The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) was pleased to join Gila Martow, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, in support of the Ford government’s new direction on Bill 148 with the introduction of the proposed Making Ontario Open for Business Act”
“The Ontario trucking industry’s hundreds of thousands of workers need a healthy, viable economy in a province that is open for businesses to thrive,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “We think the Making Ontario Open for Business Act and the general direction of this government sends a positive signal to businesses that this is a good time to invest and expand.”
Bill 148’s treatment of scheduling and payment practices was a concern for the trucking industry, he added. “We had many questions about these issues that were never fully addressed by the previous government. We are satisfied to see these provisions eliminated during the government’s review.”
The government’s direction on minimum wage under the new bill – holding the latest increase at $14/h until 2020 – also lines up well with OTA’s long-held position that mandated increases should be tied to inflation.
“While truck drivers, who make up the vast majority of the trucking industry’s workforce, are paid well above minimum wage, we are demand-derived business and when our customers are hampered by unnecessary red tape and costs, we as an industry are affected as well,” said Jonathan Blackham, OTA director of Policy and Public Affairs.
“OTA believes a healthy economy requires balance,” says Laskowski. “Certainly, the province needs a workforce that is paid a fair living wage that increases over time. This new direction seems to find a much better equilibrium between that reality and how quickly and efficiently businesses can be expected to absorb increases.”