Ford vows Ontario government will get rid of Liberal labour reforms

Posted
October 3, 2018
Article Source
Toronto Star

Two paid sick days are too much.

That was the message Tuesday from Premier Doug Ford, who is poised to dismantle the previous Liberal government’s labour reformsthat increased sick day benefits and paid vacation, and were set to raise the minimum wage from $14 an hour to $15 on Jan. 1.

"We’re getting rid of Bill 148," Ford thundered in the legislature after being questioned by Liberal MPP Michael Coteau.

The premier added that "60,000 people lost their jobs under Bill 148," an apparent reference to part-time positions that have been cut.

"When I criss-crossed this province, I talked to the peoplewho earn minimum wage, the ones who even were able to keep their job. I'd go into a little Home Hardware. Rather than having seven employees, they'd cut three employees because of Bill 148," he said.

"We're going to create more jobs so we can hire more people, unlike the Liberals, who destroyed this province."

Later Tuesday, Ford said alarm over his remarks shouldn't come as "any surprise" given his comments on the reforms during the spring election campaign, and he promised more details "over the next few weeks."

"Bottom line, it's an absolute job killer," he said.

On a year-over-year basis, employment increased by 1.1 per cent, or 79,000 jobs, in Ontario in August, according to Statistics Canada. Total hours worked across the province also increased after much of Bill 148 took effect in January.

To repeal the legislation, the government will need to introduce a replacement bill. Deena Ladd of the Toronto-based Workers' Action Centre said she was “waiting for more than just a comment in question period to actually take the government seriously at this point.”

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