Simcoe North’s Dunlop takes aim at skilled trades stigma

On the night Jill Dunlop secured the win to represent Simcoe North, the daughter of Garfield Dunlop vowed to advocate for the skilled trades, just as her father had done during his years in office.

In the ensuing months, the recently minted Progressive Conservative MPP has taken up the cause at Queen’s Park with a resolution that garnered unanimous support.

“There is a major and growing shortage of skilled employees to create and/or grow businesses and industries in Ontario,” Dunlop said. “As we execute our plan to make Ontario open for business, we need skilled labour to fill the jobs that a thriving economy will generate.”

According to Dunlop, 10 per cent of Ontario’s youth are pursuing careers in the skilled trades at a time when 20 per cent of workers in that same sector are over age 54 and will retire within the decade.

In presenting her resolution to reform and promote the skilled trades, Dunlop stressed a need for immediate action to fill the trades gap.

“Skilled labour jobs are good jobs and provide a meaningful, financially stable career path for many Ontarians, including young people, newcomers and individuals looking for a career change,” she added.

Part of the challenge in steering students into the skilled trades, Dunlop said, is overcoming the negative stigma associated with the sector, “whereby people believe that skilled trades are not a career to aspire or to be proud of.

“Our youth deserve to be presented with as many career options as possible, and the skilled trades should be at the top of that list,” she added.

Dunlop recommended the government take the lead in improving education, training and job creation in the skilled-trades sector.

She is encouraging collaboration between Ontario’s education ministry, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Dunlop suggested they work toward solutions to reduce the stigma surrounding the trades and address the shortage of skilled labour.

Family, staff, Simcoe North business owners, and area mayors were on hand to support Dunlop during her recent address at Queen’s Park.

Ron LePage – Penetanguishene councillor

I am running for Town Council as I care deeply for the Town of Penetanguishene and want to make a positive impact on the future growth and direction of the town. I want to give back to the town in appreciation for the benefits given my family over the last 6 generations as citizens of the area.

I have witnessed the value that strong jobs, strong housing, and strong leadership have on our community and want to be a voice for all three in council. When I say that I am “Committed To Community, Dedicated To Progress,” I mean it. I have been working in healthcare since 1978, and, for the past 21 years, I have been proud to serve as a Registered Practical Nurse at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. I have witnessed the tremendous impact care has on bettering the lives and the health of our community. It is this level of care and passion for our community that I want to bring to town council.

I have a proven track record of leadership experience and giving back to the community through volunteering. I have served as the Vice-President of OPSEU Local 329 at Waypoint for the past six years. I have also served on the Council of the College of Nurses of Ontario for 8 years. My community involvement has spanned a wide variety of organizations including with the Georgian Bay Métis Council, the Villa Care Centre and the The Penetanguishene Centennial Museum Board Advisory Committee. Through all of these experiences I have gained valuable knowledge dealing with budgets, long term planning, and policy development.

I will be a voice for economic development and community revitalization at town council. My core values are built on a foundation of care that will serve you, your family, and the generations to come:

➔ Building local tourism

➔ Advocating for local business

➔ Supporting our senior community

➔ Strengthening housing options for families

➔ Building better roads and direct traffic routes

If you have questions, comments, want to get involved in my campaign, or just share your passion for our community, please contact me; you can visit me online at, email or call .

Thank you for reading; please remember to vote.