More than 5,000 summer jobs are coming to the Lower Mainland this year through the Canada Summer Jobs program, including 221 on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, it was announced in South Surrey Monday morning.
Patty Hajdu, Canada’s minister of employment, workforce development and labour, made the announcement at Semiahmoo House Society, which is a summer-jobs program employer. Hajdu, the MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North in Ontario, was joined at the event by MP Gordie Hogg (South Surrey-White Rock) as well as a handful of Semiahmoo House Society ambassadors.
“I’m really excited about this program. I remember back when I was a teenager, and it was really hard to get a summer job,” Hajdu said.
“It was hard to get a job with a not-for-profit organization, or the city… the kind of jobs we know help young people build skills.
“This program is about making sure as many young people as possible have access to good quality summer jobs that are going to give them those fundamental job skills… and maybe even define their career.”
In total, the program will create more than 5,100 jobs across the Lower Mainland, the ministry noted.
Prior to making the official announcement, Hajdu took a private tour of Semiahmoo House Society’s facility, as well as the Chorus Apartments next door.
The 71-unit building, which was built in 2016, provides housing for those with disabilities, as well as those of low to moderate income.
Prior to Hajdu’s prepared remarks, it was noted that 17 of the 221 South Surrey/White Rock summer jobs would involve Semiahmoo House Society members.
The Canada Summer Jobs program was criticized earlier this year by churches and other religious organizations when it was announced by the federal Liberals that applicants to the program, in order to be considered, must attest to their respect for sexual and reproductive rights – including the right to access safe and legal abortions.
Following the outcry, the government adjusted the language of the clause – adding that faith-based organizations were welcome to apply – but stood firm on its decision to deny grants to groups advocating against abortion.