Expended Canada Summer Jobs program good for employers

General Manager of Historic Hat Creek Ranch hopes plan's expansion means another summer student for the site.

Barbara Roden

The Journal

The Government of Canada has announced that it is doubling the number of summer jobs for students, by doubling funding for the Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJ) to $220 million a year over the next three years. The new funding will help expand the number of youth who can be hired from just over 34,000 in 2015 to up to 70,000 this summer.

That’s good news for Don Pearse, General Manager of Historic Hat Creek Ranch (HHCR). “We usually apply for two students under the CSJ program every year, and get one student every other year,” he notes. The CSJ pays 50% of the student’s wages (the program pays 100% of the wages for anyone hired by a not-for-profit employer).

The program is for youth aged 15–30 who will return to school in the next school year. It also helps employers create summer job opportunities that focus on priorities in their community. In the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding, the emphasis is on jobs in recreation, agriculture, parks, culture, and heritage.

“Employers in our riding—from both large and small communities—have a proven track record of receiving funding,” says Jati Sidhu, MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon. “I encourage all local not-for-profit organizations, small businesses, and public sector employees to apply for the CSJ program—and please reach out to my office if you need any assistance with the application.”

Pearse says he’ll definitely be applying again this year. “It would be very nice to get two students,” he says, noting that HHCR has always focused on First Nations youth in the area, many of whom are looking for work. “We’re looking for FN interpreters for the site,” says Pearse, adding that getting an employee under the CSJ program is a great benefit.

“It allows us to hire an additional person at half the cost, and allows other workers to have flexibility in their hours.

“It also gives us an opportunity to recruit future employees. If a student works out well, we tell them we’d like to see them next year.”

The deadline for employers to apply for the CSJ program is March 11. For further information, or to apply, go to www.servicecanada.gc.ca/csj. To contact Sidhu’s office, call toll free 1-866-599-4999, or e-mail jati.sidhu@parl.gc.ca.

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