Ontario's Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development is catching heat over a tweet about "ending the stigma around the skilled trades."
Monte McNaughton tweeted a photo on June 25 depicting two young men, "Paul" the university graduate who is $100,000 in debt and "can't find an anthropology job," and "Mike," who completed a four-year paid apprenticeship and "disconnected Paul's electricity."
The tweet has gotten almost 1,000 replies, few of which are positive.
"This is totally arrogant. Many of us have both a skilled trade and a university degree, and a level head about what each has to offer. There is no need to insult any pursuit of higher learning to demonstrate the value of another," reads one tweet.
"I have a degree in anthropology that I used to build a successful career in sales," says another tweet. "The valuable perspective, empathy and understanding I have about people is applied every day personally a professionally. Also, I make more than mike. What's your point, again?"
Monte McNaughton subsequently took to the radio on Moore in the Morning to defend his perspective. "I understand that it made some university profs and some university folks upset, but it did get millions of views over the weekend," he said, adding that it's important for people to know that "a career in trades is worthy and noble and has benefits."