Mr. Speaker, there has been a national outcry in response to the government's decision to slash $17.7 million in federal funding for regional and local literacy programs. These devastating cuts will force literacy organizations across Canada to close their doors.
This is not the only blow delivered to literacy by the government. The Conservatives have also cut $17 million from the workplace skills strategy, which has a key focus on literacy and employability.
The government has cancelled the $3.5 billion set aside by the previous Liberal government for labour market partnership agreements with the provinces, which focused on increasing workplace training in several areas, including literacy and essential skills.
Basic education and skills are critical for Canadians trying to access employment and earn advancement on the job.
These cuts are a step backwards in our ability to meet the literacy challenges of Canadians and to build the kind of workforce our country needs.