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November 14, 2018

(TORONTO) – Community and labour groups will hold “Peoples’ Hearings” on November 15 across Ontario, in protest of Ford government’s decision to limit Thursday’s Bill 47 hearing by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs to a mere five hours.

“The people of Ontario, the same people Premier Ford had promised to govern for, are being shut out of the hearings on Bill 47,” said Jessa McLean, organizer of the York Region $15 & Fairness Town Hall. “We’ve decided to hold our own hearing here in Newmarket, because we believe the voices of the people most impacted by this dangerous legislation need to be heard.”

There is little opportunity for public input on Bill 47. This is in stark contrast to the 14 days of province-wide committee hearings the previous government held to discuss Bill 148, as well as the two-year long Changing Workplaces Review that preceded it. That review had involved 12 public consultations, 200 oral presentations, and nearly 600 written submissions. This rigorous process laid the foundation for the employment and labour law reforms that Ontarians currently benefit from. These are the very laws the Ford government seeks to undo with Bill 47.

“Cancelling decent work laws and a $15 minimum wage for Ontarians is wrong. This government must do the right thing: stand up for workers and withdraw Bill 47,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “Right now, workers are only 7 weeks away from getting the increase to $15, yet Ford’s government wants to delay it by 7 years. This real dollar cut in the minimum wage is a callous act that will push people further into poverty. When workers have money in their pocket, they spend it, building local economies. It is no surprise that Ontario hit its lowest unemployment numbers in a decade, after $14 came in.”

In addition to imposing a real dollar wage cut for Ontario’s lowest paid workers by delaying $15 to at least 2025, Bill 47 would also eliminate the two paid sick days, reduce the number of unpaid personal emergency leave days, lower fines for employers who break the law, scrap equal pay rules and make it easier for employers to fire workers who decline last minute shifts, and do away with measures that made it easier to join and keep a union.

“It’s the beginning of the holiday season. What the lowest-wage earners in Ontario need is a $15 minimum wage on January 1, as scheduled, not an income tax cut that will do nothing for two-thirds of those earning the minimum wage,” said Pam Frache, Coordinator of Fight for $15 & Fairness Campaign.

Brantford, Newmarket, Ottawa, Scarborough, St. Thomas and Toronto are some of the locations where local community and labour groups will be speaking out. See event details below.

BRANTFORD, Morning transit outreach
Thursday, 8:30AM – 9:30AM, Brantford Transit Terminal, 64 Darling St
Click here to see additional event details

BRANTFORD, Afternoon canvass& Speak-out
Thursday, 12:00PM – 2:00PM, RCW Lobby, 154 Dalhousie St
Click here to see additional event details

NEWMARKET, York Region Peoples’ Hearing Town Hall
Thursday, 4:00PM – 7:00PM – CUPE 905 Hall, 165 Pony Dr
Click here to see additional event details

OTTAWA (Nepean), The Peoples’ Hearing on Bill 47: Speak out for fairness!
Thursday, 1:30PM – 3:30PM – 1580 Merivale Rd
Click here to see additional event details

SCARBOROUGH, Outreach & Speak-out
Thursday, 5:30PM – 7:00PM – Intersection of Markham & Ellesmere, 2100 Ellesmere Rd
Click here to see additional event details

ST. THOMAS, Outreach & Speak-out
Thursday, 3:30PM – 4:30 PM – 750 Talbot St
Click here to see additional event details

TORONTO, Bill 47 “Mock Committee” Peoples’ Hearing
Thursday, 12:30PM – 1:00PM – Queen’s Park front lawn
Click here to see additional event details

TORONTO, Flu Fighter Outreach led by health providers
Thursday, 12:00PM – 2:00PM – Corner of College St & University Ave
Click here to see additional event details

TORONTO, Outreach at York Lanes & Speak-out
Thursday, 12:30PM – 2:30PM – York Lanes Mall, 4700 Keele St
Click here to see additional event details

TORONTO, Downtown outreach & Speak-out
Thursday, 5:30PM – 7:00PM – Spadina and Bloor intersection
Click here to see additional event details

For more information:

Nil Sendil
Communications Coordinator, Fight for $15 and Fairness
info@15andfairness.org l 647-710-5795

Meagan Perry
Director of Communications,
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl.ca l 416-894-3456

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