Ottawa, February 5, 2008
2008-010

Archived - Legislation to Speed Up Support to Vulnerable Communities Receives Unanimous Consent in Parliament

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today introduced Bill C-41 in Parliament, which was unanimously adopted at all stages. Upon receiving Royal Assent, this legislation will allow $1 billion in federal funding to begin flowing to struggling communities through the Community Development Trust recently announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"Vulnerable communities have made it clear that this funding will make a real and lasting difference in addressing economic hardship caused by a shifting global economic landscape," said Minister Flaherty. "They have also expressed the need to receive this assistance in a timely fashion, which is why the Government of Canada made the timely adoption of Bill C-41 a priority for this parliamentary session."

As explained by Prime Minister Harper in his January 2008 announcement, the targeted support is for single-industry towns suffering from major downturns, as well as communities facing chronic high unemployment or layoffs across a range of sectors.

Among other things, funding could support job training to create opportunities for workers, community transition plans that foster economic development and create new jobs, and infrastructure development that stimulates economic diversification.

The Government is working with provinces and territories to publicly identify priorities for using the resources made available through the Community Development Trust. A base payment of $10 million will be allocated to each eligible province and $3 million to each eligible territory. The balance of funding will be allocated on a per capita basis. The funds are to be provided from the 2007-08 budgetary surplus. Provinces and territories will be able to draw their share of the funds over a three-year period.

More information on the Community Development Trust is available at www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=1959.

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Chisholm Pothier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
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Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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