Garfield Dunlop MPP
- Category: February/March 2012
- Published on Friday, 27 January 2012 00:00
Apprenticeship reform: Ontario urgently needs to catch up with the rest of the country when it comes to producing skilled trade’s people to help kick-start the province’s faltering economy. As the Progressive Conservative Critic for Apprenticeship Reform, I am starting this new year with a series of meetings with stakeholders who are concerned with the current apprenticeship system, the College of Trades and any other issues surrounding the trades in Ontario.
Key to our plan is changing Ontario’s antiquated apprenticeship ratio system that requires businesses to employ three, four or even five journeymen to train a single apprentice.
Most provinces are well ahead of Ontario when it comes to lowering their apprenticeship ratios: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta all have lower ratios of apprentices to journeymen. Our plan would lower that ratio to one-to-one, while delegating more responsibility to Ontario colleges for matching apprentices up with employers. The result would be 200,000 new skilled trades’ jobs – from sheet metal workers to plumbers to electricians.
Other elements of the PC plan to tackle Ontario’s jobs, spending and debt crisis include: a mandatory public sector wage freeze, so government employees share in the sacrifices their private sector counterparts are making every day; a top-to-bottom review of all spending areas to find efficiencies; a full examination of what services government should, and should not provide, and what better delivery mechanisms are available; fixing a broken public sector salary arbitration system and a package of job creation measures, including lowered businesses taxes and a rollback of needless regulations.
Fundraisers planned in the area: I would like to take this opportunity to remind readers of North Simcoe Community News about my 12th Annual Charity Pancake Breakfast. The event will take place on Saturday February 4, 2012 at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 32 in Orillia. The breakfast runs from 8 am until 12 noon. The cost is $5 per plate ($3 for children under 12). All proceeds go to Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. Also please circle Friday March 2, 2012 on your calendar. That is the date of the Sixth Annual Lasagna Dinner at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre. We will have three sittings: 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30 pm. Proceeds go to the Wye Marsh. For information on either fundraising event please call my Orillia office at 705-326-3246 or 1-800-304-7341.