Conservatives must address Skills Link Program funding delays

Today, New Democrat MPs pressed Employment Minister Jason Kenney to explain why processing delays have prevented community organizations from receiving funding through the Skills Link Program.

“My NDP colleagues approach me daily with concerns about the continued Skills Link Program funding delays,” NDP deputy critic for Employment and Social Development Sadia Groguhé (Saint-Lambert) told the Minister. “They are worried about the fate of the affected organizations in their ridings.”

So far, 22 organizations from across the country – including 14 in Quebec – have contacted NDP MPs, desperate to find out whether they can expect funding from the Program soon. Many have received funding through this program for years, and this is the first time they have experienced processing delays.

“Several of these groups rely on this money to operate,” said Jinny Sims (Newton – North Delta), NDP critic for Employment and Social Development. “Jobs are at risk. Important services are at risk.”

Minister Kenney faced question from Sims and Groguhé this morning at the Committee for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Neither the Minister nor the department officials were able to provide an explanation for the cause of the delay, nor were they able to say when funding decisions would be made.