Ontario Government Taking Bold Action to Make the Province Open for Business: Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
GREATER SUDBURY, October 24, 2018 – Today, the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce released the following statement in response to the Government of Ontario’s announcement regarding the Making Ontario Open for Business Act. The announcement included a near full repeal of Bill 148, dissolution of the Ontario College of Trades, and improvements to the journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for Greater Sudbury’s business community and businesses of all sizes throughout Ontario,” said Michael Macnamara, Chair of the Board. “Our members have told us that the changes introduced by Bill 148 were too much, too fast. The chamber network has advocated strongly for a full repeal of Bill 148, and we are pleased to see the government responding.”
The chamber has long advocated for labour legislation that is both reasonable for employers and fair to workers. As Greater Sudbury’s voice of business, the chamber has maintained that Bill 148’s changes were too much, too fast, with unintended consequences having too high a cost to the local economy. It is important to implement balanced policies that make it easier to invest, start, and grow a business.
The chamber applauds the government’s commitment to making Ontario’s skilled trades apprenticeship system more responsive to the needs of the economy, and to addressing a dire labour shortage. The Ontario College of Trades has become overly focused on enforcement and regulation, limiting its ability to serve the public interest by attracting and training new tradespeople.
The chamber has long advocated for the Ontario College of Trades to modernize the apprenticeship application system, promote the skilled trades as a viable career option for young people, and revise the journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio framework to create more opportunities within the skilled trades. As these reforms were not made, the chamber network recommended to dismantle the Ontario College of Trades and return responsibilities for trades regulation to the Province. The chamber supports the government’s decision to do so.