The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is praising the provincial government’s Bill 47Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018

The bill introduced earlier this month will repeal most of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act passed on November 22nd, 2017 by the previous Liberal government.

Included in the changes is the elimination of the Ontario College of Trades, the independent regulatory body that oversees skilled trades and apprenticeships in Ontario, and transferring that responsibility to the Ministry of Labour.

The OCC says dissolving the OCOT is an important first step in modernizing Ontario’s apprenticeship system and developing a stronger, more competitive workforce.

The Chamber of Commerce is also praising changes that will make it easier for apprentices to become certified and for businesses to fill skills shortages and complete projects.

Also included in the new legislation is a freeze of the minimum wage at $14 an hour until 2020, something the OCC also supports, citing a report by Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office that states a scheduled increase would put approximately 50,000 people at risk of losing their jobs.

The minimum wage had been scheduled to rise to $15 an hour in the New Year.

Fight for 15 & is fiercely opposing the new legislation, staging numerous protests across the province including one at the office Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller in Bracebridge.

The Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce doesn’t have as yet, a firm position on the new legislation.

Executive Director Christy Cafovski says each of the 266 businesses they represent must have a say and that the PSACC will be reaching out to them for feedback.

For their full Bill 47 Rapid Policy Update, visit the Ontario Chamber of Commerce website.