A billion dollars for job training and education
Archived Articles 12 Jan 2007 Adu RaudkiviEWR
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Prime Minister Steven Harper gave Premier Dalton McGuinty a whole lot of money — and here's how Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities will spend some of it.
"As of January 1, 2007, the Canada-Ontario Labour Market Development Agreement was alive in the Province of Ontario. This means around a half a billion dollars of federal programs and services was transferred to the Province of Ontario. Now Employment Ontario, which is our employment and training system will be able to offer all Ontarioans almost a billion dollars of programs and services for training and employment support. In fact with the combined systems it serves almost a million people with access to a billion dollars in programs and one of the best things about it is that no matter what you are looking for, whether you are an individual or a business, whether you are a young person, newcomer no matter where you live in this province, you can access it through the 1-800 387-5656 (416-326-5656 in Toronto) which is Employment Ontario's number or through the web site www.ontario.ca/employmentontar... walking into any one of the employment or training offices and they will get you what you need, " said Minister Bentley, at a recent press conference held for the ethnic media.
"Now there are 86,000 more students in universities and colleges in the Province of Ontario than there were when we became the government. That is a twenty percent increase, which is a huge increase, and that is an increase not only in absolute numbers  but its an increase in the participation rate. This is the rate at which the people are going on to university and colleges, a five percent participation rate," said Bentley.
"And when those students go post-secondary, there is more funding to provide the types of supports they need, whether its extra profs, better equipment, student services and there's more student support," added Bentley.
"Another highlight of 2006 was the Private Career Colleges Act. For decades this regulation of private career colleges would serve around 38,000 students in the Province of Ontario was not there. Now we have a mandatory registration requirement. Behind the registration requirement we are working with the secretary to make sure we have program standards, just like our universities and colleges. There are special protections for students whose private career college stop offering the program they signed up for. For foreign students, you don't have to pay more than a quarter of the tuition before you get to the Province of Ontario. If there is trouble with some institution we may ask that they hold all of their (tuition) money in trust," explains Bentley.
"Post-secondary education is where the future is for the Province of Ontario. We know that we can't compete on the basis of cheap oil, and we don't want to compete on the basis of cheap wages, so it is knowledge  and skills for the people of Ontario that we really want to invest in. That's why the Premier, Premier McGuinty brought in the 'Reaching Higher Plan', the largest investment in universities and colleges in more than forty years, 6.2 billion over five years," said Bentley.
"For those students who don't have enough money to go we've brought in the 'up front tuition grants'. Sixty thousand students will get 'up front tuition grants'. We've improved the "Student Assistance Program". We've taken steps to actually reduce the amount of the student debt," adds Bentley.
"By the way, do you know Leon Tretjakewitsch?" I was asked by Bentley. He added,"He's a good friend." Tretjakewitsch was the guest speaker at last year's Estonian Central Council and the Consulate's Independence Day Reception.
"I've known Chris Bentley for decades. They're from London, he's very bright," said Tretjakewitsch.
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