THUNDER BAY – 8000 Northern Ontario jobs are at risk according to the Ontario Progressive Conservatives. At issue is a change proposed in the Wynne Liberal government’s budget. The change will impact tax credits for jobs at call centres in the North.
“There are 8,000 contact centre jobs in Northern Ontario, and this tax credit helped level the playing field for the North. This move threatens 900 Northern jobs,” added Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, who continued “I’d like to know how the NDP can support a budget that could have such a devastating impact on the North.”
Harold Wilson, PC Candidate for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, and Tamara Johnson, PC Candidate for Thunder Bay Superior North are very concerned about the impacts of a major change on their community.
8000 Norther Call Centre Jobs at Risk
“I have been reviewing details on the Liberal budget with some of my contacts after realizing that a specific item on page 262 contains some changes that could decimate Contact Centres in Northern Ontario. Their operations are significant here, including HGS Canada Inc., Teleperformance and other smaller operations,” states Wilson. “These companies are providing jobs today that are filled by hundreds of employees with families depending on them. And they were caught off-guard“.
Wilson adds, “According to the budget, the provision to eliminate the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit (ATTC) affects contact centres only”.
“The categories that will supposedly ‘help improve completion rates among ATTC-eligible trades, once they are removed from eligibility after March 31, 2014, include: Information Technology – Contact Centre – Technical Support Agents AND Inside Sales Agents AND Customer Care Agents,” Wilson explains.
“This support helps encourage companies to hire and train, and the certification is a value to the employees. While the government expects they can save $45 million next year with this move, they apparently have not calculated the cost of lost tax revenue from employees and companies, once those companies seriously re-think their Ontario operations”.
“This is a real concern with very real consequences. I understand Liberal MPPs in the Province are already starting to minimize the impact, but it will chase away jobs in the $25,000 – $30,000 range, affecting real families. People need to contact our 2 MPPs and tell them this job-threatening change must be removed from the budget”, urged Wilson.