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Ajax-Pickering Business Leaders Speak Out on the Impacts of Bill 148

Posted 5 years ago on · Permalink

Ajax-Pickering, July 27th, 2017: The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade has released a comprehensive report today regarding the potential impact on the Ajax-Pickering business community of the extensive labour reforms proposed in Bill 148 (Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs, 2017). Among its changes, the legislation proposes a 32% increase to minimum wage over 18 months, and amendments to paid vacation, personal emergency leave days, scheduling and management of temporary agency workers.

According to Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade Executive Director Chrystine Langille, “Our business community wholeheartedly supports the fair treatment of workers. However, the potential negative impacts of the higher labour costs imposed by the currently proposed legislation are destabilizing to businesses across our community, regardless of sector or size.” Board Chair Paul Przybylo adds: “The proposed changes have deepened our business community’s existing concerns about Ontario’s economic competitiveness and long-term growth potential, by being proposed at a time when costs such as energy are already high and considerable economic uncertainty exists south of the border.”

For some businesses, the potential impacts could be devastating if the legislation passes as currently proposed. Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade member Caroline Yli-Luoma, President of Dagmar Resorts, comments that they “will have to automate, cut back on staff and are at risk of closing.”

Over one hundred local businesses, small to large in size and spread across twenty-six sectors, contributed to the report findings through individual interviews, a member survey and a live community forum. Five themes dominate their feedback on Bill 148:

• The sizable increase to labour costs and the resulting potential negative economic consequences
• The inadequate provincial legislative process to date, including very limited consultation with business and no economic analysis to identify and address negative economic impacts
• The need for offsets to address negative impacts
• The risk to Ontario businesses’ overall competitiveness
• The need to address related issues, including training and education to innovate the workforce

The Board of Trade urges the provincial government to realize its dual goals of fair workplace practices and a thriving economic community by conducting an economic impact analysis, addressing the negative impacts it identifies and amending the proposed legislation accordingly, while working in true partnership with the Ontario business community.

To access the report online, click here: Bill 148 Impact Report 

To read our cover letter, click here: Bill 148 Cover Letter 

To access the information slide deck on Bill 148 from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, click here: OCC on Bill 148 

The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT) is the voice of the business community in Ajax and Pickering, Ontario. Established in 1955, our 650 members represent an array of business sectors and small to large organizations. APBOT is part of the nation-wide network of Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade as well as the Joint Chambers of Durham.

For additional information, please contact:
Jenna Blower
Policy and Communications Specialist
Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade
T: 905-686-0883 ext. 229