Today in the Ontario Legislative Assembly two more petitions from injured workers were presented by MPPs John Yakabuski (Renfrew-Nippising-Pembroke) and James J. Bradley ( St Catharines)
While Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (S.O. 2017 c.22) – including mandated minimum wage increases January 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019 – received Royal Assent November 27, second reading debate continued on Bill 177 Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures). In Schedule 45, the Bill opens the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, as Cindy Forster (MPP-Welland) noted last week, “to deal with the issue of mental stress in a better way than it has been dealt with in the past. But while they opened that, they didn’t deal with the issue of deeming …”. And while finding changes to mental stress entitlement “a great step forward for workers”, fellow NDP MPP Catherin Fife (Kitchener-Waterloo) questioned why workers’ compensation issues were included in an omnibus bill: “The WSIB and its entire infrastructure and its entire organization for many years now has been very focused on reducing its liability and not so focused on ensuring that the workers who are injured in the workplace receive the attention that they need.”
If the House agrees to a government motion on time allocation raised in the Legislative Assembly today, the Bill will go to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs with one day for hearings (tentatively Dec. 7, request deadline Dec 5) and one day for clause-by-clause discussion. Proposed deadline for written submissions is 6 p.m. Dec. 7.