Trudeau predicts federal-provincial friction over Budget 2013

The issue of job training will create conflict between the Conservative government and the provinces


John Woods/CP

Justin Trudeau, the prohibitive favourite to win the leadership of the federal Liberal party next month, says the new federal budget’s plan for training sets the stage for a friction between the Conservative government and the provinces over job training.

A centrepiece of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget is a plan he says will “transform” the way Canadians are trained, by establishing a new “Canada Jobs Grant.” Under the plan, Ottawa would provide up to $5,000 for an employee being trained on the job, as long as the employer and the province each put up an equal amount.

But the jobs grant plan calls for the renegotiation of existing Labour Market Agreements with the provinces in 2014. Flaherty said $200 million a year would still be earmarked for programs the provinces run on their own, like job counselling and job-hunting services, but $300 million would flow to the new grants.

Trudeau told reporters in the foyer of the House that he expects provinces to rankle against Ottawa taking a more active role in training—especially since Harper hasn’t met formally with the premiers since the fall of 2008.

“We have a government that over the past number of years has completely removed itself from any sort of productive relationship with all provincial premiers,” he said.

In fact, Harper’s disinclination to hold First Ministers’ meetings is only part of the story of often chilly relations between his government and the provinces. For example, Flaherty stunned provincial finance ministers at a meeting in Victoria in late 2011 by delivering major changes to health transfers without inviting any negotiations on the matter.

Given that history, Trudeau suggested the Conservative government will find the provinces suspicious of  the new training scheme. “We have a situation where they are hinging an awful lot on a capacity to do something they haven’t been very good at over the past years of their mandate, which is figure out to work with the provinces to the benefit of all Canadians.”

Early reaction had some provincial politicians voicing criticism of the federal jobs grants concept. Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa says he feared provinces will lose flexibility over how they spend federal transfers for training.


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Trudeau predicts federal-provincial friction over Budget 2013

  1. Oh I think that’s guaranteed….and there won’t be much training going on during the fight.

  2. Now that Justin has the leadership of the Liberal party wrapped up…..after not
    spending too much time in Parliament since the first week in September.

    Maybe this is an opportunity to prove to the little guy that going to work is important….

    Take advantage of the government plan and get a real job…a trade……
    Welder,machinist,truck driver……….hey,how about……hairdresser?

    • Next thing you’ll be calling a self proclaimed “economist” a real job

      • Having the responsibility of being an MP and not being in Parliament

        since September working for his constituents apparently
        isn’t considered a “job” for Justin.

      • Harper peaked in the mailroom.

  3. Only Quebec will give trouble, so who cares except Trudeau and Mulcair.

    • Probably the thousands of workers elsewhere who need retraining for a job….?

      • And there’s nothing in the budget who says they won’t get it. Provinces and unions will have to cough a bit more. That’s all.

        • Don’t post comments when you’re not paying attention.

          • There’s a difference between reading what you want in a budget and reality.

          • And there’s a difference between your partisanship and reality.

          • Ah! No partisanship on your part of course.

          • I’m not a member of any party….haven’t been for years.

            Before that I was PC and then Reform/CA

            I’d like a totally new party….one suited to the 21st century

          • Seems to be what the CPC does all the time…

  4. Guess Trudeau skipped yesterday’s crucial vote on Bill C-279 so he could bone up on the wikipedia entry for economics. Watched budget proceedings today. Can’t believe Trudeau had the gall to upstage Bob Rae by fielding questions about the budget. Mind you CBC is just as much to blame; it’s now pretty clear who CBC will be cheerleading for. They couldn’t keep their cameras off Trudeau and went to him before interim LPC leader Bob Rae.

    The good news is that Trudeau revealed himself to be completely out of his depth. He was uncomfortable, he was inarticulate, and he was ill-informed.

    Still, at some point, the MSM has to step up and realize that it actually plays a crucial role in democracy in informing the citizenry and in holding the government to account.

    • Well put. It blows my mind that people automatically assume that he is some sort of political wizard. In fact I expected much more from him based on his political pedigree but so far he has been less than impressive to say the least.

  5. Remember when Jack speared Iggy when he said “… if you want to be PM of Canada you should show because you can’t get a promotion if you don’t show up on the job..”.

    I wonder if Mulcair has that line polished up for Justin when he finally decides to show up in the HoCs but only as the Liberal leader.

    • Comrade Trudeau is too busy campaigning for PM and making paid appearances to bother showing up for work

    • It’s not likely to be the humdinger it was aginst ignatieff who simply wasn’t aware of the time honoured retort “I haven’t been hiding away in Ottawa but I’ve been out in the country, coast to coast, talking to average Canadians etc. etc.”

    • Jack didn’t say the whole truth though, those absences were mostly during the private member’s bills. They are optional and you can assign another MP to vote for you.

  6. Why are we constantly listening to the inane pontifications of a largely inexperienced MP who always appears to be out of his league? The guy hasn’t even won his parties leadership race and yet the lame stream media insists on making him out to be a political wizard who is already a PM with 2 decades of political experience. All I have heard out of Trudeau up to this point is a constant criticism of others yet he has largely offered up no identifiable ideas or policies of his own.

    During his rants about these federal/provincial matters Trudeau is conveniently ignoring the fact that the Ontario Liberal party has set up exactly ZERO job training programs in Ontario in the last 10 years. The Liberal party in Ontario has amounted to a sad joke when it comes to job creation and job training. It was also Liberal Paul Martin who dumped billions of debt onto the provinces on the way to tabling his smoke and mirrors budget which caused the huge rift between the provinces and the federal government in the first place.

  7. Who is this hypocrite
    Trudeau? What does he really stand for?

    “Let me say
    very clearly that I support Bill 101,” Trudeau said Thursday.

    “It is a
    reality that helps Quebec remain mainly French in a bilingual
    country. If we want Canada to
    remain bilingual — and I want it — we need to understand that Quebec must remain
    primarily francophone.” Justin

    “Canada isn’t doing well right now
    because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It
    doesn’t work,” Trudeau said in French to interviewer Patrick Lagace on the
    Tele-Quebec program Les francs-tireurs (The Straight

    Lagace then asked Trudeau
    if he thought Canada was “better served when there
    are more Quebecers in charge than Albertans?”
    Trudeau replied: “I’m a Liberal, so of course I think so, yes.
    Certainly when we look at the great prime ministers of the 20th century, those
    that really stood the test of time, they were MPs from
    Quebec… This country – Canada
    – it belongs to us.”

    Trudeau specifically
    named prime ministers Pierre Trudeau, Chretien and Paul Martin but also included
    Progressive Conservative Mulroney on his list of great Quebec prime ministers of
    the last century.

    “I always say that
    if, at a given time, I
    believed that Canada was really the Canada of
    Stephen Harper, and that we were
    going against abortion, that we were going
    against gay marriage, that we were
    moving backwards in 10,000 different ways,
    maybe I would think of wanting to
    make Quebec a country,” when the interviewer asked
    for clarification he replied
    “Oh yes, absolutely. If I no longer recognized
    Canada, I know my own
    values very
    well.” Justin Trudeau

    .” ….Given these facts,
    should French-speaking people concentrate their efforts on Quebec or take the whole of Canada
    as their base? In my opinion, they should do both; and for the purpose they
    could find no better instrument than federalism”, Pierre

    Justin Trudeau
    supports the racist, bigoted, xenophobic bill 101. Yes he supports a French only
    Kebec (proper native spelling) and forced french “bilingualism” all over the
    country, nice eh? Just like a daddy a French first, Kebec first bigot,
    hypocrite, from the province of the Qlue Qlux Qlan. Get back to the tax and
    spend, have not, high debt, socialist province of Kebec and shut up you parasite Trudeau,
    yes Kebec where you fit right in.

  8. It seems that Trudeau’s simply against progress. I guess nothing with the provinces, in his view, can ever change. The federal government should simply write whatever checks the premiers want without any strings attached. It’s exactly the same as his “policy” on Senate reform, which is simply to appoint Liberal senators. This guy is proving to be way out of his league.

    • You didn’t read the story correctly, he said the conservatives will have trouble with the provinces because they never advise them of anything. Everything comes as a surprise and they never get their input on anything. I think working with the provinces would be a step in the right direction.

      • There are no surprises coming from the federal government. Some premier’s might feign shock, but it’s all for show. The federal government has said it will not decrease transfers to provinces. If the provinces can make a legitimate case for increased funding, I’m sure the feds would be willing to listen.

        But these so-called “negotiations” that happened in the past were simply a media spectacle. When the provinces come begging to Ottawa for a bailout for some provincial responsibility, there should be no negotiation, they’re lucky they get anything from the feds.

        • I disagree, there not much cooperation going on between the federal and provincial level and it’s a shame because it would help a lot. It’s not all show (some is), there is a big gap between these two level of government.

          • Oh, cooperation would be great. But that’s not what the provinces are looking for. They want to retain full autonomy over their responsibilities, yet they expect the federal government to cut bigger and bigger checks each year with zero accountability. They, essentially, want the federal government to take all the political heat that comes with taxation, but want to reap all the political benefits that come from spending. It would be a disaster.

          • I think you are being cynical. For all their posturing the provincial PMs still get the job done. Of course there are challenges but that’s part of being the PM of Canada, if Harper is unable to do that then he should step down and let someone who is willing and able to take a shot at mending fences.

  9. I see the standard swipes being taken and nothing pertinent to the actual article. Conservative partisans with google alerts on for “Trudeau” one must presume.

    • Indeed. This man-love masked as a hate-on by CPC trolls is really tiring.

    • So you are saying that the Liberals love him, and that he has been doing a great job? You think that he has proven that he is leadership material?

  10. The Vapid Shiny Pony speaks and road apples result.

  11. And he wonders why only 43% of fiberals registered, to vote for a new joke of a leader. Keep snorting, Justin, and do your mom and pop proud. If brains were water, he’s be a dessert.

    • If you were expecting for 100% of people from Facebook who clicked on a like button to register to vote you need to get back to reality. If you disagree with him that’s fine, but your insults are pretty childish. I find that Harper should indeed be working with the provinces. He hasn’t joined any of the province PM meetings that were scheduled, and I’m not sure why. It’s a great time to talk to them to work together on projects.

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