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Ottawa - Canada’s largest union is urging the federal government to reconsider funding cuts to sector councils, a move which endangers vital human resources development work across the country. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is concerned that the recent decision by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to phase out funding will cause serious harm to Canadian workers and the national economy. 

These cuts will have a devastating effect on millions of Canadian workers,” says Paul Moist, national president of CUPE

The HRSDC Sector Council program provides funding to over 30 sector councils. The arms-length forums bring together businesses, education and training institutions, labour and governments to research and develop skills development strategies. They help ensure skills training and development programs and investments are meeting the needs of workers and employers. 

Sector councils play  a valuable role in creating and implementing training and skills development programs across the country, and across all sectors of the economy: without them, we’ll not be able to effectively train Canadian workers with the skills most needed in the public and private sectors,” says Moist. 

HRSDC has informed the sector councils that core funding and elements of project funding will be phased out by March 2013. Most sector councils will not be able to continue their research, development and strategy work without this funding. 

Cutting funding to sector councils makes no sense at all for the Canadian economy, especially now when we’re still recovering from the global economic meltdown and the labour market is in dire need of support and strengthening,” says Moist. “The Harper Conservative government keeps saying its focus is the economy and creating jobs – if they actually meant it they would be expanding sector councils, not killing them.” 

CUPE is part of three sector councils: Childcare Human Resources Sector Council, HR Council for the Non-profit Sector, and the Electricity Sector Council. CUPE is committed to continuing its work with these and other sector councils, but federal government support is essential to keeping the councils viable and effective.

For more information:

Greg Taylor, CUPE Media Relations (613) 818-0067 or gtaylor@cupe.ca