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Ontario announces new programs to help those with criminal records find a job

Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton speaks at Queen's Park. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton speaks at Queen's Park. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The Ontario government announced up to 2,000 people with criminal records will be able to find jobs through various new projects it will be rolling out.

The province announced it’s investing $12 million to support nine projects, so Ontarians with previous criminal records, or who are just leaving the justice system, can find a job with local businesses.

“Across the province, these projects will help up to 2,000 people with criminal records find good jobs because it’s time we give more people a second chance at a better life. It’s our responsibility to help break the cycle of poverty and incarceration,” McNaughton said in a news conference on Wednesday morning.

These programs will connect job seekers with opportunities in construction, manufacturing, hospitality, food and beverage processing, and others, according to the province. This past winter, the province pointed out there were over 316,000 job vacancies.

The province says job training – from apprenticeship to honing interview skills – will be provided through these programs, as well as mentorship, job placement and mental health resources.

“By connecting those with criminal records to skills training, we are creating brighter futures and better tomorrows,” Solicitor General Michael Kerzner said in a statement.

In the coming months, the provincial government said it will provide more details on the additional programs geared to help those with criminal records.

The Skills Development Fund, which will be backing these projects, has so far helped around 400,000 people “take the next step in their careers,” the provincial government notes in a release.

This follows Tuesday’s announcement that Ontario will be scrapping tuition fees and post-secondary education requirements for basic constables, as a means to boost police recruitment. Top Stories

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