that will fight climate change, grow the economy and create jobs. Its investments support energy retrofits in homes, energy-efficiency initiatives and public charging stations for electric vehicles
  • Giving people faster access to the right care, now and in the future, with increased funding to hospitals by $345 million; lowering wait times for key services; and make the shingles vaccine available free for eligible seniors aged 65 to 70 — saving them about $170 in out-of-pocket expenses
  • Transforming services so that people with developmental disabilities can be more independent. The government is also updating the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy to continue the transformation of Ontario’s housing and homelessness system, focusing on flexible and portable benefits that respond to individuals’ changing housing needs.
  • Increasing choice and convenience for people by responsibly expanding beer and wine sales in grocery stores. By fall 2016, up to 70 grocery stores will be authorized to sell beer, wine, and cider together across Ontario. Wine will eventually be available in up to 300 grocery stores.
Quick Facts

  • More than 600,000 jobs have been created since the recessionary low in June 2009. Ontario is projected to create more than 300,000 additional jobs by the end of 2019, which would bring total job creation to more than 900,000 net new jobs over a 10-year period.
  • Ontario’s real GDP growth outpaced the national average in 2015, and is expected to continue being among the strongest in Canada over the next two years.
  • The government is projecting a deficit of $5.7 billion in 2015-16 – an improvement of $2.8 billion compared with the 2015 Budget, and it is projecting a deficit of $4.3 billion in 2016-17.
  • The government’s plan is on track to balance the budget in 2017-18 and to remain balanced in 2018-19.
  • To receive public input for the 2016 Ontario Budget, the government conducted pre-budget consultations across the province. This included 20 in-person pre-budget sessions in 13 cities with more than 700 people, two telephone town halls reaching more than 52,000 Ontarians, nearly 500 written submissions received and online consultations with more than 6,500 users through the Budget Talks website.
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