Finance Minister Bill Morneau visits Guelph to talk business, education

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks with officials at the Guelph YMCA on Thursday. Matt Carty / Global News

Canada’s federal finance minister Bill Morneau made a trip to Guelph on Thursday and addressed several issues impacting the community.

Morneau sat down with local business leaders and made stops at the YMCA, along with University of Guelph, where he held a town hall discussion with students.

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In a one-on-one interview with 1460 CJOY, Morneau said it’s important that he and the federal government hear from students.

“It’s really important for us to understand not only how people are doing as a student, but to understand their aspirations for the future and how we can ensure that we create a path for them to a successful job,” he said.

Morneau was also asked about Guelph boasting the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

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He said it’s a success story, but it also presents challenges for businesses.

“What we need to think about is how we help people get the skills and training to be ready for the next job,” he said, while noting more can be done by the government when it comes to apprenticeships.

“We’re trying to create paths for people into apprenticeships,” Morneau said. “We’re looking to ensure we have the access to information so people can know that those are big opportunities.”

Morneau was also asked about public transportation around the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, also known as the Innovation Corridor for its strong economic output.

He said Ottawa is hoping to work with the province to ensure two-way, all-day GO Transit on the Kitchener line becomes a reality.

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“What I can say for sure is the federal government will be standing ready with the funding,” Morneau said.

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Morneau’s visit was the second of three visits from federal cabinet ministers this week.

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan was in town on Monday, announcing funding for genomics research at the University of Guelph.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains will be at the university on Friday.

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