Ontario Considers Changing Labour Relations Act

The province of Ontario is considering changes to the province’s employment laws.  The potential reforms are listed in a report “Changing Workplaces Review,” the first review since the days of PC Premier Mike Harris.

The changes include an increase in minimum wage to $15.00/hr from the current $11.40, and giving all workers a right to paid sick days.  The report also recommends  changes to the unionization process that would make it easier for those with ‘precarious employment’ to organize.  “The work is done, the consultations have taken place,” Labour Minister Kevin Flynn told the Legislature after being questioned by the NDP according to the CBC.

The Ontario Chamber Of Commerce (OCC) has spoken out against it.  In a letter dated May 15, Interim President and CEO Richard Koroscil talked about balance.  “These sweeping changes will tip our economic balance in a profoundly negative way,” he said.  According to Statistics Canada part-time work has risen 22% since 2003, a decline of 14% over the previous 12 year period.

The letter worries urges Wynne to look at the impact of the reforms.  “We are urging Premier Wynne to complete an economic impact analysis of the proposed reforms to limit potential consequences that could serious jeopardize our future growth,” Koroscil said.  The letter continues urging against change for change’s sake.

The report will be made public after Victoria Day.  It’s unclear whether legislation will be presented before the Legislature rises for the summer.

Read the letter sent by the OCC here

1 Comment

  1. I own a small business in Niagara. It seems that the Provincial Government passes province wide legislation based on what the GTA requires or its cost of living. Ms. Wiynne, the economy and costs of living in other parts of Ontario are much lower that Toronto. Torontos average home cost around 1.5 million, in Niagara it is less than 300k.
    A glass of wine in Toronto is $12.00, in Niagara $6.00.
    Your proposal to increase the minimum wage would increase business labor cost over 35%. In order for businesses to survive our prices would have to increas accordingly.
    Can you tell me how many of these businesses will be able to survive the required price increases?

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