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June 1, 2012

Ontario MPP Garfield Dunlop completes skilled trades tour

TORONTO

Progressive Conservative critic for the skilled trades, Garfield Dunlop , recently toured Ontario visiting various trade associations to hear concerns related to the skilled trades.

Among the issues discussed were Ontario’s apprenticeship system, compulsory certification, proposed membership fees for tradespeople and employers and the Ontario College of Trades.

“The government continues to put up more road blocks for those seeking employment within skilled trades. It is important for us to be a part of the decision making process and thank Mr. Dunlop for allowing our concerns to be heard,” said Regan Cox, president of Cox Construction Ltd. in Guelph, Ont. in a release.

Dunlop recently introduced a Private Members’ Bill, Helping Ontarians Enter Skilled Trades Act, 2012, which he says will modernize Ontario’s apprenticeship system.

His bill would amend the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act and create a standard journeyman to apprentice ratio of 1:1 across all trades in the province.

The Ontario Ministry of Finance predicts that there will be over one million skilled job vacancies by 2021 and Dunlop says Ontario is producing 46 per cent fewer skilled tradespeople per capita than the rest of Canada.

The tour is planned to have at least 30 stops, though Dunlop said he wants to try to make as many stops as he can.

“I will continue to work with stakeholders and advocate for appropriate changes to our current skilled trades system to remove barriers and help create more jobs in Ontario,” said Dunlop.

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