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TORONTO The Ontario government should expand municipal and community-based employment services, not pay a private for-profit company to do the same work, says Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario President Sid Ryan.

Community and Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello revealed today that the province has contracted with WCG International to run six JobsNow pilot projects across the province. The company will do the work already performed by municipal Ontario Works staff and some not-for-profit community agencies, but will have a longer period of time in which to help long-term unemployed individuals find and keep jobs.

Helping people get back to work might be good social, economic and fiscal policy like the minister said, Ryan commented. Paying a private, for-profit company to do it is not. If the six months of job retention supports provided now by Ontario Works is not enough, give them the resources to do more.

The government should not draw too much from the British Columbia experience with WCG International and its JobWave program, he said. While the province pays WCG about $3,400 for each person placed in a job for at least 19 months, about 70 per cent of that money is paid out after nine months, according to media reports.

This government is following the privatization road paved by Mike Harris and privatizing services rather than keeping its promise to revitalize public services, Ryan said. With todays announcement, they have put a price tag on the futures of people who are already struggling to be independent.


For more information, contact:

Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066 (cell)

Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-616-6142 (cell)