After 23 years of existence, the Workforce Adaptation Committee (OMB) for Persons with Disabilities will close its doors on August 31st. The Labor Market Partners Commission, its sole funder, did not renew the funding agreement.
“We feel that this closure will cause significant harm to people with disabilities in their efforts to train and integrate into employment,” said Claude Séguin, CAMO’s Director General for Persons with Disabilities. Not wanting to make scandal, he discreetly published the new Tuesday on the website of the organization.
The OMB, which received $ 520,000 in annual public funding, was responsible for facilitating access to training and employment for persons with disabilities, including raising awareness and informing business managers. Seven people lose their jobs.
“The decision to close the CAMO is the result of several reflections,” says Florent Francoeur, president of the Labor Market Partners Commission. It was realized that there was a problem of representativeness of people with disabilities in the clientele and that during the last seven years the structuring effects of integration were not there. ”
The Labor Market Partners Commission prefers to transfer its investment in direct services to people with disabilities, says Mr. Francoeur. Regional initiatives will be funded to the tune of $ 450,000 per year, while an advisory committee ($ 70,000 per year) will identify hurdles in hiring people with disabilities. CAMO was informed in November of its imminent closure, however, that it had undergone a transition period in order to honor its commitments.
A “HEAVY LOSS”
The organization Ex aequo, which is dedicated to promoting and defending the rights of persons with a motor impairment, describes this closure as “heavy loss”.
“It’s fundamental, what we lost. CAMO had a unique mission, it was a rare interface between people with disabilities and businesses from all sectors, “says Benoît Racette, community organizer.
“In 2005, 55% of the population aged 15-64 with disabilities had annual incomes of less than $ 15,000, according to the Quebec Institute of Statistics,” says Racette. The best way to get people out of poverty is to promote their employability, he insists. “We have a whole generation of students who are coming to the job market. They should not be dropped. They have a lot to offer. ”
”The labor market has evolved, employers are much more receptive today,” says Mr. Francoeur. Did the OMB, created 20 years ago, meet the needs of today? It was concluded that the return on investment was not enough. ”
At CAMO, we welcome the news with perplexity. “Several partners from various backgrounds welcomed our work and championed our cause. But the decision is without appeal, regrets Mr. Séguin. Who will take over our mission? No organism appeared. Several advances will soon be forgotten, he feared.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.