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October 26, 2018

Ontario reviewing independent probe of construction trades ‘boot camp’

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The report is in, but the verdict is still out.

A building trades “boot camp” that helps disadvantaged young people access lucrative careers in the construction trades met a provincial deadline to submit an independent review of its operations.

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities requested the third party review of Hammer Heads earlier this year after ministry staff became aware of allegations that program participants were subjected to abusive language, racial slurs and intimidation, according to internal provincial documents obtained under Freedom of Information legislation.

As reported by the Star, the ministry’s $187,712 funding agreement, signed with Hammer Heads on May 8, was subject to the program’s board of directors appointing an independent third party “to review, assess and report on program activities and experience of past participants.” Hammer Heads was required to submit its report to the ministry by Oct. 24, according to the documents.

At 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, a ministry spokeswoman confirmed the report had been received and that provincial officials are “in the process of reviewing” it.

The Star is seeking access to the report.

Union leaders contacted by the Star for comment were reluctant to weigh-in about the program beyond noting the construction industry needs to become a more inclusive, respectful, and diverse workplace.

Keep reading in The Star


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