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Minister Ien details investments to grow our economy and make life more affordable

By Admin User on April 20, 2022

The importance of the economy’s growth and strengthening the job market are what Canadians consider to be vital issues. As a little over two years have passed since the COVID-19 pandemic in March, plans to create jobs and build a more fantastic future for Canadians are at the forefront.

Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, was joined by Peter Leclaire, Vice President Academic from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

Minister Ien and Peter Leclarie

Therein the plans for Budget 2022 were highlighted at the Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC).

Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC)

Response to effects of pandemic

“When the pandemic literally brought our economy to a standstill, 3 million Canadians lost their jobs, our economy contracted by some 17 per cent and the devastating blows of the pandemic were of course felt right here in Alberta where the economy contracted sharply by almost 8 percent.” says Ien.

Alberta’s economy has been recovering, and the gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to return to 2014 levels later in the year. GDP refers to the total monetary value of all goods and services produced within a country in a specific period, usually one year. However, efforts will need to be doubled down to support the labour market to learn from the effects of the pandemic.

Minister Ien detailing the plans to strengthen the economy

Plans for economic growth and innovation

Budget 2022 measures include:

  • Launching a new world-leading Canada Growth Fund that will attract tens of billions of dollars in private investment in Canadian industries and Canadian jobs
  • Implementing Canada’s first Critical Minerals Strategy that will create thousands of good jobs and capitalize on a growing need for the minerals used in everything from phones to electric cars
  • $625 million over four years for the Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund to support provinces and territories to make additional childcare investments
  • $84.2 million over four years for the Union Training and Innovation Program, which will help apprentices from underrepresented groups
Minister Ien on how this relates to NAIT students

Underrepresented groups

Issues regarding those that are ESL and underrepresented groups that are just immigrating and starting fresh in Canada were addressed by Ien.

“People get here, and it’s what do we do now? How do we offer help? How do we support them while they’re here? So whether that is high schools that engage in ESL or learning programs. Focusing on new immigrants, new refugees and building their skills towards language and getting used to and acclimatizing to their new communities.

My communities in Toronto centre we have something that we call the community centre in Saint Jamestown where I was born, and it’s just holding classes that also include childcare because the reality is when we have newcomers to the country, they often won’t sign up for programs and go to those ESL classes or join other supports if they don’t have a place to bring their kids, so there’s supports that way as well.”

Attendees at the announcement

Impact on NAIT

The scope of the plans reaches all across Canada but sparks from schools such as NAIT that benefit from the Critical Minerals Strategy like Heather Kaminsky, the NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Oil Sands Tailings Management.

“It’s really important for my research as we transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a more renewable economy. The demand for metals will increase dramatically, and with that demand will come increased mining and, therefore, increased tailings. This is one of the areas where there’s a lot of opportunity for research, and there’s a lot of opportunity for students at NAIT to get into jobs in that clean transition side that are still maybe considered a little more traditional.”

Heather Kaminsky, NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Oil Sands Tailings Management

Looking ahead

“Our resilient economy relies on the hard work of Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast and Budget 2022 details how we are going to keep growing, creating good middle-class jobs, while building a sustainable future. That future is powered by polytechnic schools like Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), that directly contribute to Canada’s economic success by giving students hands-on, technology-based education. NAIT’s programs are great examples how of we ensure that Canadian workers have the skills they need to get well-paying jobs.” – Ien.

Minister Ien

More information on The Government’s of Canada’s plan for Budget 2022 can be found on their website. Highlights are: housing, climate, jobs and growth, and affordability.



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