Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota
Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota is accusing the Conservative government of mismanaging the Canada Student Jobs program, and is demanding that the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development take immediate action to resolve the issue. “Over the last several days, the Harper government has shown complete and utter incompetence in the way it has handled the Canada Student Jobs program,” says Mr. Rota. “As the Minster responsible for overseeing this program, Monte Solberg has plenty of explaining to do.”
Over the past week or so, several not for profit groups and community organizations throughout Nipissing-Timiskaming who had applied for funding through the Canada Student Jobs Program were sent rejection letters. Then, as pressure mounted on the government to review these decisions, several previously rejected applicants received partial funding.
While Mr. Rota is pleased that some groups and organizations in his riding have been approved for funds, he says that the number of applicants being considered and how these decisions are being made is still unclear. According to Mr. Rota, “The government refuses to outline how many of these rejections will be reversed, and how much funding they will receive.”
According to Mr. Rota, recent pressure by opposition parties to re-instate the $11 million that the Harper government cut from the Canada Student Jobs program has led to varied responses by several different Conservative caucus members. “When the issue was brought up in the House of Commons last week, Minister Solberg refused to admit that there were problems with the program,” says Mr. Rota. “Then, as criticism grew, Minister Thompson suggested that there would be changes to the way applications were handled, and MP Gerald Keddy was quoted in a newspaper saying that funding would increase by 15%.”
“The fact there are so many different and conflicting messages coming from the Government is troubling,” says Mr. Rota. “I am calling on Minister Solberg to end the confusion and indicate what actions he intends to take to correct the problem that he and his government created.”
Furthermore, Mr. Rota says that he will be submitting an Access to Information Request calling upon the Government to produce data indicating which groups were denied funding throughout Canada and how that data is broken down on a riding by riding basis, along with a riding by riding breakdown on the distribution of funding, to ensure that these have not been subject to political interference.