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Feds announce funding for seasonal workers

Feds announce funding for seasonal workers

The $189 million will give workers extended insurance coverage

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Canada’s federal government is helping seasonal workers access additional insurance during their stay with Canadian businesses.

Today, Jean-Yves Duclos, the minister of families, children and social development, announced that Ottawa is investing $189 million into a pilot project for seasonal workers in 13 economic regions in Quebec, Atlantic Canada and the Yukon.

The funding is part of a Budget 2018 commitment to help employees in seasonal industries.

Under the project, seasonal workers will receive up to five additional weeks of employment insurance benefits. The funding will impact about 51,500 workers.

The extended coverage includes workers who start a benefit period between Aug. 5, 2018 and May 30, 2020.

The additional benefits are designed to help seasonal workers get through the off-season.

“We know that some seasonal workers have long struggled to find sufficient hours of work to qualify for enough (employment insurance) benefits to carry them through the off-season,” Duclos said today. “This means families will have more support to help them go through the winter.

“Today’s announcement will also help close the income gap and help give individuals and families the support they need when they need it most.”

The federal government also announced an investment of up to $41 million over two years to help all provinces and territories provide training and employment support for seasonal workers.

In Canada, about 53,000 seasonal workers contributed to the ag industry in 2015, the government’s website says.

Ontario had the most seasonal employees that year, with nearly 27,000 staff.

Jean-Yves Duclos

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