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Canada: Ontario Appoints Skilled Trades Special Advisor

Author: Emily Elder

Bottom Line

The Ontario government has appointed Dave Cassidy, former president of Unifor Local 444, as a Skilled Trades Special Advisor (the “Advisor”). Advising the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, Mr. Cassidy will assess workforce needs in Ontario’s skilled trades, primarily the manufacturing and automotive industries, and hold stakeholder consultations. The Advisor’s final report will make recommendations on how to improve the province’s skilled trades system, informed by research and these consultations.

On May 27, 2024, the Ontario government published a news release announcing this new Advisor position, and stating that Mr. Cassidy’s expertise will help the province respond to the rapid development and expansion of the manufacturing and automotive industries. Ontario is expected to require over 500,000 additional workers in skilled trades-related occupations in the next decade.



The Advisor will hold consultations with industry stakeholders to examine Ontario’s skilled trades system. These consultations will help the Advisor identify issues, challenges, and areas of improvement within Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system, and will inform the Advisor’s final report.

The author wishes to thank Graeme Wyatt, an Articling Student in the firm’s Toronto office, for his assistance in preparing this Insight.