The McGuinty government has quietly suspended aid to help the unemployed start a business while it reviews ways to extend its “Second Career” long-term retraining program for workers laid off in the recession.
No new applications are being accepted for the self-employment benefit program, which helps about 3,000 people on unemployment insurance annually with $61.9 million in funding.
“It certainly provides a service but I’ll be candid — the resources are finite and we have a huge demand,” Training, Colleges and Universities Minister John Milloy said yesterday.
He noted that Ontario auditor general Jim McCarter last year raised questions about the program’s effectiveness in part because of a lack of consistent criteria for acceptance of applicants across the province.
“We want to make sure we’re helping those most in need,” said Milloy.