Toronto, Ontario — Does the line, “I give you my word: not one single person will be laid off when I become Premier,” ring any bells to any Ontarians? Because the province’s skilled trades inspectors are reeling after the Ford government issued layoff notices to more than 30 Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) employees.
“We regret to inform you that you will be laid off from your employment effective close of business on Feb. 17, 2022,” read the letter sent out to more than 30 OCOT employees on Nov. 17.
These employees are responsible for enforcing skilled trades credentials in the province and interact with tradespeople from many industries like plumbing, hairstyling and auto body repair.
The Ford government plans to dissolve OCOT and shift its responsibilities to a new Skilled Trades Ontario institution, operated under the wing of the Ministry of Labour.
The co-workers of the letter’s recipients are free to carry on their duties under Skilled Trades Ontario.
Ford made protecting the jobs of public employees a chief campaign priority back in 2018, but has continually failed to deliver, namely in 2019 when more than 400 healthcare workers were laid off.
As well, reports have circulated since July 2021 that the Ontario government largely stopped enforcing skilled trades credentials when Doug Ford came to power.