• Ontario Government Announces Public Hearings on Bill 148
  • July 14, 2017 | Author: Kate Dearden
  • Law Firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Toronto Office
  • The Ontario government continues to move Bill 148 through the legislative process by holding public consultations in June and July. As discussed in our previous Alerts, the Ontario government introduced Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 on June 1, 2017. Bill 148 was also given Second Reading and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (the "Committee") on June 1, 2017, signaling the government's intention to pass the bill when the Legislature resumes on September 11, 2017. If Bill 148 is passed, many of the key amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 would come into force on January 1, 2018, including $14 minimum wage, three weeks' vacation time for employees with more than five years' service and the introduction of Personal Emergency Leave (“PEL”) to all workplaces, including two paid PEL days. The changes to the Labour Relations Act, 1995, including card-based certification for certain industries, would come into force within six months of Bill 148's passage.

    Since Bill 148 was introduced, we have heard from Ontario employers about the significant impacts Bill 148 would have within their particular workplace. The public hearings scheduled for June and July will likely be the last formal opportunity to provide the government with the employer perspective before Bill 148 is passed.

    There are three ways an Ontario employer can provide the government with feedback on Bill 148's impact in the workplace:

    • Attend the June 22, 2017 meeting of the Committee. For information on how to attend the Committee meeting, please contact the Clerk, Eric Rennie, at 416.325.3506 or by e-mail at [email protected]
    • Attend a public hearing being held across Ontario. Public hearings will be held across Ontario in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston and Windsor-Essex during the week of July 10, 2017. A contact name, mailing address, phone number and email address must be provided to the Clerk by July 4, 2017 for anyone wishing to attend the hearings during the week of July 10, 2017. Additional public hearings will occur during the week of July 17, 2017 in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Hamilton and Toronto. A contact name, mailing address, phone number and email address must be provided to the Clerk by July 4, 2017 for anyone wishing to attend the hearings during the week of July 17, 2017.
    • Provide written submissions to the Committee no later than July 21, 2017 at 5:30 pm