The Keep Ontario Working group, a coalition of Ontario’s leading industry and sector associations, has sent an open letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne urging the Government of Ontario to slow down the implementation of Bill 148. The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act will bring about major changes in less than six months, and Ontario’s employer community is concerned that the pace of change will seriously injure our economic growth. The Keep Ontario Working coalition is calling on the provincial government to give businesses more time to better prepare.

In their letter, the Keep Ontario Working group calls on the government to consider the timing of implementation. As it stands now, Ontario’s minimum wage will increase by 32 per cent (to $15 an hour) in only 18 months.

“To demonstrate true fairness and compassion for workers, we must ensure Ontario has a strong economy to help create jobs and increase economic growth,” said Karl Baldauf, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and Spokesperson for the Keep Ontario Working Coalition. “To plan effectively and protect jobs, employers need predictability and time to adjust to these changes. There is no way to absorb and adjust to a 32 per cent hit in less than 18 months.”

The Keep Ontario Working coalition has commissioned its own an independent economic analysis to better understand the economic impact of these changes. The results of the coalition’s economic analysis will be shared this coming August.

In addition to the OCC, other members of the The Keep Ontario Working coalition include the Canadian Franchise Association; Food & Consumer Products of Canada; Food and Beverage Ontario; National Association of Canada Consulting Businesses; Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association; Ontario Federation of Agriculture; Ontario Forest Industries Association; Ontario Real Estate Association; Restaurants Canada;
Retail Council of Canada; and, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario.

Locally, Ancaster-Dundas-Westdale-Flamborough MPP Ted McMeekin – parliamentary assistant to Premier Wynne – has accepted an invitation to discuss the proposed changes in August at a Business Round Table for members of the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce and the Waterdown BIA.

Stay tuned.