Skilled trades, rural supports key issues for Simcoe North's Dunlop

Published on May 10, 2018

Promotion of the skilled trades, job creation and respect for rural Ontario are top-of-mind for Progressive Conservative candidate Jill Dunlop.

“People in our area are concerned that the money is being spent down in the city, but we are deserving of our piece of that pot, as well,” said Dunlop, citing gaps in infrastructure as an example. A mother of three teenage daughters, Dunlop was raised in a political family.

Her father, Garfield Dunlop, served as the riding’s MPP from 1999 to 2015, and her mother, Jane, served as a councillor in Severn Township.

“She stayed home and raised my brother and I, and ran a small business from our family home so she could stay home with us and support his career,” Dunlop told “When her time came, she was able to pursue her own career in politics.

The family has also enjoyed a lengthy involvement in the skilled trades with a local plumbing business — the skilled trades being a sector of the economy that deserves more attention and resources, Dunlop’s says.

“I’m hearing when I’m talking with businesses that it’s parents that we need to convince that skilled trades are a respectful profession to go into,” she added.

Helping ensure the riding’s residents have access to well-paying employment in general is a primary concern, Dunlop said.   

“Not just more minimum-wage-type jobs, but better, more secure jobs,” she said.

A part-time faculty member at Georgian College, Dunlop most recently worked with the co-op department, providing community outreach to local employers on behalf of the school’s police degree program and supporting field placements.

Her community involvement includes serving as chair of the Simcoe Muskoka Child Advocacy Centre’s marketing and fundraising committee, and volunteering as a member of the Orillia Community Action Network.