Legislation will prevent any work stoppage at OPG and ensure Ontario’s power supply is maintained this winter
QUEEN’s PARK, TORONTO: Norman Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, and 71 other MPPs voted today to pass Bill 67 to prevent any work stoppage at Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and keep the heat and lights on this winter.
“I am sorry I had to cancel a number of meetings in the riding this week but it was urgent we pass this legislation to ensure our power supply this winter,” said Miller. “OPG produces 51% of Ontario’s electricity and we could not risk having any of their facilities shut down during the heart of winter.”
The emergency Legislative session was required after the Power Workers Union (PWU) and OPG hit a deadlock in collective bargaining. As a result, the PWU gave notice last week that they may start job action in 21 days. Given that the Independent Electricity System Operator concluded that without OPG’s hydro, nuclear and other generators operating Ontario would not have the electricity needed to meet consumer demand resulting in brownouts and blackouts around the province, the government stepped in immediately to prevent any possible strike or lockout.
The legislation amends the Labour Relations Act, 1995 to prohibit and stop any strikes or lockouts between OPG and the PWU for the current round of bargaining. All matters in dispute will be referred to a neutral mediator-arbitrator for a fair dispute resolution process.
“I want to thank Minister of Labour Laurie Scott and Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford for bringing forward this legislation to keep the electricity on for all the people in Parry Sound-Muskoka and across Ontario,” said Miller.