Niagara MPPs Slam Ford Government’s Move to Sell Off Employment Services in Region

Doug Ford’s American contractor for Employment Ontario has a Disastrous Track Record

“People complain that they are required to engage in activities that are unrealistic given their circumstances, or the health conditions of their children. If they fail to comply they are “sanctioned” meaning that they lose their cash assistance and opportunities for education and training services.”                           – Christine Hastedt, Senior Public Policy Advisor, Maine Equal Justice, in the State of Maine where this firm Ford wants to enlist in Ontario has been operating.

News from the Constituency Offices of Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch and Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted February 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPPs Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) and Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) took Doug Ford to task Thursday at the Ontario legislature for his reckless decision to sell off employment services in Hamilton and Niagara to a US-based multinational corporation which, the NDP revealed, has a disastrous track record.

The Ford government signed a deal with American firm FedCap Inc. to take away Employment Ontario’s work — helping Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works program recipients find jobs. A recent review by the Maine Department of Health revealed that FedCap Inc. has comprehensively failed to deliver results for people in the State of Maine, and according to their report “lacks the capacity to fulfill its contractual obligations.”

“In Maine only 10 per cent of participants were ever placed in any real skills training program and nearly half of all participants referred to FedCap lost their assistance without securing a job. Based on this disastrous evidence from Maine will the Premier cancel the pilot program and admit this was a mistake?” asked Burch during question period on Thursday, after his office uncovered the disastrous record of FedCap Inc. in Maine.

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Forty-eight per cent of people that were referred to FedCap Inc. lost their assistance without securing a job. A review conducted by the Maine Department of Health found that people were deeply unhappy with the employment programs offered by FedCap Inc. that were not individualized or responsive to people’s needs, had poor levels of customer service and professionalism, and failed to safeguard confidential data.

“FedCap has a track record and it’s not good. If the State of Maine’s experience is any indicator, then people in our community have a high risk of losing their jobs, and if we include all of the service providers and front-line workers we may be looking at a lot of good paying jobs lost,” said Gates.

“We must stand up for these workers and their employment and say no to selling their livelihoods to an American company with no roots in Niagara,” added NDP MPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines).

All 65 of the good-paying jobs administering employment services in the State of Maine were lost once FedCap Inc. took over and the community agency contracts to administer the programs were terminated by the company.

Background

  *   Fedcap Inc. is a U.S. based multinational non-profit social service provider, with operations in the U.K., Australia, and the United States. In February 2020 it was announced that FedCap was chosen by the Ford government to run Employment Ontario services for the combined service area of Hamilton, Haldimand and Niagara region in one of three pilot areas.

  *   FedCap Inc. received the contract to administer job placement services for welfare recipients for the State of Maine in October 2016. In 2019, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services wrote to the company with a long list of serious concerns, including:

  •   *   a lack of capacity to fulfill its contractual obligations
  •  *   poor performance
  • *   poor record keeping of client’s personal information
  • *   a lack of responsiveness to the needs of program participants
  • *   48 per cent of people that were referred to them lost their assistance without securing a job (FedCap Monthly Report, Nov. 2019, pg 7)
  •  *   65 unionized state employees lost their jobs after FedCap assumed the contract.

Watch Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch raise this issue in the Ontario legislature by clicking on the screen below – 

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