Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he is focused on giving the people, including general contractors, the tools they need to create and fill jobs across the province.
That was the key message he delivered in a speech during the Ontario General Contractors Association’s 11th Construction Symposium at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, Ont. just one day after the Progressive Conservative government unveiled the 2019 budget.
“Everywhere I go in this province they say we need people …no matter if its skilled or unskilled, we don’t have enough people to fill these jobs,” said Ford in his address.
“The best thing you can do is give people like yourselves the tools to be able to bring people in, to be able to accelerate the training. We got rid of the Ontario College of Trades…we want to get the government out of peoples’ lives. I don’t really like government. We get in the way of people and it used to drive me crazy in the private sector.”
Ford discussed the budget and highlighted the investments being made in job creation.
“Yesterday we released a budget that will support job creators like each and every one of you,” he said.
“Our Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive will put money back into your pockets instead of the governments pockets and we’re going to do it a lot faster. It will provide faster writeoffs for capital investments, encouraging businesses to invest in Ontario and create jobs, 50,000 to 90,000 net new jobs.”
One in five jobs in the next five years will be trades-related, Ford pointed out.
“But employers can’t find apprentices and apprentices can’t find jobs so we’re changing our approach to skilled trades to fix the skills gap and help employers find the right workers faster,” he said.
“We’re making that easier by creating a new grant program that will make it easier to arrange those groups and sponsorships. We are creating a new chief training and skills adviser to support these new programs and we’re working hard to help people looking for jobs by matching them up with businesses that are looking to hire them.”
He also talked about cutting red tape and regulations and working with association’s like the OGCA to make it happen.
“We got a swat team together called the ‘regulation red tape swat team’ and we go in and start cutting the red tape and regulations,” said Ford.
“I asked the OGCA if there is red tape that is burdening their business to help us, we need your help. Even though we have a great team, nothing is better than listening to the people that deal with government day in and day out.”