In my capacity as the current President of ACSESS (the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services, the national association representing the interests of the $13B staffing industry in Canada), I am sharing with you my grave concerns about Ontario’s Bill 148, now under review.
As all of you are aware, Ontario’s Premier Wynne is in the process of pushing Bill 148 (the “Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act”) through the Provincial Legislature. While I have absolutely no opposition to the concepts of “Fair Workplaces” or “Better Jobs”, I have major concerns about the overall outcomes of this piece of legislature, and the process by which it is being implemented.
Regarding “Outcomes”, a study by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) measuring the potential impacts of six key areas of Bill 148 changes revealed that, if implemented as currently drafted, Bill 148 would create a $23 billion hit for businesses during the next two years, put 185,000 jobs at risk and raise the annual cost of consumer goods and services by $1,300 per household. It would also require Ontario to borrow $440 million to cover the increases in new costs. The provincial government’s own Financial Accountability Office recently released its own study finding that raising the minimum wage to $15/hr alone would result in the loss of 50,000 jobs in Ontario.
Regarding “Process”, the provincial government has been driving this piece of legislation forward for its own political agenda and has steadfastly excluded employer-based representation in the consultation process. Two glaring examples of those left out of the process are the CFIB (the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canada’s largest small business association) and ACSESS (the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services). “It’s a shocking and clear sign that the province is not keen to hear anything other than what they want to hear,” said Dan Kelly, president of the CFIB, who went on to point out that in the 46 years the CFIB has been in existence, it has never been denied a spot at the table on minimum wage discussions.
If you are as concerned as I am, please contact your local MPP without delay to make your voice heard.