May 10th, 2019

Ford's cuts to youth employment and innovation programs will cost Ontarians big: NDP

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Official Opposition critic for Economic Development Peggy Sattler said that Doug Ford’s deep cuts to youth employment and innovation programs threaten Ontario’s economic success.

Ford is cancelling Youth Job Link and the Employing Youth Talent Incentive, a program that provides subsidies for small business to hire vulnerable youth. Ford is also cutting funding to innovation and start-up companies throughout the province by as much as 50 per cent.

“This spring, students throughout Ontario are applying for summer jobs to gain vital work experience and help pay for their next school year,” said Sattler. “Rather than supporting students, Doug Ford is ripping opportunities away from them with deep cuts to programs that help them develop skills, and help businesses train and hire young people.

“Investing in youth is investing in Ontario’s future, and people deserve so much better than Ford’s cuts.”

In London, five employment service agencies are facing a $2-million funding cut, and have been forced to lay off about a dozen staff, with half of the cut resulting from the cancellation of the two youth employment programs.

Sattler said that ripping opportunities away from youth, many of who face barriers to employment, combined with deep cuts to tech firms and start-ups, throw Ontario backwards and stifle our economic potential.

“Doug Ford is cutting the provincial funding to Ontario Centres for Excellence in half,” said Sattler. “That means major losses in research and initiatives that help businesses scale up in Ontario and help them become industry leaders.

“New Democrats are working with students and innovators instead of working against them. We’re committed to pushing back against Doug Ford’s callous cuts.”