Pillar Members Call on Government to Refund & Reform Canada Summer Jobs

LONDON, Ontario, October 18, 2023 -- Pillar and 28 of its member organizations have made a submission to a government committee calling for the reversal of planned cuts to Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) and a number of other improvements to the wage subsidy program that helps nonprofits deliver community benefits while supporting youth employment.

Pillar is grateful for this opportunity to being our members' concerns to the attention of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) in its "study of the Canada Summer Jobs wage subsidy program, and ways it could be modified to improve funding and flexibility for applicants."

Together, we've urged HUMA, following this study, to recommend that the government:

  1. Reverse planned funding cuts to the Canada Summer Jobs program and commit to an increase in Budget 2024 to allow for
    1. A greater number of funded positions for nonprofit organizations
      1. to create more opportunities for young people to acquire nonprofit workforce skills; and
      2. in recognition that the current economic outlook does not support a ‘return to normal,’ especially for the nonprofit sector.
    2. Give greater consideration of longer term appointments when requested, to ensure quality experiences and good community outcomes;
    3. Support living wage employment; and
  2. Improve program administration and communication, including
    1. More proactive and transparent communication of CSJ funding projections to employers;
    2. Earlier decision making and review timelines to allow for earlier notification of employers;
    3. Elimination of the requirement that employers rank their applications by priority.

We note especially that when nonprofits participate in the CSJ program, it delivers benefit to the employer organizations and young employees, but also to the community at large and to governments. It also operates as a nonprofit workforce development strategy, one of very few government initiatives that help young people to develop the critical skills that are needed to ensure a strong and resilient nonprofit workforce as part of the future of work.

Find our full collective submission here.


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