The Cornwall Chamber of Commerce Office (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).
CORNWALL, Ontario - The government’s proposed changes to Labour Relations and Employment Standards Changes will have a devastating impact on the Cornwall region’s business sector.
The Chamber wants the government to slow the process down and give businesses more time to adjust to the sweeping reforms.
A government committee is holding consultations in various parts of the province but the Cornwall region has been left out. The Chamber is pushing hard to have that committee hold a session here.
“We need our voices heard,” states Chamber Director and Political Advisory Chair, Todd. Lihou. “The proposed Labour and Employment Standards legislation will cause major increases in business costs. The extended personal leave, the 48 hour notice of employee scheduling, coupled with a major increase in the hourly wage in a mere 18 months will cripple many small businesses.”
The Chamber reports that the legislation, if enacted so rapidly, will impact area consumers. “Bill 148 will result in significant increase in the cost of business, an increase that unfortunately will be passed down to consumers,” reports Lihou. “People will pay more for merchandise, food, restaurants and leisure time activities as businesses try to cope with their increased costs. There is also the matter of job losses as businesses will no longer be able to afford to retain employees.”
The Cornwall Chamber, along with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Keep Ontario Working coalition is calling on the provincial government to give businesses more time to better prepare. In a letter to the Premier, the Keep Ontario Working group calls on the government to reconsider the timing of implementation.
“To demonstrate true fairness and compassion for workers, we must ensure Ontario has a strong economy to help create jobs and increase economic growth,” reports an Ontario Chamber spokesperson. “To plan effectively and protect jobs, employers need predictability and time to adjust to these changes.” The coalition is asking the government to phase in these changes over an extended period to give businesses time to adjust.