Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

June 14, 2005 16:35 ET

McGuinty government ignores human rights issues with Bill 144 --

Liberal majority passes inequitable legislation Attention: Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - June 14, 2005) - Ontario Federation of Labour president Wayne Samuelson was outraged that the McGuinty Liberals used their majority government to pass Bill 144, Labour Relations Statute Law Amendment Act, 2004 on June 13, the last day of the Parliamentary session despite concerns by the Ontario Human Rights Commission that the legislation is flawed and discriminatory.

"Chief Commissioner, Keith Norton stated in his May 16, 2005 letter to the Minister of Labour that, "Specifically, it has been suggested that the proposed amendments would provide benefit, namely the ability to bypass the standard wait period and certification vote, to a male-dominated, largely white employment sector, while excluding other sectors, many of which tend to be comprised, in good number, of women and members of racialized groups."

"Why didn't the government investigate the caution by the Human Rights Commission thoroughly and reply? It seems to be a real slap in the face to hundreds of thousands of women workers and equity groups," Samuelson said."The labour movement and equity groups have raised these human rights issues from the first introduction of this Bill," Samuelson said.

"Now the government has not only ignored the labour movement and equity groups but Chief Commissioner, Keith Norton and the Ontario Human Rights Commission as well."

"Why didn't the Premier intervene when his Minister of Labour, Chris Bentley, received this inquiry by the Ontario Human Rights Commission? Why was Bill 144 passed with this troubling cloud of potential conflict?"

cope343 /For further information: Dana Boettger
OFL Communications Director

Contact Information

  • Wayne Samuelson, OFL President
    Primary Phone: 416-571-7408