October 24, 2018
Mississauga, Ontario — Earlier yesterday Jim Wilson, Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Red Tape and Regulatory Burden Reduction, joined Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour and Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, to announce a series of regulatory and legislative changes that, if passed by Ontario’s Legislature, will make it easier for Ontario employers to hire and make it easier for workers to find jobs and grow their careers in Ontario.
The Making Ontario Open for Business Act will, if passed by Ontario’s Legislature, enable more Ontario employers to boost job creation and investment by cutting unnecessary regulations that are inefficient, inflexible and out of date, while maintaining standards to keep Ontarians safe and healthy.
As part of the reforms the Ministers announced that the government would take immediate action to repeal much of the burdensome, job-killing red tape imposed by the previous government through the notorious Bill 148. These reforms include maintaining Ontario’s current minimum wage at $14 per hour until 2020, to be followed by increases tied to inflation.
The government will also replace the previous government’s Personal Emergency Leave rules. Instead, for the first time in Ontario’s history, workers will be able to take up to three days for personal illness, two for bereavement and three for family responsibilities. Current provisions for domestic and sexual violence leave will be maintained, which is a valuable protection for employees. The proposed reforms will also reduce the red-tape burden around scheduling while updating the Labour Relations Act.
The Making Ontario Open for Business Act, if passed, will also address the backlog in Ontario’s skilled trades by replacing Ontario’s outdated model with a one-to-one journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio for every trade for which ratios apply, thereby better aligning Ontario with other provinces and territories. The legislation, if passed, will also modernize the apprenticeship system by initiating an orderly wind-down of the Ontario College of Trades, which remains a source of unnecessary and burdensome complexity for skilled trades employment in the province.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for workers and businesses of all sizes throughout Ontario, as well as a bold step in creating a stronger and more prosperous province. On behalf of our 60,000 members in 135 communities, we are absolutely thrilled that the Government of Ontario is holding strong in its commitment to keep Ontario open for business. It is now more critical than ever to create an economy that ensures both employers and employees are prepared for the labour market needs of tomorrow,” said Rocco Rossi, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
“The Mississauga Board of Trade applauds the Provincial Government for tabling this Legislation today,” said David Wojcik, President & CEO, MBOT. “Our members told us about the significant impact Bill 148 had on their businesses and we are glad the new government listened.”
“Further the reforms to training in the skilled trades will help get more people ready for the jobs that many Mississauga businesses require. This is very welcome news to our members,” concluded Mr. Wojcik.