'Making Ontario Open for Business Act' will strengthen key workplace laws
Ontario Premier Doug Ford's government is moving to ease the burden on workers and employers brought in by Kathleen Wynne's Liberals with legislation aimed at increasing investment unveiled Tuesday.
The legislation is designed to fulfill one of Ford's central campaign promises, to make Ontario "open for business." It will update several provincial laws, most notably employment standards.
The new act will repeal the Wynne government's Personal Emergency Leave rules, which created the potential for abuse of sick days.
The bill, called the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, grants workers three sick days, two days for bereavement leave and three to spend more time with family.
The bill will also make changes to how skilled trades are governed in the province designed to address the backlog in the system, including slowly phasing out the Ontario College of Trades, which put undue licensing burdens on Ontario workers, and ensures a one-to-one ratio between skilled tradespeople and apprentices.
Three cabinet ministers announced the changes this morning: Economic Development Minister Jim Wilson, Labour Minister Laurie Scott and Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Merrilee Fullerton.
"At the heart of our plan is the conviction that Ontario can once again be a great place to invest, grow and create jobs," Wilson said in a statement.
The Ford government has been consulting with business groups such as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Retail Council of Canada in the development of the new legislation.
The PC government has already indicated it will keep the minimum wage at $14, with subsequent increases tied to inflation.
The bill also modernizes the Labour Relations Act, making it easier to schedule employees.
During his run for PC leader and during the election campaign, Ford promised to make opening the province for business a priority, even pledging to put up a neon sign declaring as much at the U.S. border