Garfield Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North and PC Critic for Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Reform held a press conference Wednesday to bring attention to concerns relating to skilled trades. He was joined by Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey.
Bailey’s office said among the issues discussed were the apprenticeship system, compulsory certification, proposed membership fees for tradespeople and employers and the College of Trades.
“At a time when Ontario is experiencing a job crisis and a shortage of skilled trades, the McGuinty Liberals continue to put up road blocks, such as the new controversial membership fees soon to be imposed by the College of Trades on hard working tradespeople, and their decision not to change apprenticeship ratio,” said Bailey.
For the past ten months MPP Dunlop has been advocating for skilled trades and employers to have a voice at the Ontario College of Trades. On behalf of all tradespeople and employers across the province he has publicly opposed the onerous membership fees that the College of Trades has proposed.
MPP Dunlop, who himself is a plumber, is known to have championed skilled trades. He continues to advocate for reforms to the current skilled trades system to help create more jobs in Ontario.
“The work being done by those in the skilled trades, especially those workers right here in Sarnia, is central to the future success of our province. Garfield and I will continue to work with skilled trades stakeholders and advocate for appropriate changes to our current skilled trades system to remove barriers and help create more jobs in Ontario,” said Bailey.
The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition has launched a grassroots campaign to urge the Ontario government to shut down the Ontario College of Trades, and stop the trades’ tax.
The Ontario Ministry of Finance predicts that there will be over one million skilled job vacancies by 2021.
Under Dalton McGuinty’s watch, Ontario is said to be producing 46 per cent fewer skilled tradespeople (per capita) than the rest of Canada.
“Throughout my tour I have heard concerns about the McGuinty Liberals’ new trades’ tax which will be imposed on the backs of hard working tradespeople rather than taking needed action for job creation. Ontarians are slowly learning that the College of Trades is a huge boondoggle. Not only do these fees need to be scrapped so does the College of Trades,” said Dunlop.