BRACEBRIDGE, ON – Local businesses agree with the independent economic analysis showing that the Wynne Government’s proposed labour law changes will hurt Ontario businesses and could cost many workers their jobs, says Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller.
The report, released last month by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, suggests the Government’s Bill 148, which includes raising minimum wage and other changes to the labour law, will put 185,000 jobs at risk over the next two years.
“I surveyed businesses here in Parry Sound-Muskoka to find out how local jobs would be impacted and I heard the same message,” said Miller. “Asked how the increase in minimum wage would impact their business, 60% of respondents said they would raise prices, 45% said they would cut employee hours, 29% said they would lay off staff and 8% said they would close.”
Beyond the minimum wage increase, Bill 148 proposes to change scheduling requirements to force employers to pay employees three hours pay for shifts cancelled within 48 hours of the shift, something that weather-dependent businesses like golf courses and construction companies were concerned about. It also proposes requiring on-call employees be paid for three hours for every day they are on call, which would have a huge impact on emergency service providers like towing companies and companies that provide snow plowing services.
“Many of these changes are going to be especially hard for the retail, tourism and hospitality businesses so important to our local economy. Unfortunately the government’s only consultation on this took place this summer when businesses that rely on tourists are too busy to present to a legislative committee,” added Miller.
“These changes are happening too fast, not giving businesses time to adapt,” said Miller. “I will make sure the voices of local businesspeople are heard at Queen’s Park when we get to debate this bill in the Legislature.”