Legislation rolling back significant labour protections introduced under the previous government has passed at Queen’s Park, meaning workers will no longer have the right to two paid sick days and will not receive a scheduled minimum wage bump to $15 this January.
Protests disrupted the legislature’s gallery late Tuesday, pushing the vote by a day. Under fire from NDP leader Andrea Horwath Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said the “most needy people in society” told him they had been laid off because of the previous’ government’s “job-killing” labour legislation.
It discouraged companies from all over the world to come to Ontario and open a business because of Bill 148. It was the worst job-killing bill. It was the worst bill for people, the most vulnerable people in society to get a hand up,” he said.
According to the latest Statistics Canada data, employment in Ontario has increased by 1.2 per cent since last October due to a growth in full-time jobs. At 5.6 per cent, Ontario’s unemployment rate is lower than the Canadian rate of 5.8 per cent.
Bill 47 will repeal the bulk of recent updates to Ontario’s workplace standards, including temporary and part-time workers’ right to be paid the same as a full-time, permanent employee for doing the same job.
Workers will no longer be entitled to two paid sick days and eight unpaid emergency leave days. Instead, they will get three sick days, three personal days and two bereavement days — all of which will be unpaid.