Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced that the National Unattached Youth Programme will now be absorbed under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) project, targeting a total of 12,600 youth across Jamaica in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.Making his contribution to the 2018/2019 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 20), Mr. Holness said the move will double the number of young people engaged.“We will engage 200 per constituency, targeting a total of 12,600 young people to be now attached and contributing to the productivity of our nation,” he noted.Also under HOPE, 500 young people will be placed at the Ministry of Health in the Vector Control Corps and Medical Assistant Corps and 6,000 placed across ministries, departments and agencies in the Documentation and Digitisation Corps in keeping with the policy of digitising government.In addition, 1,000 interns will be placed at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries as part of the Verification and Audit Corps, to conduct surveys and registration and to ensure the accuracy of the farmer and agriculture database; and over 1,000 young people will be deployed in the Hospitality Service Corps and the Transportation Cadet Corps across various projects.“All ministries are on board and budgetary allocations made accordingly to ensure that adequate funding is in place. In addition, HOPE has secured $60 million through the Development Bank of Jamaica to increase training and placement islandwide,” Mr. Holness said.He noted, further, that the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) has benefited from more than $28 million from the CHASE Fund to digitise its archives, which contain video footage, photographs and audio files compiled over decades.This project will employ persons from the HOPE programme, who will be trained in media archive management skills and intellectual property management.“The exposure given to young people under the HOPE project allows them to build life skills and the positive attitudes of good citizens. We want to maximise the potential of all our young people and provide opportunities for them to self-actualise,” Mr. Holness said.He added, “It is the intention of the Government to provide more opportunities to set our young people on the path to achieving prosperity. Now, more than ever, more unattached youth are being engaged in meaningful ways and increasing their productivity.”HOPE is the flagship social intervention and support programme of the Government.It focuses on targeted assistance with housing, education, training and economic opportunities, support for persons in productive activities in communities and engagement towards sustained employment.A critical strategy of the HOPE programme is the engagement of unattached youth through a system of apprenticeship and national service called LEGS, which involves learning and earning while giving service and saving. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced that the National Unattached Youth Programme will now be absorbed under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) project, targeting a total of 12,600 youth across Jamaica in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. “We will engage 200 per constituency, targeting a total of 12,600 young people to be now attached and contributing to the productivity of our nation,” he noted. Story Highlights Also under HOPE, 500 young people will be placed at the Ministry of Health in the Vector Control Corps and Medical Assistant Corps and 6,000 placed across ministries, departments and agencies in the Documentation and Digitisation Corps in keeping with the policy of digitising government.
OTTAWA – As the devastating floodwaters recede in Ontario and Quebec, the key to preventing a similar disaster in future is to avoid making the mistakes that led to problems in the first place, says Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.The philosophy of “build back better” will be on the agenda when Goodale next meets his provincial and territorial counterparts, to better ensure cities are protected from what he says is a very real peril in climate change.“I think there will be an appetite to actually grasp this, because the pace at which these issues are arising is clearly accelerating — one of the consequences we believe of the phenomenon of climate change,” Goodale said.He pointed to flooding in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta in the last four years, as well as ice storms in New Brunswick and last year’s wildfire in Fort McMurray.“There’s a pattern here and it behooves us all to take this seriously.”Getting better information is a key to building safer cities, he added.Officials are working on updates to national floodplain maps to help local officials make better decisions about where to build. The work comes almost a year after the federal environment commissioner warned that the maps had not been properly updated in 20 years.The federal government has pledged cash for risk assessments and new infrastructure construction, hoping to nudge cities into making better decisions about what projects they need and how badly they need them done.As well, this year’s federal budget earmarked $2 billion in infrastructure funding over 11 years, most of it to be spent after 2021, to help disaster-proof communities. A further $281 million over 11 years is set aside to help communities adapt to climate change.Federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi wants communities to release any maps or data about flooding concerns in their communities in order to help themselves and residents make better decisions about building in flood-prone areas.Internal government reports show that some municipal leaders have been wary about mapping — and publicizing — flood risks, even going so far as to turn down free mapping tools. Documents obtained by The Canadian Press show the concerns revolve around whether the information, once public, will reduce property values, increase a municipality’s legal liability and lead to a political backlash from voters.Sohi acknowledged that releasing the information is controversial in some municipalities, but it’s the only way homeowners will be able to decide how to protect their properties.“It’s the biggest investment people make and they want to make sure it’s properly protected,” Sohi said Wednesday.“I think withholding information doesn’t help in that situation. I know it’s risky, it’s very controversial.”A spokesman for Sohi later said it is up to individual cities to decide whether to release the information, not the federal government, and doing so won’t be tied to requirements for any government infrastructure programs.Federal infrastructure funds can’t move to cities until provinces sign funding agreements, a process that could take months.The long timeline for spending could be a problem for municipalities that could use the help sooner, said NDP infrastructure critic Matthew Dube.“Communities are — and what we’re seeing now is proof of that and what we will continue to see — in desperate need of having those dollars,” Dube said, referring to flooding in Ontario and Quebec.Conservative MP Tony Clement said the government has to come up with a better policy in regards to flood planning, including how to target infrastructure dollars.“I have yet to see any of that infrastructure money go out, but certainly part of that infrastructure money should go to flood planning so that we can alleviate these situations in the future,” Clement said.— Follow @jpress on Twitter