By Rob South
On Monday, Jane Stewart, Minister of Human Resources Development Canada, decided to overturn the highly controversial decision by Calgary-West MP Rob Anders to reject applications for 83 Summer Career Placement jobs in his riding.
The government-subsidized positions were rejected in early May by Anders from a list of close to 200 jobs recommended for funding by HRDC. Anders does not understand the HRDC.’s decision to overturn all of his rejections.
"It’s upsetting, it makes you wonder why they were bothering to ask us in the first place," said Anders. "The waste of resources–bureaucrats’ time, my time, taxpayers’ money. This is mismanagement."
Several organizations at the University of Calgary are now going to receive funding for SCP positions that were initially rejected by Anders. The U of C Students’ Union lobbied Stewart to overturn Anders rejections and is pleased with both the decision and its timing.
"There is a very short time frame for students to find work, so it was important the decision came when it did," said SU President Toby White.
The need for SCP positions to create summer employment was questioned by Anders.
"Hire-A-Student in the city of Calgary is saying they do not have enough students for the jobs available, and then you have [Stewart] choosing to subsidize private industry."
Stewart believes her decision supports students and the desires of the local community.
"These projects enjoy strong backing from the local community and will give students career-related experience,"said Stewart. "That is why I supported them."
According to Anders, the feedback his office received was roughly 90 per cent in favour of his viewpoint.
HRDC. is contacting employers who will receive SCP funding because of Stewart’s decision.
"It has delayed the hiring," said Gerry Thompson, Director for HRDC. Calgary. "In some cases it has shortened the work experience period."