On June 27th, 2023, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced $1.3 million in funding for the training of Truck drivers through the Skills Development Fund. The program will be delivered by the Womens’ Trucking Federation Canada (WTFC).
Since the announcement, there have been confusing and inaccurate statements published on news sites and shared through social media with regard to who may or may not apply to enroll in the program and receive this funding. In an effort to correct these statements, WTFC Chief Executive Officer Shelley Walker has issued the following statement:
By Shelley Walker, CEO of Womens’ Trucking Federation Canada
Date: July 6, 2023
The Skills Development Fund program announced by Premier Ford on June 27th is open and available to everyone regardless of gender, race or religion.
At this announcement event, emphasis was placed on outreach to women, immigrants, individuals who have been involved with Ontario’s justice system and other categories which are often similarly underrepresented in Skills Development, as members of these groups may be unaware of how to access available opportunities.
Womens’ Trucking Federation Canada (WTFC) was selected to deliver this program specifically because it has valuable experience in creating programs designed to reach out to non-traditional groups.
WTFC is familiar with the obstacles to getting suitable people enrolled in non-traditional training opportunities and how to overcome these challenges.
Ontario needs all the Truckers it can get right now. There is no plan to exclude anyone interested in applying for training – that would be a violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, and a nonsensical thing to do.