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Province to repeal minimum wage legislation, modernize trades system

Labour legislation includes dismantling trades college

The provincial government has announced plans to repeal Bill 148, which increased Ontario’s minimum wage, and dismantle the Ontario College of Trades, two pieces of legislation it calls “burdensome” and “job-killing.”

The announcement was made on Oct. 23 by Jim Wilson, Ontario's minister responsible for red tape and regulatory burden reduction; Laurie Scott, minister of labour; and Merrilee Fullerton, minister of training, colleges and universities.

If passed, the new legislation – titled Making Ontario Open for Business Act – would maintain the minimum wage at $14 an hour until 2020, which would then be followed by increases tied to inflation.

Each worker would be entitled to up to three days for personal illness, two days for bereavement, and three days for family responsibilities. Current provisions for domestic and sexual violence leave will be maintained.

A full listing of the anticipated changes is available here.

The province also vowed to wind down the Ontario College of Trades, calling it a “source of unnecessary and burdensome complexity for skilled trades employment in the province.”

Instead, the province would introduce a one-to-one journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio for every trade for which ratios apply.

An outline of the planned amendments to trades legislation is available here.