Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ontario govt. announces formal repeal of controversial wage restraint law – Bill 124

Toronto (Feb 23) – The Doug Ford government today announced a formal repeal of a controversial law that capped wage increases of public sector workers in Ontario for three years.

Last week the Ontario Court of Appeal decision upheld the Superior Court’s 2022 finding that Bill 124’s wage restraint measures were unconstitutional and unjustifiably interfered with the freedom of association guarantee under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

After the ruling by the second court on February 12, the Ontario government stated that it would not appeal the rulling but repeal the law that is seen as a major cause of the health-care staffing crisis and frontline worker burnout.

“The Government of Ontario today (February 23) repealed Bill 124 in its entirety through an Order in Council, as was permitted through the legislation. Repealing the Bill will solve for the inequality of workers created by the recent court decision,” the province stated in a brief news release issued Friday morning.

Bill 124 was enacted in 2019 as a means to help the province reduce the deficit and capped wage increases for some 1.3 million broader public sector workers at one per cent for three years.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario has called for the Progressive Conservative government to ensure that “their March provincial budget contains funding for a remedy to restore millions of dollars in wages lost by public sector workers” when Bill 124 was in effect.

Both CUPE and Ontario NDP leader Marit Styles want Premier Doug Ford and his party to apologize to public sector workers as well.

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