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OTTAWA, ONTARIO (November 5, 2013) – On behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Parliamentary Secretary Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, delivered a keynote address at the opening of Aboriginal Entrepreneurs Conference and Tradeshow 2013.
“Increasing Aboriginal participation in the economy is the most effective way to improve the well-being and quality of life of Aboriginal people in Canada and that is why the Harper Government is dedicated to finding solutions so that Aboriginal youth have the same opportunities as all Canadians,” said Minister Valcourt. “We are therefore committed to supporting events like this conference, which create opportunities for Aboriginal businesses to interact with other entrepreneurs, corporate Canada and governments.”
The theme of this year’s conference — Accelerating Change Through Business Partnerships — emphasizes that through partnerships and targeted investments in community infrastructure, education and training, together we continue to build the conditions for young Aboriginal people to find and keep jobs.
“Our Government’s top priority is to create jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity; that’s why we are pleased to have concluded an agreement in principle on a Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement with the European Union that will be beneficial for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians in every region of the country,” said Parliamentary Secretary Strahl.
As announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada will work with First Nations to improve the on-reserveIncome Assistance Program to help ensure First Nation youth between the ages of 18 and 24 can access the skills and training they need to secure employment.
Strengthening Aboriginal entrepreneurship is a key priority in the Government of Canada’s Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development.
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