TORONTO – This afternoon, Ford’s Conservative government extended the Reopening Ontario Act until December 1, 2021. The Act gives Ford’s Conservative government special powers and reduces public oversight of emergency orders, undermining democracy and workers’ rights.
“Since last summer, workers have raised alarm bells about the Reopening Ontario Act identifying it as a power grab by Ford’s Conservatives to skirt their democratic responsibilities and undermine workers’ rights,” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour President. “The continuation of measures that threaten job security, override collective agreements and allow employers to bypass fair processes in the workplace, deny vacation, and contract out jobs is simply unacceptable.”
The move to pass the seven-month extension of the Act is an undemocratic and unnecessary measure that ignores the legislative processes that are already in place to extend emergency orders. “As workers identified last summer after the passing of Bill 195, public accountability is of critical importance,” said Coates. This is more true now than ever, after an audit recently uncovered that Ontario failed to track $4.4 billion in pandemic relief spending that led to even further delays in pandemic pay for front-line workers.
Ford’s Conservative government has a long track record of undermining workers’ rights including cancelling the $15 minimum wage, eliminating permanent paid sick days, and introducing Bill 124, which severely limits wage and benefit increases for public sector workers.
“Ford’s Conservatives have demonstrated over and over again that they do not respect workers or the rights they are entitled to,” said Coates, “these attacks disproportionately impact workers who have been on the front-lines of this pandemic. Despite being called superheroes, these workers have been held to wages below the rate of inflation and without the protections they deserve.”
The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour
firstname.lastname@example.org l 416-894-3456