Questioning Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke candidates: Shari Lukens – Conservative

The Victoria News asked the candidates the following two questions about how to help young Canadians find work and international refugees.

  • Sep. 30, 2015 5:00 p.m.

Canada’s youth unemployment rate is at 13 per cent, what would your party do to help more young Canadians find work?

The Conservatives’ top priorities continue to be creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. We are working to connect Canadians, including young Canadians, with available jobs through various supports for apprentices, encouraging greater employer participation in skills training decisions and developing better labour market information. Enhancing access to post-secondary education enables more Canadians to acquire or upgrade their skills, contributing to a more productive and skilled labour force.

Economic Action Plan 2015 provided investments to enhance access to post-secondary education by removing financial barriers ­— $184 million over four years to allow eligibility for low- and middle-income Canada student grants for short-duration programs, and $119 million, starting in 2016-17, to reduce the expected parental contribution under the Canada Student Loans Program needs assessment process.

What should Canada’s role be in dealing with international refugees?

The Government of Canada acts quickly and appropriately to requests for assistance from countries facing disasters, conflicts, or acute food insecurity.

Canada’s response is the result of close co-operation among Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development humanitarian officers, Canadians in the field, representatives of other governments and international and Canadian humanitarian partners, such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Committee of the Red Cross and United Nations World Food Programme.

In response to the Syria crisis, Canada has agreed to resettle 11,300 Syrian refugees by the end of 2017 and 23,000 Iraqi refugees by the end of 2015. Canada has also committed to resettle 5,000 refugees who are now in Turkey by 2018. As of Sept. 1, 2015, more than 3,500 refugees from Syria and the region have been admitted to Canada.