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November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016

Dear Candidates,

The by-election for Ottawa-Vanier has been called at a time where a significant number of constituents in your riding are precariously employed. This means that they receive low pay and few – if any – workplace benefits, have little or no job security, face constantly changing work scheduling, and are afforded little or no protection through unions. This is their day-to-day reality.

As their future representative, you have the power to change the status quo and fight for decent work in Ontario. Please refer to the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)’s response to the 2016 Changing Workplaces Review: Special Advisors’ Interim Report (attached) for concrete recommendations on how to effectively eliminate precarious work and create a legislative framework for decent work in Ontario.

In Ottawa-Gatineau, within Ontario and its surrounding area, nearly 40 per cent of the working population makes less than $30,000 a year. In fact, Vanier has recently been labelled as a ‘working poor’ zone by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Unsurprisingly, women, Indigenous people, racialized and ethnic people, immigrants, and youth are overrepresented in precarious employment and are therefore more likely to be classified as the working poor.

Although the OFL formally represents one million workers in the province, we advocate on behalf of all working people through the Make It Fair campaign, we are mobilizing labour unions across the province to fight for meaningful changes to Ontario’s labour and employment laws—in solidarity with the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign. Last week, we organized a canvass in this riding where heard the growing call for better working conditions, for more permanent full-time work with good wages and benefits, and for greater access to joining and keeping a union.

Ontario is at a crossroads. The choices that the government makes today, through the Changing Workplaces Review, will not only affect the lives of millions of Ontarians, but it also has the potential to set the standard of work across Canada and across the world. As part of government or the opposition, you have a responsibility to advocate for the issues that matter to the people in your riding.

We have a once in a generation opportunity to bring in sweeping changes to Ontario’s outdated employment and labour laws. The OFL, along with your constituents, hope that you’ll join our call for making employment and labour standards fair across the province.


CHRIS BUCKLEY                                 PATTY COATES                                  AHMAD GAIED

President                                                  Secretary-Treasurer                            Executive Vice-President


COPE 343


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