Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park 2024

Advocacy Day at Queen's Park: #NothingToSpare

April 16-17, 2024 | Queen's Park, Toronto

Following the 2024 Amplify Leadership Conference at the Metro Convention Centre last week, Queen's Park was an active hub of an influential two-day event focused on Ontario's Employment Service Providers (ESPs).

Organized by First Work – Ontario’s workforce development network – and bringing together government officials, policymakers, and community-based economic development experts to propel forward-thinking solutions addressing the province's workforce challenges. Elected officials and First Work members alike worked to inform on locations in MPPs’ ridings.

Our asks of elected officials:

  • Increase Employment Ontario (EO) frontline service delivery operational budgets by 5%
  • Reduce Administrative Burden via existing practices and Federal levers
  • Immediately develop a Provincial Stakeholder Advisory Table so insights from the frontline are leveraged for collective success

April 16th – Reception

The evening kicked off with an opportunity for attendees to network while enjoying a selection of food and drinks.

Featuring engaging remarks by First Work Executive Director Akosua Alagaratnam and Board President Carolyn Warkentin, our newly appointed Parliamentary Assistant to MLITSD Patrice Barnes represented the Government, urging us to continue the good work we are doing to help people get employed.

MPP Barnes’s remarks were followed by Leader of the Opposition MPP Marit Stiles, Dr. Shamji of the Ontario Liberal Party and Leader of the Green Party, Mike Schreiner. The event was well-attended, drawing elected representatives from every party. The reception concluded on a collaborative note to set the tone for discussions the next day.

Aril 17th – Advocacy Day

The 17th was dedicated to in-depth meetings where key messages about the impact of Employment Service Providers were shared. Members of our network emphasized the critical need to guide young workers toward in-demand sectors, and the importance of starting this process early, in high school.

Our network’s unique dual-customer approach took centre stage, where serving both jobseekers and employers aligns us with the Government in its solution-building and policy-making. The ongoing contributions of ESPs to regional economic development despite financial constraints underscored the collective commitment to transforming Ontario’s workforce landscape.

Our day at Queen’s Park ensured that community-based career development professionals, capacitated sustainably by the province, are well-equipped to meet the future of work with resilience and innovation.

Meetings of the day:

Minister Todd Smith
Associate Minister Nina Tangri’s office
Minister Jill Dunlop’s office
Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria’s office
MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam
MPP Dr. Adil Shamji

Parliamentary Assistants to Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Logan Kanapathi and Laura Smith

Brian Saunderson

Daisy Wai

Ernie Hardeman

Steve Clark

Chandra Pasma

Jamie West

Jessica Bell

Jill Andrew

Peggy Sattler

Aislinn Clancy