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July 8, 2020

The Ford Conservatives’ proposed Bill 195, giving themselves special powers and reducing public oversight of emergency orders, will undermine democracy and workers’ rights, says the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL).

“Bill 195 must not go forward. It is a blatant and unfettered power grab by the Ford Conservatives; a bid to give themselves carte blanche to skirt their democratic responsibilities,” said OFL President Patty Coates. “In crises, public accountability is more important than ever. There are already legislative processes for extending emergency orders as necessary to protect the health of Ontarians. This government has used emergency orders to undermine collective agreements instead of legislating decent work laws that would create permanent improvements in health and safety in our province. To protect Ontarians, extensions of emergency orders must be transparent, not masked by legislation.”

The Ford government has used its emergency powers to override collective agreements, limiting a worker’s ability to file grievances when their rights in the workplace have been violated. Checks and balances in Ontario’s legislative procedures preserve accountability from governments during challenging times. 

“Instead of fixing the root and systemic problems that have caused sectors like long-term care to fall into disrepute, this government is once again focusing their attacks on the very front-line workers they call heroes. This bill would give the government the power to continually trample workers’ rights, even after the current state of emergency is over,” said Coates. 

“Debate and reporting requirements are essential to preserving democracy in our province, health crisis or no,” said Coates. “Ford would better serve the people of our province and public health by legislating paid sick days and a livable minimum wage for all workers, ensuring a 4-hour minimum care standard for the long-term care homes, and investing in and strengthening the public services that this government has been gutting since it was elected.”

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.


For more information, please contact:

Meagan Perry 
Director of Communications 
Ontario Federation of Labour l 416-894-3456 

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