The cuts have caused some problems within the organization. The provincial budget came down after the end of W5’s fiscal year, leaving them in limbo as to how much funding it would get and how many workers the organization could keep.
“Some agencies only have the managers sitting in the office. They didn’t know if their work in April would be paid or not. And some agencies such as [W5], we lost our experienced staff,” said interim executive director Olivia Brezeanu
“The job security is very important for everyone.”
According to a member of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers‘ Groups, it’s more difficult for workers to get the financial assistance they need — especially with a looming cut of 30 per cent to legal aid funding.
“Worker’s compensation … you get denied and then you have to find a lawyer,” said 57-year-old worker Liz Garant who founded the group’s Windsor chapter. “And then some of the time, you go to the Office of the Worker Advisor and they’re backlogged.
“So then you go to legal aid. And if legal aid gets cut, you’re in trouble.”
“No parent should ever be put in a position where they feel like they have to hand their child over to Children‘s Aid or to the government … in order for that child to get the health care that they need,” said Gretzky.
In a statement to CBC News, the province’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities said the government remains committed to supporting youth seeking employment through programs like the Youth Job Connection and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.
The province adds many of the other youth-oriented programs which were discontinued, such as Youth Job Link, were largely “a duplication of services already offered in Employment Ontario through programs.”