Both agreements are the mechanism by which Canada entrusts responsibility and funding for employment services to the provinces and territories. They define the rules under which provincial programming operates across Canada on issues such as client eligibility, type of programming, reporting and coordination. The agreements are largely equal from province to province. Over the past year, the LMDA, originally negotiated in 1996, has been amended and updated and the WDA has been designed to consolidate and replace three small labour market agreements. Changes to labour market transfer agreements were announced last fall at the Labour Market Ministers` Forum. Once the broader federal and provincial parameters of the agreements have been defined, each province will be free to implement its employment planning through the governance mechanism it has defined. BC is the most “marketed” of any province in Canada and chooses to provide virtually all investment programs through third-party contracts with for-profit and not-for-profit investment service providers. BC is also unique in Canada in the allocation of federal funds across departments, with the provincial Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Control responsible for the management of the LMDA, while the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Training is responsible for the WDA. In the area of the Employment Development Agreement (WDA), the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training consulted on ways to reconfigure their programming, taking into account the additional flexibility and resources currently available through the WDA. British Columbia received $114 million in federal funding each year through the WDA, a slight increase in 2013/14 endowments to BC under the three previous labour market transfer agreements.
The WDA provides for an automatic waiver of tuition fees for invited students. Both the program and course fees are waived. Graduates who pay normal tuition fees at their home institution do not pay tuition fees for the course authorized at the host institution. Students may be required to pay student activities, applications or other incidental fees at the host institution, in accordance with general guidelines in place at the host institution. Where possible, these fees will also be re-discounted. For more information, see wcdgs.ca/western-deans-agreement.html a downloadable form is available on this website. The Western Deans agreement is a long-standing agreement between Athabasca University, University of Alberta, Brandon University, University of British Columbia, University of British Columbia Institute of Technology, University of Calgary, Concordia University College, University of Lethbridge, University of Manitoba, University of Regina, Royal Roads University, University of Saskatchewan, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Thompson Rivers University, University of British Columbia, University of British Columbia (University of Okanagan), University of Fraser Valley and University of Winnegip.