Open Letter to Minister Ien and Minister Qualtrough regarding 2023 Canada Summer Jobs program funding

The Honourable Marci Ien
Minister of Minister for Women, Gender Equality and Youth
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Via email: [email protected]

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Via email: [email protected]

June 2, 2023

Dear Minister Ien and Minister Qualtrough,

Open Letter re: 2023 Canada Summer Jobs program funding

I am writing to express serious concern about this year’s Canada Summer Jobs funding allocation for Winnipeg Centre, which, including our authorized overcommitment, totals just $790,156, a significant decrease from the $1,308,732 budget in 2022, and $1,385,195 in 2021.

Service Canada was able to recommend funding for only about 22% of the requested jobs and only 23% of requesting organizations. Through my MP recommendations, we were happy to see that figure increase to 36% of organizations who applied, however, there are too many essential community organizations that are left without support.

Winnipeg Centre has an incredibly strong and dynamic civil society, with many charitable and non-profit organizations based here. These organizations have grown to respond to the very real needs of our community. In addition to the 3rd highest rate of child poverty in Canada, Winnipeg Centre is home to a high concentration of recently arrived immigrants and refugees, Indigenous people, and unhoused individuals. Many of the organizations that support these diverse and underserved communities depend on Canada Summer Jobs to sustain their important work.

Winnipeg Centre is also the proud home of many of Winnipeg’s most vital arts, cultural and education organizations, including the headquarters of city-wide, provincial, and/or national organizations who serve well beyond the bounds of our constituency. These organizations must apply for the same pool of summer jobs as local organizations in our high-demand community, despite their broad reach.

I know that your Ministry has said that it is “returning to the pre-pandemic parameters in terms of level of funding and job targets” for the Canada Summer Jobs Program, but the significant funding cut to this year’s Canada Summer Jobs allocation has had a disastrous impact on in Winnipeg Centre. We have heard from many vital community organizations who have had to cut back their operations about the impacts of these cuts on their clients, including women, children, youth and seniors.

Will your government reconsider the drastic cuts to the Canada Summer Jobs program and reassess the funding model to improve the program’s impact in high-density ridings? With thoughtful consideration and adequate funding, the Canada Summer Jobs program has the potential to build significant equity in communities across Canada.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and I will look forward to receiving your response.


Leah Gazan, M.P.

Winnipeg Centre

Jennifer Black

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