Liberals, Conservatives cap labour bill hearings

An all-party committee of MPPs is touring the province to hear feedback regarding proposed changes to labour laws – but Wednesday night, Wynne's Liberals and the Conservatives refused to support a move from NDP MPP and Labour critic Cindy Forster meant to extend the committee's hearings.

The proposal was aimed at accommodating a young worker who wanted a chance to speak. Conservative and Liberal MPPs joined together to cut the proceedings  and send him, and anyone else that wanted to speak, away. 

“We're here to talk about severely outdated employment standards that haven't been touched in over two decades. These are issues that affect millions of people across the province who are trying to make ends meet every day,” said Forster

“It's clear that people have many concerns about Kathleen Wynne's changes to Ontario's labour laws, and not only do they have every right to be heard, but it's our job as MPPs to do everything we can to provide that space.”  

“Taxpayer dollars are financing travel across the province to hear feedback on Bill 148. For the Conservatives and Liberals to not provide the opportunity to be heard, especially when committee is already ahead of schedule, flies in the face of what public committee hearings are meant to stand for.”

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has vowed to table a package of amendments to the labour bill after listening to feedback, saying changes fall well short of recognizing that workers in the contract and gig economy aren't being given enough stability.