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REGIONAL NEWS | ONTARIO

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FAIR TRADE

If you live in the Toronto area and have always wanted to try your hand at the trade, a new collaborative program between Tropicana Community Services and Centennial College seeks to give prospective auto body technicians a chance to see if collision repair is the right fit, completely free of charge.

Set to run from April to August of this year, Tropicana says this provincially funded offering of the Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer 310B Pre-Apprenticeship L-1 program is designed as a stepping stone to apprenticeship for technicians looking to dive right into the trade. Following the 30-week semester, students will jump straight into a paid work placement that will last from September to November—so Ontario shops can expect some potential hires.

Along with the invaluable work experience itself, the program will also provide students with a free toolkit and course materials, a free TTC Presto Pass for use during the program, as well as eligibility to receive Tropicana’s Student Success Scholarship.

Tropicana’s program is open to students between the ages of 18 and 30, are legally entitled to work in Canada, have a Grade 12 diploma or equivalent and can commit to up to 30 weeks of training.
TRADES FAST TRACK

The Ontario government has announced that Grade 11 will now be eligible to enrol in full-time skilled apprenticeship programs. With this new decision, students looking to pursue a trades education may now opt to begin a full-time apprenticeship program in Grade 11, and upon earning their Certificate of Apprenticeship, apply to receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma as mature students.

The Ontario government is also currently in consultations to lower the entry requirements of the 106 recognized trades that call for a Grade 12 education, in the aim of filling seats in the province’s woefully under-attended skilled trades classrooms. “For far too long, parents and students have been told the only path to succeed in life is by going to university, which is simply not true,” said Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton.

“When you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career for life. Our government will continue to provide students with the tools they need to land well-paying and life-long careers.”

According to the government’s press release, the Ministry of Education is working to recognize up to 30 credits required to earn the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) for individuals with a Certificate of Apprenticeship or equivalent.

ROAD REPORT

The Ontario Provincial Police reported there were nearly 14,000 more collisions in the province in 2022 than in 2021. There were 74,173 collisions on Ontario roads in 2022. In 2021, the OPP reported 60,659 collisions. There were 359 motor-vehicle fatalities in 2022, compared to 315 fatalities in 2021.

Traffic volume was up last year, compared to 2021 levels, but the OPP stressed that “the increases in fatalities noted in the data should not be viewed or accepted as an inevitable outcome of more people out on roads.”

ROAD REPORT

The Ontario Provincial Police reported there were nearly 14,000 more collisions in the province in 2022 than in 2021. There were 74,173 collisions on Ontario roads in 2022. In 2021, the OPP reported 60,659 collisions. There were 359 motor-vehicle fatalities in 2022, compared to 315 fatalities in 2021.

Traffic volume was up last year, compared to 2021 levels, but the OPP stressed that “the increases in fatalities noted in the data should not be viewed or accepted as an inevitable outcome of more people out on roads.”

RETURNED AT LAST

An outgoing shipment of stolen vehicles is on the way back home to their owners, with 64 vehicles valued at $3.5 million being repatriated with the assistance of the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) and the Malta Port Authority.

According to the York Regional Police’s Auto Cargo Theft Unit, the vehicles were located inside shipping containers in the Republic of Malta, ready for illegal sale.

This rescue can be attributed to the York Regional Police’s “Project Majestic,” an investigation into a criminal syndicate responsible for high-end vehicle thefts from residential driveways across the Greater Toronto Area.

Suspects entered the vehicle and reprogrammed the ignition computers with new keys, transporting them to the Port of Montreal before delivering the vehicles by sea to buyers in the United Arab Emirates and Africa.

Under “Project Majestic,” A total of 18 people were arrested on March 2021, following an investigation into a Greater Toronto Area-based auto theft ring. Additionally, 70 stolen vehicles valued at $4.5 million were seized.
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