Alison Braley-Rattai, Assistant Professor in Brock’s Department of Labour Studies, wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about the impact Ontario’s Open for Business Act will have on workplace rights.
Ontario’s Conservative government recently tabled the Open for Business Act (Bill 47). Bill 47 proposes to repeal the changes to Ontario’s workplace laws introduced by the previous Liberal government under Bill 148.
The purpose of Bill 148 was to increase fairness for workers, particularly those precariously employed, while balancing the interests of employers.
It was three years in the making and informed by a panel of two workplace law experts, which twice toured the province to hear from hundreds of witnesses before tabling its 419-page final report. By contrast, Premier Doug Ford’s government claims to have spoken with “dozens” of employers and unions prior to introducing Bill 47.
The purpose of Bill 47 is to “bring jobs and investment back to our province” and to increase “opportunities” for workers. One needs to look harder for any mention of fairness for workers or the creation of decent jobs, although the government claims to wish to “protect” workers. At the end of the day, however, Bill 47 will do none of the above.
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