QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario PCs are on the offensive over what the party is calling the “McGuinty-Wynne-Horwath Budget”. Today in Question Period, the issue of Call Centre jobs and what the PCs claim is a cancellation of the “only program working in the North”.
The provincial budget will end an apprenticeship tax credit for call centres in Ontario.
The exchange in Question Period was between the PC MPP and Wynne Minister of Finance Charles Sousa. The heckling started as PC Critic McNaughton brought up the reference to the NDP support of the Liberal budget.
“With this change, the Liberal-NDP budget is putting at risk up to 8,000 jobs in Northern Ontario and a significant number of jobs in southwestern Ontario at places like Alliance iCommunications in London and Aditya Birla Minacs in Chatham,” said McNaughton.
Question Period Exchange
Ontario PC Economic Development, Trade and Innovation Critic Monte McNaughton questioned Liberal ministers about the recent cancellation of the apprenticeship training tax credit for call centre service providers. McNaughton estimates that Ontario contact centres employ 25,000 people, including 8,000 in northern Ontario and large numbers in southwestern Ontario including London and Windsor.
McNaughton’s comments came after a fiery exchange during the daily question period at Queen’s Park as the Liberals continue to sell their Liberal-NDP budget that adds $20 billion to Ontario’s debt while failing to address the ongoing provincial jobs crisis.
“For the second straight month, London has the highest big-city unemployment rate in Canada and shamefully, Windsor is right there too. 11.3% unemployment in North Bay, 10% in London and 9.3% in Windsor,” fumed McNaughton. “Ontario has 600,000 unemployed men and women. The Liberal-NDP budget does nothing to help them or help grow our economy and create jobs.
In fact, for residents of northern Ontario and the contact calling industry, it makes things worse and risks their entire industry.”
Ontario can do better. Our jobs and debt crisis has worsened over the past decade, while the McGuinty-Wynne-Liberal government continues to waste money on scandals like the $900 million gas plant fiasco.
“Our provincial unemployment rate is well-above the national average, and has been for years,” said McNaughton. “I’m worried that the Liberal-NDP budget and the decision to cancel the apprenticeship training tax credit will only push the unemployment rate higher in London, Windsor and across the province.”