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Minister Bergen launches new call for proposals to help Canadians with disabilities obtain jobs

Organizations invited to apply for funding under reformed Opportunities Fund

OTTAWA, Dec. 1, 2014 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, addressed the Fifth Annual Forum on Inclusion in Ottawa, just days ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities which occurs on December 3.

Minister Bergen spoke about the fact that there are many working-age Canadians who are ready and able to work, yet they remain unemployed. Fulfilling a Budget 2013 commitment, Minister Bergen announced reforms to the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to better connect these Canadians with jobs.

The Opportunities Fund is being strengthened in support of three key goals:

  • to better support youth;
  • to increase the amount of practical, hands-on work experience that comes from these projects; and
  • to better target in-demand jobs.

In addition, the Minister launched a call for proposals for national projects and invited eligible organizations in all provinces and territories to submit their proposals before January 30, 2015.

Information on how to apply can be found at:

Over the past years, the Government of Canada has repeatedly taken action to strengthen programs for Canadians with disabilities through the renewal of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, the creation and renewal of the Enabling Accessibility Fund and the introduction of the Registered Disability Savings Plan. Budget 2014 also proposes investments for the Ready, Willing & Able initiative and CommunityWorks Canada to increase the employment readiness of Canadians with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Quick Facts

  • According to Statistics Canada, about 3.8 million Canadians (13.7 percent) reported having a disability in 2012.
  • The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities helps people prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self-employment. Since 2006, the Opportunities Fund has helped over 39,600 Canadians.
  • The Government of Canada is inviting organizations to apply for funding through the Opportunities Fund for national projects that will increase employment opportunities for Canadians with disabilities. The call for proposals, which opened on December 1, gives eligible organizations the opportunity to submit proposals until January 30, 2015.


“Our government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians who have the ability to contribute their skills and talents to our workforce have the opportunity to do so. We’re fulfilling our commitment to strengthen the Opportunities Fund so Canadians with various abilities are better connected and trained for the jobs available.”
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development

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