Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2016
MPP Arnott disappointed Minister of Labour fails to extend
Changing Workplaces submission deadline
(Queen’s Park) – Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott is disappointed that the Minister of
Labour did not extend the deadline for submissions to the Changing Workplaces Review.
Mr. Arnott, who serves as the Ontario PC Labour Critic, wrote an open letter to the Minister of
Labour on October 6, requesting an extension of the submission deadline until at least the end
of the year, and asking the Minister to direct Special Advisors Michael Mitchell and John Murray
to actively solicit input from the business community.
“The Changing Workplaces Review is an important process. We wanted to make sure that
everyone who is interested had the opportunity to respond,” Mr. Arnott said. “We sent the letter
in good faith after meeting with several interested groups. While we received an
acknowledgement from the Minister’s office that they received it, we have heard nothing since.
There has been no explanation.”
The Changing Workplaces Review is a report commissioned by the Ministry of Labour to look
into making changes to Ontario’s labour laws. The Government says the review focuses on
how the Labour Relations Act and the Employment Standards Act can be amended to keep
pace with the “changing needs” of workers and employers.
The Interim Report for the Changing Workplaces Review was released on July 27. With the
deadline for submissions set for October 14, interested parties were given less than three
months to submit their responses in writing.
“Despite the potentially significant implications that many of these proposals would have on
Ontario’s workplaces, I do not believe that interested parties, including employers and non-
unionized employees, have been given sufficient time or opportunity to respond,” Mr. Arnott
wrote in his letter.
Mr. Arnott also pointed out that the deadline for responses to the recommendations relating to
the Personal Emergency Leave provisions of the Employment Standards Act was even shorter,
with a deadline of August 31. That gave stakeholders just over a month in the middle of the
summer to prepare their submissions.
“When I spoke to Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Murray on August 2, they indicated that while they had
heard from many labour organizations and union leaders, to that point, employers had not been
as engaged in the process…” Mr. Arnott stated in his letter. “However, I submit that the short
timeframe for submissions and the lack of active consultations has limited the opportunity for the
business community to adequately respond.”
Mr. Arnott also believes that it is problematic that the Minister has not directed the Special
Advisors to actively reach out, as much as they could, to receive feedback on the Interim
“Since the release of the Interim Report, the only avenue interested parties have for providing
their input is to prepare written submissions,” Mr. Arnott pointed out. “While they could request
a meeting with the Special Advisors, these meetings are only considered on a case-by-case
He urged the Minister to instruct his Special Advisors to hold location-based consultations
across the province, like they did while developing the Interim Report.
(Attached: Mr. Arnott’s Open Letter to the Minister of Labour and the Minister’s reply)
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