Support for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs in Ontario

Workers, businesses and academics agree new legislation helps Ontarians

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Yesterday, Liberal MPPs heard from a number of Ontarians about the importance of making sure everyone is sharing in the benefits of our growing economy. Here’s what workers, small businesses and academics are saying about the new Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs legislation:


“Those [studies] making the wildest predictions were met with almost unanimous skepticism and criticism from Canadian economists. And even the authors of some of these analyses admit that they expect net employment in Ontario to continue growing, even after the introduction of a $15 minimum wage. Opponents of raising the minimum wage are assuming against the tide of economic evidence that shows that increases in minimum wage are beneficial for workers and the economy.”
-- Michal Rozworski, Economist


“Actually, we only started paying a living wage the last 8 or 9 years. It had a great impact: we had 0 turnover, our staff was more invested in building relationships with the clients, they were happier, they were able to spend more time – just fostered a much better work environment than we previously had, for sure.”
-- Anita Agrawal, Chief Executive Officer and Designer, Best Bargains


“As businesses there are other ways in which we compete with each other than wages. You can compete on efficiencies or you can compete on the service that you offer – your reputation. This is stuff you build up over time. So we small businesses in Ontario can handle this change, in time. We can handle it. My view is that the minimum wage in particular is not so much a raise as it is a correction, a catching up with inflation over the years, new setting of the floor at an appropriate level for folks to be able to afford their rent, and their groceries, and so on, on one pay check.”
--Gilleen Witkowski, Owner, Walk My Dog Toronto


“We see no reason for Ontario not to lead on this and take the initiative. We think it will have significant benefits in terms of eroding inequality and it’s high time that the province took the lead on this.”
-- Brad James, Department Leader, United Steelworkers District 6


“[This bill] will be good for the future, it will be good for the economy, it will be good for their children, and their children’s children, it will be good for all of us.”
-- Fred Hahn, President, Canadian Union of Public Employees (Ontario)


“It will have the effect of adding an additional 5 billion dollars each and every year to Ontario’s economy, because we know when there is money in workers pockets, it is largely spent, and it goes back into local business’ and stimulates the economy.”
-- Pam Frache, Ontario Coordinator, Fight for $15 and Fairness


“If people had money to pay for healthy food, to pay for their medications, to attend to their doctors’ appointments, they could get monitoring every three months, they’d be doing better and we wouldn’t have these major costs down the road.”
-- Andrew Pinto, Member and Family Physician, Decent Work and Health Network


“I work with people who try to exist in low wages, and I know that raising those wages so that people can get themselves above the poverty line. People will be using that money in local economies – I know that our economy is driven by consumer demand, and household consumption, so to me that is a good thing.“
-- Mary Gellatly, Community Legal Worker, Parkdale Community Legal Services