Narcity covered the news when Doug Ford announced that he was debating scrapping Bill 148 only two weeks ago. Now, it looks like the Ontario Conservative government is making strides to adjust the province's labour laws quickly.
Bill 148, also known as the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act was introduced by Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government. It brought the minimum wage up to $14 as of January 1st, 2018. While the bill intended to increase that to $15 one year later in 2019, Premiere Ford announced today that minimum wage will be frozen at the current $14 for 33 months.
Previously, Doug Ford justified the cuts to City News by explaining that he wanted to prove to people that "Ontario is open for business," after 60,000 people lost their jobs when the bill was passed in November 2017.
Today Ford, confirmed with City News that while other parts of the bill will remain, minimum wage works in Ontario will no longer be entitled to two paid sick days per year nor an increase to $15 wage come January 2019. They also will not be able to take advantage of 10 personal leave days and instead will be reduced to eight.
For now, Ontarians will be entitled to a $14 wage, two days off on bereavement leave, three days for family responsibilities and personal illness, amounting to eight personal days in total.
While the news is unsurprising, the minimum wage debate will remain closed for 33 months after Ford's freeze, meaning the next time an increase can happen will be in July 2021.