Letter from the Assistant Deputy Minister to the EO network: Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG)

April 29, 2016

Dear Employment Ontario Service Providers:

I am writing to update you on the status of the 2016-17 budget allocation changes for Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) administrative costs.

The ministry appreciates the challenges entailed by the reduction of the administrative funding for the COJG. As was explained in this February 10, 2016 memo, the Canada-Ontario Job Fund Agreement (JFA) outlines the terms of the COJG, along with the total investment for the program. It states the maximum amount for program administration costs is 15% for the first two years (2014–15 to 2015–16), and 10% for the remaining four years (2016–17 to 2019–20) of the agreement.

In response to concerns raised by provinces and territories, the federal government recently indicated willingness to make some changes to the COJG; however, the federal government has opted not to address the issue of administrative funding.

Please be assured that the ministry has been working to encourage the federal government to change this parameter of the JFA. As was discussed at Service Delivery Advisory Group (SDAG) on March 8, 2016, we want to ensure that your views are reflected as we discuss these issues with the federal government, and we encourage you to contact Employment and Social Development Canada to share your thoughts and concerns as well.

The Ontario government will continue to raise the issue as part of its broader effort to work with the federal government to improve the federal-provincial labour market arrangements to ensure that they work better to serve the needs of Ontarians.

As you may be aware, the federal government committed in its 2016 budget to consultations with provinces, territories and stakeholders to improve the labour market arrangements. We anticipate that these consultations will be beginning shortly.

Ontario is interested in engaging in a broad conversation with the federal government regarding all labour market funding to be able to address our key issues:

  • The need to make sure that client eligibility and programs align with Ontario’s labour market realities: the current arrangements constrain our ability to serve those who need the most support.
  • The importance of not duplicating programs and the confusion that can be faced by clients in the current system.
  • Fairer funding for Ontario: the Labour Market Development Agreement is the largest federal transfer to provinces for employment and training. Ontario receives only 29% of national funding under that agreement, despite having 39% of Canada’s population.

You may also be interested to know, that in the spirit of continuous improvement and ongoing program evaluation, the ministry has reduced administrative tasks and streamlined the application approval process by:

  • Adding a calculation function to the COJG landing page to provide employers with an estimate of their contribution requirements.
  • Revising the COJG Training Provider onsite monitor requirements to allow alternative monitoring methods in some cases (based on training provider type and total government funding requested).
  • Developing an assessment tool to help manage employer expectations and streamline approval processes.
  • Increasing functionality in EOIS-CaMS so users can capture the tier corresponding to approved COJG applications.
  • Reducing the employer and trainee follow-up requirements as of April 1, 2016 with a continued focus on the importance of timely completion by Service Providers.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for your continued efforts to make this program a success. If you have any questions, please contact your local ministry office.


Original signed by

David Fulford
Assistant Deputy Minister
Employment and Training Division