Atlantic Ministers concerned about the impacts of Federal Workforce Funding cuts on Atlantic Canadians

In light of the detrimental impact of the $625 million cut to Labour Market Transfer Agreements (LMTAs) on workers and employers, Atlantic Workforce Ministers met on June 6th, 2024 and are demanding the Federal Government reverse this cut. 

Federal Budget 2024 brought an unexpected reduction of $625 million in workforce development programs that help people find and maintain jobs in sectors facing critical labour shortages such as construction, early learning childcare, and healthcare. These programs support persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, women and newcomers, helping them to get the training and supports necessary to secure meaningful work, while also assisting employers to meet their labour demands.  

With this cut, LMTA funding will revert to pre-2017 levels at a time when inflationary costs continue to have profound impact on citizens. Provinces and Territories were not notified of this cut prior to the release of the Budget on April 16th, 2024. 

Coming mostly from the Employment Insurance (EI) account that Canadian workers and employers pay into, this decision means a $62.3 million annual reduction in funding for skills training and employment initiatives in Atlantic Canada. The federal government has yet to clarify where the funding taken from LMTAs is being spent. 

Atlantic Ministers highlighted the negative impact the cut to this funding will have on the 120,000 individuals and 8,500 employers and organizations that have benefitted annually from these programs throughout Atlantic Canada. Not restoring this funding will inevitably limit the region’s capacity to be responsive to current and emerging labour market opportunities and challenges. Ministers are committed to working together to ensure Atlantic Canadians have the programs and services they need to prosper here now and into the future.

Ministers also raised concern with the federal government’s misleading assertion that there are other funding sources to replace the cuts to LMTAs, such as claiming the introduction of capital gains revenues will allow provinces and territories to replace the $625 million in LMTA cuts. This statement is disingenuous, as the capital gains money will not be fully accessible until a year or longer. In the meantime, the future of essential LMTA programs and services that Canadians rely on remain in peril, with no resolution in sight.  

Atlantic Ministers remain resolute with all Provincial and Territorial Ministers that worker training is a national priority under Provincial-Territorial jurisdiction and continue to advocate fiercely for workers and employers.

Media contact:
Hillary Proctor
Department of Workforce, Advanced Learning and Population


Council of Atlantic Premiers communiqué; June 12, 2023

Council of the Federation communiqué; July 11, 2023

Letter from Council of Atlantic Premiers to Prime Minister; March 27, 2024

Letter from the Chair, Council of the Federation, to Prime Minister; April 18, 2024

News release – Provincial and Territorial Labour Ministers Call on Federal Government to Reinstate the $625 million in Labour Market Transfer Cuts in Budget 2024; April 23, 2024

News release – Provincial and Territorial Labour Market Ministers Continue to Call on Federal Government to Immediately Reinstate $625 Million Cut for Workforce Training; May 14, 2024


General Inquiries

Department of Workforce, Advanced Learning and Population
5th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-4250
Fax: 902-368-4242