For Immediate Release
March 29, 2012
LIBERAL MINISTER TREATS ONTARIO WORKERS AS APRIL FOOLS & INSULTS HIS CRITIC
Dunlop advocates ending restrictions on becoming a tradesperson
(Queen’s Park) – Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop, Opposition Critic for Apprenticeship Reform questioned the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities as to why he is keeping Ontarians in the dark. He has not provided details on his plans to continue restrictions stopping young Ontarians from entering high paying skilled trades.
“As of today, the McGuinty Liberals have not published the criteria by which they will be continuing to restrict Ontarians access to the trades,” said Dunlop. “Yet, as of April 1st, the Ontario College of Trades will officially start a public review. It looks like only the insiders and special interests can win this game.”
On April 1st, The Ontario College of Trades will start reviewing the rules that prevent young Ontarians from becoming tradespeople - these are also known as “apprenticeship ratios”. Currently, Ontario has the highest apprenticeship ratios in Canada.
“The current journeyperson to apprentice ratio represents a significant road block for small employers being able to hire and train apprentices,” added Doug Tarry, President of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. “The home building and professional renovation industry supports a 1:1 across-the-board ratio for all construction trades. This would put us in line with the majority of provinces and bring our apprenticeship system into the 21st century.”
In beginning of his response, the Minister personally insulted MPP Garfield Dunlop by stating he has a form of “dyslexia”.
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Attached: Transcript from Hansard
For more information:
Garfield Dunlop, MPP
Mr. Garfield Dunlop: My question today is for the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. Minister, we’re less than a week away from your College of Trades making critical decisions on apprenticeship ratios and mandatory certification that will directly impact jobs here in Ontario and the ability for Ontario citizens to have a career in the trades. It is clear that your process has been completely secretive. Minister, can you explain why you are keeping thousands of employers in the dark and not providing details on your plan that will kill thousands of jobs here in Ontario?
Hon. Glen R. Murray: I think the member opposite must have some political dyslexia. The only government that held back apprenticeships in the modern history of Ontario was his party, in power, which was generating a total of 60,000 people in the apprenticeships and trades, compared to 120,000 today.
I’m tempted to ask the member opposite, given their appalling record in government and their failure, when they will apologize to the people of Ontario for holding back Ontario for about 20 years in a broken system that didn’t work, where it was big government telling business and labour how to run businesses and how to do training.
Mr. Speaker, we not only have 120,000 people in our trades and apprenticeships—and I want to congratulate those hard-working students—we have 30,000 people right now adding every year.
Right now, I would invite every member of the Conservative—
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you.
Stop the clock, please. Because of some of the heckling, I wasn’t quite sure of what I heard, but I think I did hear something that I did not find appropriate in this House, so I’ll ask the member to withdraw.
Hon. Glen R. Murray: I withdraw, whatever it was.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I will not hear other comments while I’m speaking.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): The member from Durham.
Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Thank you for that answer, Minister. You’re the gift that just keeps on giving.
Minister, I’ve heard from stakeholders representing thousands of concerned employers and employees that would like to have an opportunity to present their cases to the College of Trades. It’s fairly simple. You know full well that the governance of your college is biased and completely unbalanced.
Minister, you say that the College of Trades is open, transparent and accountable. Then, why do you continue to keep these hard-working Ontarians in the dark and not provide the details, process or criteria on how they can have a say on the future of their jobs?
Hon. Glen R. Murray: I take that as high praise from the member opposite—I am the gift that keeps on giving; as a matter of fact, what I’m giving are invitations.
You’ll remember, Mr. Speaker, I invited every member opposite to join us for a reception with the College of Trades where business leaders, board members, their former colleague Mr. Ron Johnson—a former Conservative member—to come and join us to learn about that. These people volunteered several hours of their time to answer all the questions very transparently; not one member of the party opposite showed up.
Since I would like to keep on giving, let me send another invitation to the members opposite. Today at the Ex, there are 7,000 young people, the businesses and trades, for building our future. You will meet 8,000 young people going into apprenticeships and every business leader—