Transcript: Ontario's Employment Challenges | Oct 31, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray plaid suit, white shirt, and printed blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ontario's employment challenges. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says CALLING THE PREVIOUS
GOVERNMENT'S LABOUR REFORMS
"JOBS KILLERS" - INCLUDING THE
FINAL PROPOSED HIKE THAT WAS TO
PUT THE MINIMUM WAGE TO 15 dollars PER
HOUR - THE CURRENT ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT IS SETTING A NEW
COURSE ON THE LABOUR FILE.
AT THE SAME TIME, THE
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS HOVERING
NEAR RECORD LOWS, AND JOBS IN
SEARCH OF SKILLED WORKERS OFTEN
GO WANTING.
HERE TO HELP US SORT THROUGH IT
ALL, WE WELCOME:
ANDREW PARKIN, DIRECTOR OF THE
MOWAT CENTRE AND AUTHOR OF ITS
REPORT "A DIFFERENT ONTARIO,
INCOME and EMPLOYMENT, A DECADE OF
CHANGE."

Andrew is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with mid-parted brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and gray tie.

Steve continues JULIE KWIECINSKI, DIRECTOR OF
PROVINCIAL AFFAIRS FOR ONTARIO,
AT THE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF
INDEPENDENT BUSINESS...

Julie is in her forties, with blond hair in a bun and bangs. She's wearing glasses and a printed red velvet jacket.

Steve continues AND SHEILA BLOCK, SENIOR
ECONOMIST AT THE CANADIAN CENTRE
FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES.

Sheila is in her fifties, with short white hair. She's wearing glasses, a gray blazer and a gray shirt.

Steve continues WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME YOU
ALL TO TVO TONIGHT.
JUST AS A WAY OF SETTING THIS
UP, YOU TWO ON THE BOOKENDS ARE
GOING TO SIT TIGHT FOR A LITTLE
WHILE.
THIS IS ANDREW'S REPORT, AND
WE'RE GOING TO START OFF THE TOP.
YOU'RE OUR STARTING PITCHER, BUT
IT WILL SET THE TABLE FOR THE
DISCUSS TO COME HERE...
DISCUSSION TO COME HERE.
LET'S START WITH THIS.
HOW DO ONTARIO'S EMPLOYMENT
INCOME LEVELS STACK UP COMPARED
OTHER PROVINCES?

The caption changes to "Andrew Parkin. Mowat Centre."
Then, it changes again to "The big picture."

Andrew says ONTARIO IS STILL RELATIVELY
SPEAKING A WEALTHY PROVINCE, BUT
IT GREW... ITS INCOME GREW MUCH
MORE SLOWLY THAN ANY OTHER
PROVINCE OVER THE DECADE BEFORE
THE LAST CENSUS.
SO WE'RE LOOKING UP UNTIL THE
2016 CENSUS.
AND ESSENTIALLY WE WERE THE LAST
IN THE... LAST IN THE CLASS IN
TERMS OF GROWING THE INCOME.
QUEBEC'S INCOME GREW TWICE AS
FAST AS ONTARIANS DID OVER THAT
10-YEAR PERIOD.
I THINK ALBERTA GREW SIX TIMES
AS FAST JUST IN TERMS OF THE
PACE OF CHANGE.

Steve says THAT DOESN'T MEAN...
THE AVERAGE INCOME IN ALBERTA
GREW SIX TIMES FASTER THAN THE
AVERAGE INCOME IN ONTARIO?

Andrew says OVER THAT DECADE PERIOD.
IT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S SIX TIMES
BETTER, IT JUST MEANS THAT THEIR
PACE OF CHANGE WAS MUCH FASTER
THAN ONTARIANS OVER THAT DECADE.

Steve says GOT IT.

Andrew says SINCE IN ALBERTA THINGS HAVE
CHANGED.

Steve says INDEED.

Andrew says SO AGAIN, ONTARIO IS STILL
ONE OF THE WEALTHIEST PROVINCES
IN CANADA, BUT WE HAVE HAD A
VERY DIFFICULT DECADE LEADING UP
TO RECENT YEARS.

Steve says HOW ABOUT IN TERMS OF
WHETHER MEN AND-OR WOMEN
EXPERIENCED THE PAST DECADE IN
TERMS OF ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE AND
INCOME AND SO ON?
HOW DID THAT LOOK?

Andrew says IN ONTARIO IT IS QUITE
DIFFERENT.
THESE THINGS DO BREAK DOWN IN A
NUMBER OF DIFFERENT WAYS, AND
THEY OVERLAP IN INTERESTING
WAYS.
SO CERTAINLY MEN HAD A TOUGHER
TIME DURING THAT DECADE THAN
WOMEN, WHICH DOESN'T MEAN THAT
MEN DON'T STILL EARN MORE THAN
WOMEN ON AVERAGE.

Steve says THEY CALLED IT A HE
SESSION FOR A REASON.

Andrew says YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT.
THEY WERE MORE LIKELY TO BE IN
WORKING IN INDUSTRIES WHERE
EMPLOYMENT WAS DECLINING, AND
THEIR INCOME OVER THAT PERIOD,
MEN AS A WHOLE, THEIR INCOME
DECLINED, WHEREAS WOMEN'S INCOME
DID NOT.
SO THE GAP BETWEEN WHAT MEN AND
WOMEN IN ONTARIO EARN ON
AVERAGE, THE GAP SHRUNK OVER
THAT DECADE, WHICH IS GOOD NEWS,
BUT SOME OF THAT SHRINKAGE WAS
BECAUSE MEN'S INCOME WAS
DECLINING, WHICH IS NOT THE BEST
WAY, I GUESS, TO GET TO GENDER
EQUITY.

Steve says YOU WOULD LIKE GENDER
EQUITY BECAUSE WOMEN'S WAGES ARE GOING UP.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT REGION BY
REGION, HOW DID IT STACK UP THAT WAY?

Andrew says SO AGAIN, A LOT OF
DIFFERENCE, WHICH DOESN'T MEAN
THAT THERE WERE SORT OF, YOU
KNOW, HUGE BOOM AREAS.
I THINK EVERYONE HAD THEIR OWN
DIFFICULTIES, BUT CERTAINLY YOU
CAN MAP AN ARC KIND OF GOING
FROM AROUND PETERBOROUGH,
OSHAWA, UP TO BARRIE AND DOWN
AROUND ALL THE WAY AROUND TO
WINDSOR, SORT OF AN ARC AROUND
THE GTA, AND THAT... THOSE AREAS
HAD THE TOUGHEST TIME OVER THAT
PERIOD.
IN OTHER WORDS, EMPLOYMENT
INCOMES DECLINED MORE SHARPLY IN
THOSE AREAS THAN THEY DID IN
OTHER PARTS OF THE PROVINCE.
NOT SURPRISING, THOSE ARE AREAS
WHERE YOU WOULD TYPICALLY HAVE
SEEN MORE MANUFACTURING, AND
AGAIN, THAT'S THE INDUSTRY
DURING THE RECESSION AND COMING
OUT OF THE RECESSION GOT HIT
HARDEST.
AND IT COMBINES BECAUSE
PARTICULARLY MEN IN THOSE AREAS
AGAIN IF YOU GET TO WINDSOR, IF
YOU LOOK AT MEN'S EMPLOYMENT
INCOME IN WINDSOR OVER A 10-YEAR
PERIOD, AS A WHOLE, DECLINED
25 percent.

Steve says HMM.
HOW ABOUT BY AGE?

The caption changes to "Andrew Parkin, @parkinacr."

Andrew says SO YOUNG PEOPLE IN THIS CASE
HAD A HARDER TIME.
SO THE 25 TO 34-YEAR-OLD YOUNG
ADULT, PEOPLE STARTING THEIR
CAREERS, MOVING INTO THE LABOUR
FORCE.
NOW THIS DOESN'T MEAN THAT A
YOUNG PERSON STARTING IN 2005,
FOR INSTANCE, LOST INCOME OVER
THAT DECADE.
WHAT WE'RE DOING, WE'RE
COMPARING COHORTS.
WHAT IT MEANS IS YOUNG PEOPLE
TODAY ARE STARTING AT LOWER
INCOMES THAN YOUNG PEOPLE DID 10
YEARS AGO, AND AGAIN IT
COMBINES, SO PARTICULARLY YOUNG
MALES, PARTICULARLY YOUNG MALES
IN SOME OF THOSE REGIONS IN THE
ARC AROUND THE GTA.
IT CASCADES, ONE FACTOR AFTER
ANOTHER.
IT IS TRUE, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
MILLENNIALS AS A GENERATION, AND
SOME PEOPLE KIND OF ROLL THEIR
EYES, BUT THE FACTS SHOW THAT IS
A GENERATION THAT IS STARTING
OFF BEHIND THE GENERATION THAT
CAME BEFORE THEM.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says IS THAT TAKING
INFLATION INTO ACCOUNT?

Andrew says YEAH, THIS IS ALL HAVING
TAKEN INFLATION OUT OF THE
EQUATION ESSENTIALLY.
THIS IS REAL.

Steve says SO APPLES TO APPLES COMPARISONS?

Andrew says YES.

Steve says IF YOU HAVE THE
NUMBERS HANDY, 10 OR 20 YEARS
AGO IF YOU'RE A YOUNG PERSON
STARTING OUT IN 25 PLUS, WHAT
WOULD YOUR AVERAGE INCOME HAVE
BEEN VERSUS WHAT IT IS NOW?

Andrew says SO I HAVE THE PERCENTAGE
CHANGE.
SO FOR INSTANCE, FOR YOUNG MEN
IN ONTARIO, THEY'RE STARTING AT
ABOUT 7 percent BEHIND, AS A WHOLE, ON
AVERAGE, AS A GROUP, RIGHT?
DOESN'T MEAN THAT EACH AND EVERY
INDIVIDUAL IS WORSE OFF.
SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING GREAT,
BUT AS A WHOLE THEY ARE STARTING
OFF ABOUT 7 percent LOWER THAN THAT AGE
COHORT DID IN 2005.

Steve says AND YET MANY OF THEM
ARE TRYING TO GET INTO A HOUSING
MARKET WHERE THE PRICES WILL BE
ASTRONOMICALLY HIGHER.

Andrew says ABSOLUTELY, YEAH.

Steve says HMM.
THAT MISMATCH DOESN'T WORK TOO
WELL, DOES IT?
HOW ABOUT IF YOU ARE A RECENT
IMMIGRANT TO THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO?
HOW WOULD YOUR INCOME HAVE
LOOKED COMPARED TO OTHERS?

Andrew says COMPARED TO OTHERS, OF
COURSE, RECENT IMMIGRANTS, JUST
STARTING OUT IN A NEW LABOUR
MARKET, SO THEIR INCOMES TEND TO
BE LOWER, BUT WE LOOKED AT THE
COMPARISON OF RECENT IMMIGRANTS
TODAY VERSUS RECENT IMMIGRANTS
BEFORE.
IT'S A TRICKIER COMPARISON.
IT DOESN'T SEEM TO HAVE BEEN A
SHARP CHANGE THERE.
BUT YOU KNOW, IMMIGRANTS IS A
KIND OF CATCH-ALL CATEGORY, AND
YOU HAVE IMMIGRANTS WITH
DIFFERENT SKILL LEVELS FROM
DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE COUNTRY.
AND I THINK... THINKING ABOUT
IMMIGRANTS AS A WHOLE IS NOT
ALWAYS SORT OF THE BEST HANDLE.
SOME IMMIGRANT GROUPS, THE
IMMIGRANTS WHO CAME IN THE
1980S, FOR INSTANCE, ARE DOING
GREAT ON THE WHOLE.
DOESN'T MATTER WHERE THEY CAME
FROM.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT MAYBE NOT
NECESSARILY AT IMMIGRANT
CATEGORIES BUT AT DIFFERENT
RACIAL GROUPS IN OUR SOCIETY,
THERE ARE DEFINITELY SOME,
AGAIN, THAT ARE WAY AHEAD, AND
THEY ARE WAY AHEAD OF WHERE
THEIR PARENTS WERE.
SO YOU'VE GOT THAT ARCHETYPAL
IMMIGRANT SUCCESS STORY.
THE PARENTS CAME, INCOMES ARE
LOWER AT FIRST BUT THEIR
CHILDREN ARE GOING TO DO GREAT.
BUT THERE'S OTHER COMMUNITIES,
THE BLACK COMMUNITY IN ONTARIO,
THE LATIN AMERICAN COMMUNITY,
WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE NOT DOING
AS GREAT AS THEIR PARENTS, AND
THAT RAISES REAL ISSUES ABOUT
WHAT KIND OF BARRIERS MIGHT BE
IN THE PLACE THAT PREVENTS THAT
SORT OF IMMIGRANT SUCCESS STORY
FROM TAKING ROOT.

Steve says I WANT TO MAKE SURE I
GET THIS.
IF YOU'RE COMPARING TODAY VERSUS
A DECADE AGO AND IF YOU ARE, FOR
EXAMPLE, FROM A RACIALIZED
COMMUNITY OR A VISIBLE MINORITY,
YOU ARE NOT DOING BETTER?

Andrew says NO, YOU HAVE TO BREAK IT DOWN
MORE.
SOME VISIBLE MINORITY
COMMUNITIES, PEOPLE OVER CHINESE
BACKGROUND, JAPANESE BACKGROUND,
FOR INSTANCE, THAT STATSCAN
WOULD CLASSIFY THEM AS PART OF
ONTARIO'S VISIBLE MINORITY
COMMUNITIES, BUT THEIR INCOMES
ARE GROWING AND TEND TO BE MORE
SUCCESSFUL GENERATION TO
GENERATION.
SO YOU HAVE TO BRING A FAIRLY
FINE ANALYSIS TO THIS BECAUSE
JUST BECAUSE THOSE... AS I SAID,
THOSE CATCH-ALL CATEGORIES IN
OUR SOCIETY, THEY DON'T ALWAYS
HELP.
AN IMMIGRANT IS NOT AN IMMIGRANT
IS NOT AN IMMIGRANT.
WHERE YOU CAME FROM, WHERE YOU
CAME, WHAT LANGUAGE YOU SPEAK,
WHAT SKILLS YOU CAME.
SOME ARE DOING VERY WELL AND
SOME ARE FACING BARRIERS.

Steve says OKAY.
IN THE REPORT, I WANT TO PLUCK A
REPORT OUT OF HERE, YOU WROTE:
THIS MEANS THAT MANY YOUNG
ADULTS TRANSITIONING FROM
EDUCATION TO WORK ARE STARTING
THEIR CAREERS WITH LOWER PAY
THAN WAS THE CASE 10 YEARS AGO.
I MENTIONED THE HOUSING
IMPLICATIONS A SECOND AGO, BUT
LET'S JUST SORT OF BROADEN THAT
OUT A BIT.
AS YOU CONSIDER THOSE FACTS FROM
NOW TO 10 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD, WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THAT?

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Andrew says WELL, I... THE RESEARCH TENDS
TO SHOW THAT GENERATIONS THAT
ARE KIND OF COME OF AGE IN A
RECESSION ACTUALLY DO ALWAYS
STRUGGLE TO KIND OF KEEP UP IN
THAT SENSE, THAT THIS COULD HAVE
A... I'M TRYING NOT TO BE TOO
MUCH OF A KILLJOY HERE, BUT A
LINGERING EFFECT FOR THAT
GENERATION AS THEY, YOU KNOW,
WILL GET INTO THAT GREAT JOB
THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN LOOKING FOR,
THEY WILL GET INTO THAT A LITTLE
BIT LATER.
THEIR INCOMES WILL GROW
EVENTUALLY, BUT IT WILL BE LATER
AND IT WILL AFFECT THEIR
SAVINGS, IT WILL AFFECT THINGS
OVER THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES.
BUT I DO WANT TO BRING ONE MORE
ELEMENT INTO THAT DISCUSSION OF
YOUTH, BECAUSE THE ASPECT OF
EDUCATION ALSO STILL REALLY
MATTERS HERE.
SO WE'RE SENDING THE MESSAGE TO
YOUNG PEOPLE THAT, YOU KNOW,
EDUCATION COUNTS A LOT.
THE MORE EDUCATION YOU GET, THE
BETTER OFF YOU WILL BE.
AND THAT'S TRUE.

Steve says THE SLOGAN I HEARD WAS
THE MORE YOU LEARN, THE MORE YOU EARN.
STILL TRUE?

Andrew says IT CONTINUES TO BE TRUE, AND
THERE'S A... AND IT'S WORTH
EMPHASIZING THE POINT, BECAUSE
IF YOU LOOK, FOR INSTANCE, AT
UNIVERSITY-EDUCATED YOUNG PEOPLE
OR COLLEGE-EDUCATED YOUNG PEOPLE
AND YOU LOOK AT THEIR INCOME
GROWTH, IT'S NOT FANTASTIC.
MARGINAL.
OVER THAT 10-YEAR PERIOD OF
TIME, YOU THINK, WOW, MAYBE A
UNIVERSITY DEGREE ISN'T ALL IT'S
KIND OF CRACKED UP TO BE, AND
THEN YOU LOOK AT YOUNG PEOPLE
WHO DIDN'T GO TO ANY FORM OF
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION AT ALL,
AND THEY ARE MUCH WORSE OFF.
SO I THINK, YOU KNOW, THOSE
YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT THERE
WHO HAVE INVESTED IN THEIR
EDUCATION AND ARE EXPERIENCING
THIS SORT OF LONGER TRANSITION
IN THE LABOUR FORCE, DON'T
NECESSARILY CONCLUDE THAT YOU
MADE THE WRONG DECISION.

Steve says GOT IT.

Andrew says BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVES ARE
CERTAINLY NO BETTER, AND IN SOME
CASES, YOU KNOW, BRING MUCH MORE
DIFFICULTIES WITH IT.
ALL OF WHAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING
ABOUT SORT OF PICK UP THE
EFFECTS OF CHANGES IN THE LABOUR
MARKET.

Steve says RIGHT.

Andrew says AND THE WAY WORK IS CHANGING
IS CHANGING IN A WAY THAT
CONTINUES TO PUT A PREMIUM ON
ANY FORM OF EDUCATION AND
TRAINING.
THE MORE YOU GET, THE MORE YOU
EARN, THE MORE SECURE YOU'LL BE.

Steve says GOTCHA.
JUST BEFORE WE BRING JULIE AND
SHEILA INTO THIS CONVERSATION
AND END THE PARKIN AND PAIKIN
PART OF THE SHOW, I WANT TO COME
TO SOMETHING YOU SAID RIGHT OFF
THE TOP.
YOU PREFACED THE REMARKS BY
SAYING ONTARIO IS STILL A
RELATIVELY WEALTHY PROVINCE, AND
WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT
BETTER THAT MEANS.
WHEN I WAS A KID THIS PROVINCE
WAS FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS AND
WAS THE UNAMBIGUOUS ECONOMIC
ENGINE OF THE CASE.
IS THAT STILL THE CASE?

Andrew says IT'S STILL THE LARGEST
ECONOMY IN THE COUNTRY.
WE ARE STILL HOME TO MANY LARGE
AND PROFITABLE BUSINESSES.
WE HAVE NEIGHBOURHOODS IN
TORONTO THAT HAVE VERY LARGE
HOMES WITH VERY WEALTHY PEOPLE
LIVING THERE, AND THAT WEALTH IS
LIKELY TO CONGREGATE IN A BIG
CITY LIKE TORONTO.
IF YOU WANT TO ASK WHERE WEALTHY
PEOPLE IN CANADA LIVE, MANY OF
THEM LIVE RIGHT HERE.
THEY DO LIVE ALL OVER CANADA AS
WELL.
BUT I THINK WHAT'S CHANGED, IF
YOU LOOK AT THE WEST, FOR
INSTANCE, WHEN YOU WERE TALKING
ABOUT, YOU KNOW, YOUR
RECOLLECTION SAY 20, 30 YEARS
AGO, THE POPULATION DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN ONTARIO AND THE WEST WAS
MUCH GREATER.
WE'RE STILL THE BIGGEST, BUT WE
WERE, YOU KNOW, BIGGER BY
COMPARISON.
AND THE PACE OF GROWTH WAS
DIFFERENT.
SO WE WERE GROWING AND THEY WERE
NOT GROWING SO FAST.
NOW THE PACE OF GROWTH IN THE
COUNTRY HAS SHIFTED WEST.
THEY ARE GROWING FASTEST.
THEIR ECONOMIES ARE GROWING
FASTER, PLUS OR MINUS AN OIL
BOOM AND BUST CYCLE, BUT OVER
THE LONG TERM.
AND SO I THINK, YOU KNOW, I
GUESS I'M GIVING YOU A YES OR NO
ANSWER.
ONTARIO IS THE BIGGEST.
I THINK WE'RE THE
THIRD-WEALTHIEST PROVINCE JUST
MEASURED IN TERMS OF HOUSEHOLD
INCOME.
BUT YOU KNOW, THE ECONOMIC OVER
THE LIFE OF THE COUNTRY, THE
ECONOMIC CENTRE, I GUESS, HAS
BEEN... YOU KNOW, IT USED TO BE
IN MONTREAL AND THEN IT WAS HERE
AND NOW WE'RE LOOKING TO CALGARY
AND VANCOUVER.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT OUR DAYS
ARE DONE.
IT MEANS THAT THINGS ARE SORT OF
EVENED OUT A LITTLE BIT IN THE
COUNTRY.

Steve says GOTCHA.
OKAY, LET'S GET EVERYBODY INTO
THIS RIGHT NOW.
ONE OF THE REASONS WE WANTED TO
HAVE EVERYBODY HERE THIS DAY TO
HAVE THIS CONVERSATION IS THAT A
COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO PREMIER FORD
STOOD UP IN THE LEGISLATURE IN
ANSWER TO A QUESTION AND
SURPRISED EVERYBODY BY SAYING:
ALL THOSE LABOUR CHANGES THAT
CAME IN UNDER KATHLEEN WYNNE'S
GOVERNMENT UNDER THE TITLE OF
BILL 148, WE'RE GOING TO SCRAP
THAT.
AND I THINK IT CAUGHT A LOT OF
PEOPLE UNAWARES, BUT NOW WE ARE
STARTING TO SEE THE TANGIBLE
EVIDENCE OF WHAT THAT ACTUALLY
MEANS.
AND, SHELDON, I'M GOING TO ASK
OUR DIRECTOR SHELDON OSMOND TO
BRING UP THIS GRAPHIC HERE TO
HELP TAKE EVERYBODY THROUGH WHAT
THE IMPLICATIONS OF A REPEALED
BILL 148 MEANS.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Minimum wage legislation changes."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
THE 1 dollar INCREASE THAT WAS
SCHEDULED TO TAKE EFFECT JANUARY
1 WILL NOT TAKE EFFECT.
THE MINIMUM WAGE WILL STAY AT
14 dollars AN HOUR AS OPPOSED TO RISING
TO 15.

The sentence talking about the increase is crossed out.

Steve continues TWO PAID SICK DAYS, THAT'S GOING
TO BE ELIMINATED AS WELL.

The sentence talking about the sick days is crossed out.

Steve continues EMPLOYERS WILL NO LONGER BE
REQUIRED TO PAY PART-TIME
EMPLOYEES THE SAME WAGE AS
FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES WHO ARE
DOING THE SAME JOB.
THAT'S GOING TO GO.

The sentence talking about the full time pay is crossed out.

Steve continues EMPLOYEES WILL NO LONGER HAVE A
RIGHT TO BE PAID FOR THREE HOURS
OF WORK IF A SCHEDULED SHIFT IS
CANCELLED WITHIN 48 HOURS NOTICE.
THAT WAS A PROVISION OF BILL 148.
THAT'S GOING TO GO.

The sentence talking about the right to be paid is crossed out.

Steve continues EMPLOYEES WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE
TO REFUSE TO WORK ON DAYS THAT
THEY WEREN'T SCHEDULED.
AGAIN, THAT WAS PART OF 148.
NOW IT'S GONE.

The sentence talking about the refusal is crossed out.

Steve continues LET'S GET SOME FEEDBACK NOW ON
THE NATURE OF THESE CHANGES AND
WHAT WE THINK OF THEM.
JULIE, START US OFF.
THE GENERAL DIRECTION THESE
CHANGES TAKE, YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Julie Kwiecinski. Canadian Federation of Independent Business."
Then, it changes again to "Rescinding minimum wage legislation."

Julie says OKAY.
SO FIRST LET'S TALK ABOUT BILL
148, WHAT THAT MEANT TO SMALL
BUSINESSES.
THAT'S WHO I'M HERE
REPRESENTING, 42,000 SMALL- AND
MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES ACROSS
THE PROVINCE AND ACROSS ALL
SECTORS.
BILL 148 WAS VERY UNBALANCED IN
TERMS OF THE WORKPLACE EQUATION.
IT WAS VERY HEAVILY CENTERED ON
THE EMPLOYEE.
THE EMPLOYER WAS LOST.
THERE WAS NO COMPASSION SHOWN
WHATSOEVER FOR PEOPLE WHO CREATE
JOBS IN THIS PROVINCE AND TAKE
RISKS.
SO THE NEW GOVERNMENT CAME IN,
CONSULTED ON IT.
THEY TALKED TO STAKEHOLDERS LIKE
CFIB AND OTHER
REPRESENTATIVES...

Steve says THAT'S YOU GUYS.
YOU WERE TALKING.

Julie says ABSOLUTELY, AND THEY LISTENED.
WE TOLD THEM THINGS WE HAD BEEN
HEARING ANECDOTALLY ON THE
GROUND, STEVE, AND JUST AS AN
EXAMPLE, ONE OF THE PROVISIONS
WAS FOR ON-CALL WORKERS.
SO LET'S TAKE I.T. SECTOR.
IF YOU'RE IN THE I.T. SECTOR, I
WOULD SAY THAT MOST PEOPLE DON'T
MAKE MINIMUM WAGE.
SO THE POINT I'M MAKING HERE IS
FOR SOME BUSINESSES, THE MINIMUM
WAGE WAS NOT AN ISSUE.
IT WAS THE ON-CALL PROVISIONS.
I.T. SECTOR, WE HAD ONE COMPANY
CALL US, THESE PROVISIONS,
ON-CALL PROVISIONS ALONE, WILL
COST US AN ADDITIONAL $150,000 A
YEAR, WHICH EQUALS TWO JOBS.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE, MANUFACTURER,
THEY SAID AT A RECENT PRESS
CONFERENCE, THE GENTLEMAN SAID
THAT THEY WOULD HAVE LEFT
ONTARIO HAD THESE CHANGES NOT
BEEN MADE.
AND THEY WERE ALREADY STARTING
TO AUTOMATE.
SO ANECDOTALLY ON THE GROUND, IN
SPITE OF WHAT YOU HEAR IN THE
JOB NUMBERS, BILL 148 WAS
KILLING JOBS, KILLING
COMPETITIVENESS, AND IN THE END,
IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE MINIMUM
WAGE WORKER, WE'VE DONE OUR OWN
NUMBERS.
THE PROFILE OF THE MINIMUM WAGE
EARNER IN THIS PROVINCE, STEVE,
ALMOST 60 percent ARE YOUNG PEOPLE
BETWEEN THE AGES OF 15 AND 24,
2.1 percent ARE SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES,
AND OF THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE, THEY
STILL LIVE AT HOME.

Steve says SO, I MEAN, THE
INFERENCE I DRAW HERE IS THAT
THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE
TARGET GROUP THAT IS MOST
DESPERATELY IN NEED OF A WAGE
INCREASE.
IS THAT WHAT I'M HEARING?

Julie says I THINK THE POINT I'M REALLY
MAKING IS IF THIS WAS A BILL TO
HELP PEOPLE IN LOW-INCOME
POSITIONS, THEN THERE'S A BETTER
WAY TO DO IT.
THE MINIMUM WAGE IS NOT THE
CURE-ALL, THE BE-ALL, THE
PANACEA, AND BILL 47, THE NEW
BILL, WHAT IT DOES IS IT LEVELS
THE PLAYING FIELD MORE ON THE
EMPLOYER'S SIDE.
THERE'S MORE OF A BALANCE.

Steve says OKAY, HOLD OFF ON 47
BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO GET TO THAT.
BUT APROPOS OF WHAT YOU JUST
SAID OF WHO EARNS WHAT, SHELDON,
I'M GOING TO ASK YOU TO BRING UP
THE PIE CHARTS RIGHT NOW,
BECAUSE THIS WILL AMPLIFY ON
WHAT JULIE JUST SAID.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Minimum wage earners in Ontario; share of total employees."

A pie chart shows how many earn the minimum wage.

Steve reads data from the slate and says
MINIMUM WAGE EARNERS IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, 16 percent ARE
MINIMUM WAGE EARNERS.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THAT 16 percent OF
THE POPULATION.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT HOW OLD THEY
ARE, HERE'S HOW THAT BREAKS DOWN.

A bar chart appears showing that 28 percent of minimum wage earners are 15 to 19 years old, 22 percent are 20 to 24, 20 percent are 25 to 39, 16 percent are 40 to 54 and 14 percent are 55 and older.

Steve continues 28 percent OF THEM, ALMOST THREE IN
TEN, ARE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 15
AND 19.
YOU'VE GOT ALMOST A QUARTER WHO
ARE BETWEEN 20 AND 24.
ANOTHER ONE IN FIVE WHO ARE 25
TO 39.
16 percent ONLY BETWEEN THE AGES OF 40
AND 54, AND THEN 55 PLUS IS ONLY
14 percent.
SO WHEN JULIE SAYS THE MAJORITY
OF PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING MINIMUM
WAGE ARE YOUNGER PEOPLE, THE
NUMBERS SEEM TO BEAR THAT OUT.
LET'S KEEP GOING.
HOW ABOUT MEN VERSUS WOMEN?

Another pie chart shows that 58 percent are female and 42 percent are male.

Steve continues MINIMUM WAGE EARNERS IN ONTARIO
OVERWHELMINGLY ARE FEMALE.
58 percent TO 42 percent.
AND HOW ABOUT MINIMUM WAGE
EARNERS IN ONTARIO IN TERMS OF
FIRM SIZE?

Another pie chart shows that almost half firms have more than 500 employees while the other half range from less than 20 to up to 500.

Steve continues YOU CAN SEE THAT 48 percent OF MINIMUM
WAGE EARNERS, SO BASICALLY
ALMOST HALF, WORK AT COMPANIES
WHERE YOU'VE GOT MORE THAN 500
EMPLOYEES.
AND THERE ARE FEWER NUMBERS AS
THE NUMBERS... AS THE NUMBER OF
EMPLOYEES IN THE COMPANIES GO
DOWN AS WELL.
OKAY, WITH ALL OF THAT IN PLACE,
THEN, SHEILA, YOU'VE HEARD KIND
OF SIGNIFICANT CRITICISM OVER
HERE ABOUT WHAT BILL 148 WAS
DOING TO THOSE WHO CREATE THE
JOBS IN ONTARIO.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TAKE ON WHAT
148'S ABILITIES WERE?

The caption changes to "Sheila Block. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives."

Sheila says SO I THINK WE HAVE TO TAKE A
LOOK AT WHAT ANDREW WAS TALKING
ABOUT IN TERMS OF THE CHANGES IN
THE LABOUR MARKET.
AND WHAT WE REALLY SAW IS THE
TOP HALF OF THOSE DOING REALLY
WELL IN ONTARIO.
WE SAW INCREASES IN EARNINGS,
AND WHERE WE REALLY SAW THOSE
LOSSES WAS IN THE BOTTOM HALF.
AND WE'VE SEEN A BIG SHIFT IN
THE STRUCTURE OF EMPLOYMENT, AS
ANDREW WAS SUGGESTING, WHERE WE
HAVE A SHIFT FROM MANUFACTURING
TO THE SERVICE SECTOR.
AND WHAT BILL 148 WAS AIMED AT
WAS REALLY IMPROVING THE WORKING
LIVES OF LOW-INCOME FAMILIES WHO
ARE AIMING TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES
AND THEIR KIDS.
AND AS JULIE SUGGESTED, IT
WASN'T ONLY ABOUT THE MINIMUM
WAGE.
IT WAS ABOUT INCREASING FAIRNESS
AT WORK, AND IT WAS REALLY ABOUT
INCREASING THE QUALITY OF LIFE
FOR PEOPLE.
SO IN TERMS OF SCHEDULING
PROVISIONS, THAT MEANS THAT IT
MAKES IT A LOT EASIER TO WORK
OUT YOUR CHILD CARE
ARRANGEMENTS.
IT MAKES IT A LOT EASIER IF
YOU'RE TRYING TO DO SOME
EDUCATION ALONG WITH YOUR
PART-TIME WORK, TO SCHEDULE YOUR
CLASSES.
THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF
FUNCTIONAL ISSUES THAT I THINK
WERE REALLY IMPORTANT.
I ALSO THINK BILL 148 IN
PROVIDING FOR SICK LEAVE
LISTENED TO PHYSICIANS AND
LISTENED TO DOCTORS IN ONTARIO
WHO SAID, FROM A PUBLIC HEALTH
PERSPECTIVE, THE LACK OF THOSE
SICK DAYS MEANS MORE PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO SPREAD INFECTION, AND
FROM THE EFFICIENT UTILIZATION
OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES, THAT
HAVING PEOPLE... SICK PEOPLE
LINING UP IN EMERGENCY ROOMS AND
DOCTORS OFFICES WAS A REALLY
INEFFICIENT USE OF OUR HEALTH
RESOURCES.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT THAT
NOTION, THAT BY TAKING AWAY
THESE PROVISIONS THAT WOULD HAVE
MADE PEOPLE'S LIVES A LITTLE
EASIER IN THE WORKPLACE, THEY
WILL GET SICK MORE OFTEN.
IT WILL COST THE HEALTH CARE
SYSTEM MORE MONEY.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE'RE
GOING TO BE FURTHER BEHIND?

Julie says WELL, I WOULD MAKE ONE
SUGGESTION, READ BILL 47.

Steve says THAT'S THE NEW ONE.

Julie says YES, THE NEW ONE, THE NEW
BILL.
THERE ARE EIGHT UNPAID LEAVES,
THREE OF THOSE ARE FOR PERSONAL
ILLNESS, TWO FOR BEREAVEMENT,
THREE FOR FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY.

Steve says SO YOU'RE CONTENT
THERE'S STILL ADEQUATE PROVISION
IN THERE TO DEAL WITH THE
UNCERTAINTIES OF LIFE?

Julie says I THINK THE POINT, STEVE,
THAT IS A MINIMUM PRESCRIBED
ITEM IN LEGISLATION.
OUR BUSINESS OWNERS, WE ACTUALLY
SURVEYED THEM, 84 percent OF THEM
ALREADY OFFER FLEXIBILITY IN THE
WORKPLACE.
SO THE POINT I WOULD MAKE IS
THIS STUFF IS HAPPENING ALREADY.
PEOPLE ARE OFFERING TWO, THREE,
FOUR PAID SICK DAYS.
THESE ARE MINIMUM PRESCRIBED
STANDARDS.
OUR MEMBERS, SMALL- AND
MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES, ARE
ALREADY OFFERING THESE THINGS.
THEY HAVE A LOVELY, FLEXIBLE
ENVIRONMENT.
YOU COME TO THE BOSS.
MY SON IS SICK.
THEY'LL SAY, OH, JUST DEAL WITH
IT.
WE'LL WORK IT OUT LATER.

Steve says SO WE DON'T NEED A LAW
ON THIS YOU'RE SAYING?

Julie says NO, BECAUSE WHAT THE LAW IS
DOING, PAPER, BURDEN.
YOU HAVE TO TRACK EVERYTHING AND
YOU'RE MIRED IN RED TAPE.

Sheila says JULIE, I THINK YOU'RE
MISTAKEN IN YOUR RECOLLECTION OF
THIS, BECAUSE BILL 47 ACTUALLY
REDUCES THE NUMBER OF UNPAID
DAYS THAT ARE AVAILABLE THAT
WERE AVAILABLE PRIOR TO BILL
148.
AND A REALLY KEY MEASURE HERE IS
ABOUT PAID SICK DAYS, AND
ABSOLUTELY THIS IS A FLOOR.
AND WITH BILL 148 OR WITHOUT IT,
EMPLOYERS WERE ALWAYS FREE TO
PROVIDE... TO GO ABOVE THAT
FLOOR.

Julie says ACTUALLY, SHEILA, I'LL HAVE
TO CORRECT YOU ON THAT.
PRE-BILL 148 THERE WAS A
THRESHOLD OF 50 EMPLOYEES PER 10
UNPAID DAYS.
SO THERE WERE 10 UNPAID DAYS
BEFORE BILL 148, BUT THEY DIDN'T
APPLY TO SMALL BUSINESSES.

Steve says ONLY FOR COMPANIES
WITH MORE THAN 50 EMPLOYEES.

Julie says EXACTLY, STEVE, YES.

Sheila says AND THIS IS TAKING IT DOWN
FOR EVERYBODY.
IS THAT CORRECT?

Julie says THE THRESHOLD DOES NOT EXIST
ANYMORE.
SO THE NEW GOVERNMENT DID NOT
PUT NEW THRESH... DID NOT PUT
THE OLD THRESHOLD IN SO THAT
THESE DAYS APPLY TO EVERYBODY.
AND ALSO THERE'S FIVE PAID DAYS
FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, LEFT
UNTOUCHED.
10 UNPAID DAYS.
NOBODY'S TALKING ABOUT THAT.
THERE ARE THINGS IN HERE THAT
WERE NOT CHANGED, AND ALSO, IF I
COULD REFERENCE ANDREW'S
WONDERFUL REPORT, WHERE HE TALKS
ABOUT TRAINING, ANOTHER HIDDEN
GEM IN BILL 47, THE
APPRENTICESHIP RATIOS ARE GOING
DOWN TO 1 TO 1.

Steve says WE'LL GET TO THAT IN A SECOND.
HANG ON.
BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THAT MEANS.
OKAY, WE'VE HEARD THE DISPUTE HERE.
I WANT YOU TO COME IN AND JUST
SORT OF BRING THE MOWAT
CENTRE'S VIEW ON WHO'S RIGHT HERE?

Andrew says WELL, THE MOWAT CENTRE WILL
DRIVE RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE ON
THIS, AND THAT'S NOT EASY TO DO.
SO MAYBE JUST A COUPLE OF
REMINDERS, I THINK IT'S
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THE MEMO
WHICH DID GO UP ON JANUARY 1 OF
THIS YEAR, AND THAT WILL REMAIN
IN PLACE.
IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN, IT'S
DELAYED FOR A LITTLE BIT, BUT
INDEXATION WILL COME IN.
PART OF THE ISSUE ABOUT THE LAST
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE IS IT
HADN'T INCREASED AND IT WASN'T
SCHEDULED TO INCREASE 25 CENTS,
50 CENTS, WHATEVER, A DOLLAR, A
YEAR, EVERY TWO YEARS, AND THAT
ALWAYS GETS YOU IN A BIND,
BECAUSE WHEN YOU DO NEED TO
INCREASE, IT COMES AS A SHOCK,
RIGHT, TO...

Steve says IT WENT UP 32 percent ONE
YEAR.

Andrew says RIGHT.
SO IF WE CAN GET OUT OF THAT,
THAT'S A GOOD FIRST STEP.
THERE ARE ALSO OTHER THINGS
THAT, YOU KNOW, WE WANT TO KEEP
THE CONVERSATION FOCUSED TO A
CERTAIN EXTENT, BUT THERE ARE
OTHER THINGS GOING ON THAT CAN
BE OFFSET IN TERMS OF INCOME
TRANSFERS.
SO IN THE LAST TWO OR THREE
YEARS THERE'S BEEN SIGNIFICANT
INCREASE IN CHILD BENEFITS PAID
TO FAMILIES.
THERE'S BEEN CHANGES IN THE
WORKERS TAX BENEFIT SO THAT
LOW-INCOME WORKERS CAN KEEP MORE
OF THE FIRST DOLLARS THAT THEY
EARN.
THAT DOESN'T, YOU KNOW, MEAN
THAT YOU DON'T NEED TO CHANGE
ANYTHING ELSE OR SO ON, BUT
THERE IS KIND OF A WIDER
CONTEXT.
THERE'S A LOT GOING ON HERE.
BUT I GUESS THE ONLY OTHER THING
I WOULD TRY TO SAY IS WHAT WE
WERE JUST TRYING TO DO IS PAINT
A CONTEXT TO SAY THERE'S A
REASON WHY I THINK A LOT OF
PEOPLE IN ONTARIO, BOTH
EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS, ARE
FEELING JUMPY.
YOU KNOW, WE DID LOSE 200,000
MANUFACTURING JOBS IN THAT
DECADE BEFORE THE LAST CENSUS.

Steve says BUT WE GAINED 500,000
JOBS OVERALL.

Andrew says WE DID, BUT THERE WERE SOME
PEOPLE WORKING IN MANUFACTURING
INDUSTRIES AND THERE WERE SOME
EMPLOYERS, RIGHT, WHO EITHER HAD
TO CONTRACT OR HAD TO SUSPEND
BUSINESS.
SO I THINK PART OF THE REASON
THIS CONVERSATION IS CERTAINLY A
LITTLE EDGY, THAT WE CAN'T JUST
SORT OF TAKE A STEP BACK AND SAY
WHY DON'T WE PLAN OUT THE BEST
LABOUR FORCE POLICY OVER THE
NEXT 10 YEARS, IS BECAUSE I
THINK EVERYONE, FAMILIES,
EMPLOYEES AND BUSINESSPEOPLE,
ARE ALL FEELING THAT THEY'VE
BEEN THROUGH A TOUGH TIME AND
THAT THEY'VE BEEN UNDER PRESSURE
AND THAT THEY NEED SOME RELIEF.
AND THEN YOU SEE SORT OF THERE'S
DIFFERENT ANSWERS TO WHAT THE
RELIEF MIGHT BE, DEPENDING ON,
YOU KNOW, YOUR PERSPECTIVE AND
THE POSITION YOU SIT IN.
IT'S NOT FOR NO REASON THAT
WE'RE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION
IN A FAIRLY TIGHT ENVIRONMENT.

Steve says I UNDERSTAND.
SHEILA, SHEILA, LET ME FOLLOW UP ON
SOMETHING JULIE SAID.
SHE GAVE AN EXAMPLE OF A COMPANY
THAT SAID WITH ALL OF THESE NEW
PROVISIONS IN PLACE, IT'S GOING
TO COST ME 150,000 dollars MORE.
THAT MEANS THERE'S TWO PEOPLE
I'M NOT GOING TO HIRE.
IF THE PERVERSE EFFECT OF
BRINGING IN ALL OF THOSE LABOUR
CHANGES, WHICH YOU SUPPORTED, IS
THAT FEWER PEOPLE ARE GOING TO
GET HIRED, IS IT STILL A GOOD
THING TO DO?

The caption changes to "Sheila Block. @Sheila_M_Block."

Sheila says I THINK WE HAVE TO KIND OF
STEP BACK FROM THAT.
FIRST OF ALL, YOU KNOW, BEFORE
THE 14 dollar MINIMUM WAGE CAME INTO
EFFECT, WE WERE HEARING FROM THE
CFIB, FROM OTHER BUSINESS LOBBY
GROUPS THAT REALLY THE SKY WOULD
FALL.

Steve says AND IT DIDN'T.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Sheila says AND IT ABSOLUTELY DIDN'T.
AND INSTEAD WHAT WE ACTUALLY SAW
WAS CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT GROWTH
IN ONTARIO.
SO I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT ANDREW'S REPORT REALLY
BRINGS OUT IS THAT WE HAVE TO
NOT ONLY LOOK AT THE QUANTITY OF
JOBS, WE HAVE TO LOOK AT JOB
QUALITY.
AND SO IF WE'RE LOOKING AT WHAT
KINDS OF JOBS ARE WE CREATING
AND HOW... WHAT'S THE IMPACT ON
OUR OVERALL ECONOMY, I THINK WE
HAVE TO ACTUALLY LOOK AT THOSE
KINDS OF THINGS AND SAY, YOU
KNOW WHAT, QUANTITY IS NO LONGER
THE CORRECT MEASURE.
WE WANT TO LOOK AT JOB QUALITY,
AND WE WANT TO ALSO LOOK AT THE
QUALITY OF LOW-INCOME WORKERS'
LIVES, AND THAT WAS WHAT BILL
148 WAS SQUARELY AIMED AT.

Steve says WOULD YOU ACKNOWLEDGE
THERE WERE A LOT OF CHICKEN LITTLES.

The caption changes to "Julie Kwiecinski, @cfibON."

Julie says I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE SKY
IS FALLING.
I TALKED TO A LOT OF BUSINESS
OWNERS ABOUT THIS, AND WHEN THEY
TOLD ME IS THE BUSINESS
DECISIONS WON'T NECESSARILY BE
FELT RIGHT AWAY, BECAUSE WHAT
THE BUSINESS OWNER WILL DO WHEN
FACED WITH DIFFICULT CHOICES,
THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, THEY,
AS A LAST RESORT, WILL WANT TO
GET RID OF A JOB.
SO THEY'LL DO OTHER THINGS.
THEY'LL CURTAIL EXPANSION PLANS,
MAYBE CURTAIL HIRING PLANS JUST
TO KEEP THAT JOB IN TACT.
BUT NOW WE'RE GOING INTO THE
JANUARY 1ST.
MORE COSTS, NEW FEDERALLY
IMPOSED CARBON TAX.
THAT'S COMING DOWN THE PIPE.
CANADA PENSION PLAN INCREASES
STARTING JANUARY 1.
THAT'S AN ADDED PRESSURE, SO I
THINK THE JURY SHOULD STILL BE
OUT ON THE FINAL ECONOMIC
IMPACT.
YOU HAVE THE MACRO VERSION, BUT
ANECDOTALLY ON THE GROUND,
THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M HEARING.
AND I'VE GOT THE FRONT-LINE
VIEW.
I GET CALLS EVERY DAY TALKING
ABOUT THIS.

Steve says OKAY, LET ME TRY ONE
MORE EXAMPLE WITH SHEILA, AND
THAT IS I TALKED TO A COLLEGE
PRESIDENT A COUPLE OF MONTHS
AGO, SO HE RUNS A PUBLICLY
FUNDED INSTITUTION, AND HE SAID
BILL 148, GREAT, WE GET IT, WE
UNDERSTAND WHY IT'S GREAT FOR
EMPLOYEES, ET CETERA, ET CETERA.
IT'S GOING TO COST MY
INSTITUTION 17 MILLION dollars TO
FULFILL THE PROVISIONS OF BILL 148.
ALL OF THESE REGULATORY CHANGES.
WHERE AM I... AND HE'S ASKING
THE QUESTION: WHERE AM I GOING
TO GET 17 MILLION dollars IF NOT BY
CHARGING HIGHER TUITION TO MY
STUDENTS, IF NOT BY TRYING TO
SQUEEZE MY STAFF, MY PROFESSORS,
ET CETERA.
THAT'S AN UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE
THAT PRESUMABLY THE PREVIOUS
LIBERAL GOVERNMENT DID NOT
CONSIDER, AND WHAT'S THE ANSWER?

Sheila says WELL, I THINK THE ANSWER TO
BOTH WHAT YOU AND JULIE ARE
SAYING IS NO ECONOMIST WOULD
TELL YOU THAT YOU WOULDN'T HAVE
THIS KIND OF A CHANGE IN
ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AND IN
PRICES AND NOT EXPECT TO HAVE AN
IMPACT, AND SO WHAT THIS DID IS
IT ACTUALLY REWARDED HIGH ROAD
EMPLOYERS WHO HAD BEEN PAYING
THEIR EMPLOYEES MORE FAIRLY, AND
IT WILL REQUIRE SHIFTS.
AND SO MAYBE THOSE TENURED
PROFESSORS WILL GET A LITTLE BIT
LESS OF AN INCREASE AND ALL
THOSE PART-TIME FOLKS WHO ALSO
HAVE THEIR DOCTORATES AND ARE
ALSO TRYING TO PUBLISH AND ARE
WORKING ON CONTRACT WILL GET A
LITTLE BIT MORE... WILL HAVE AN
INCREASING SHARE OF THAT PIE.
IT'S REALLY ABOUT ABSOLUTELY
THERE ARE GOING TO BE BEHAVIOUR
CHANGES, BUT REALLY THIS IS
ABOUT HOW WE WANT TO LIVE AS A
SOCIETY.
AND DO WE WANT TO HAVE A
SITUATION WHERE PEOPLE WHO ARE
WORKING FULL TIME, FULL YEAR ARE
LIVING UNDER THE POVERTY LINE?
AND DO WE, IN THIS SITUATION,
WANT TO HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE
WORKING SIDE BY SIDE DOING THE
SAME WORK AND BEING PAID VERY
DIFFERENTLY?
AND IT HAS ABSOLUTELY BOTH
PUBLIC SECTOR AND PRIVATE SECTOR
IMPLICATIONS.

Steve says OKAY, LET'S CONSIDER
THIS NEXT ISSUE, WHICH IS WE
HAVE THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT
RATE RIGHT NOW IN THE PROVINCE
OF ONTARIO IN, WHAT, FOUR
DECADES, SOMETHING LIKE THAT?
FOUR DECADES.
AND YET WAGES DON'T SEEM TO BE
GOING UP VERY MUCH.
USUALLY WHEN THERE'S A SCARCITY
OF LABOUR, THEIR WAGES GO UP
BECAUSE THERE'S GREAT
COMPETITION AMONG COMPANIES TO
GET THOSE EMPLOYEES.
SHEILA, START US OFF HERE.
WHY IS THAT HAPPENING?

Sheila says WELL, I THINK SINCE THE
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE, WE HAVE
SEEN AN INCREASE IN WAGES, AND
THAT WAS PART OF THE OBJECTIVE.
SO IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE HARD
DATA, IF YOU'RE NOT LOOKING AT
OPINION OR ANECDOTE, BUT YOU'RE
ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE HARD
DATA, WHAT YOU SEE IS YOU SEE AN
INCREASE IN EMPLOYMENT AND YOU
SEE AN INCREASE IN WAGES.
NOW I DON'T THINK ALL OF THAT
INCREASE IN WAGES ACTUALLY HAS
TO DO WITH THE INCREASE IN THE
MINIMUM WAGE.
I THINK PART OF THAT DOES HAVE
TO DO WITH THE TIGHTNESS IN THE
LABOUR MARKET THAT YOU'RE SEEING
AT THE MOMENT.
SO OVER THE LONGER RUN, AND OVER
THE PERIOD THAT ANDREW'S BEEN
LOOKING AT, YEAH, WE'VE HAD SLOW
REAL WAGE GROWTH, BUT THAT IS
STARTING TO ACCELERATE.

Steve says DO YOU WANT TO WEIGH
IN ON THAT?

Andrew says I THINK I WANT TO THROW... WE
MENTIONED PITCHERS BEFORE, SO
I'M NOT SURE IF THERE IS A
CURVEBALL OR NOT, BUT ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT...

Steve says NICE.
BASEBALL ANALOGY.
LOVE IT.
GOOD.

Andrew says I TRY.
BUT WE HAVE NOTICED THAT WE FIND
INTERESTING IS THAT WE DO SOME
SURVEY WORK AS WELL, PUBLIC
OPINION SURVEY JUST OF TAKING
THE PULSE OF ONTARIO, AND COMING
OUT OF THE RECESSION, ONE OF THE
MOST NOTABLE THINGS IS THIS SORT
OF ANXIETY THAT YOU WOULD PICK
UP ABOUT WHETHER PEOPLE ARE
WORRIED ABOUT LOSING THEIR JOBS
OR WHETHER THEY THINK THEIR
CHILDREN ARE GOING TO END UP
BETTER THAN THEMSELVES.
AS THE ECONOMY STARTED GROWING
AND PEOPLE... EMPLOYMENT RATE
WENT BACK DOWN, THOSE
ATTITUDINAL MEASURES DIDN'T
SHIFT.
SO NOT ONLY DO YOU HAVE... YOU
RAISED THE QUESTION OF HOW DO
YOU HAVE VERY LOW UNEMPLOYMENT
AND A SLOW WAGE GROWTH, AND I
THINK IN TERMS OF KIND OF
CAPTURING THE MOOD OF THE
PROVINCE, YOU HAVE LOW
UNEMPLOYMENT BUT HIGH ANXIETY
ABOUT EMPLOYMENT AND ABOUT THE
ECONOMY, AND THAT'S... ON THE
SURFACE OF IT... A BIT OF A
PUZZLE.
IF YOU KIND OF PULL BACK AND
START THROWING THINGS ON THE
TABLE THAT WE HAVEN'T TALKED
ABOUT YET, LIKE TRADE WITH THE
UNITED STATES, WHICH ANCHORS THE
ONTARIO ECONOMY AND WHICH HAS
BEEN IN QUESTION FOR AT LEAST 18
MONTHS.

Steve says A STATE OF FLUX.

Andrew says MAYBE NOW A LITTLE BIT...
FEELING A LITTLE BIT BETTER
ABOUT THAT THAN WE WERE A COUPLE
OF MONTHS AGO.
AND THEN THE WHOLE, YOU KNOW,
SHIFT OF THE ECONOMY FROM HAVING
GREAT SMALL TOWNS IN ONTARIO
WITH A LOCAL BOOKSTORE TO
EVERYONE GETTING THEIR BOOKS
FROM AMAZON, WHICH MAY OR MAY
NOT EMPLOY ANYONE LOCALLY.
AND SO THERE'S A LOT KIND OF
GOING ON AROUND THAT MAKES, YOU
KNOW, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE
5 percent UNEMPLOYMENT?
IT MEANS SOMETHING A LITTLE
DIFFERENT RIGHT NOW THAN MAYBE
IT MEANT IN, YOU KNOW, 1964.

Steve says COULD YOU COME IN ON
THAT AS WELL?

Julie says YEAH, I THINK THE POINT THAT
I REALLY WANT TO MAKE IS WE PUT
OUT A REPORT CALLED "HELP
WANTED."
IT'S A REGULAR REPORT, SO FOR
SECOND QUARTER OF 2018 IT SHOWED
THAT IN ONTARIO WE HAD 154,000
JOBS THAT COULDN'T BE FILLED
BECAUSE THERE WERE NOT SUITABLE
CANDIDATES, I.E., THE PEOPLE
DIDN'T HAVE THE SKILLS TO FILL
THE JOBS.

Steve says 154,000 JOBS LEFT
UNFILLED?

Julie says YES.

Steve says BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T
FIND SKILLED PEOPLE TO FILL THEM?

Julie says EXACTLY, AND THAT'S BASED ON
A SURVEY OF OUR MEMBERS.
SO THEN YOU ASK YOURSELF, IF YOU
HAVE A MINIMUM WAGE EARNER, HOW
DO YOU POTENTIALLY... MAYBE PART
OF THE PROBLEM IS TAKING THE
MINIMUM WAGE EARNER, GIVING THEM
THE SKILLS THAT THEY NEED TO
MOVE INTO HIGHER-PAYING JOBS.
I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING WE
SHOULD BE LOOKING AT.
I THINK WE CAN DO MUCH BETTER.
WE CAN DO MUCH BETTER AS A
SOCIETY.
AND WE WERE ALWAYS CONCERNED,
EVEN WITH THE PREVIOUS
GOVERNMENT, WE WANTED TO SIT
DOWN AND HAVE THAT DISCUSSION,
BUT WE WERE NOT AFFORDED THE
OPPORTUNITY.
WHY IS IT 15 dollars?
WHERE DID THAT NUMBER COME FROM?
PULLED OUT OF A HAT.
IT'S A SEXY, MEDIA SLOGAN FROM
THE STATES, A UNION SLOGAN,
FAIRNESS FOR 15.

Steve says YEAH, FIGHT FOR 15.

says NO ONE HAS EVER SAID WHY IT
SHOULD BE 15.

Steve says LET'S ASK SHEILA.
WHAT WAS MAGIC ABOUT 15 dollars AN HOUR?

Sheila says I JUST WANT TO ROLL BACK TO
TALK ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY FOR
CONSULTATION.
THE CHANGES IN BILL 148 ACTUALLY
CAME OUT OF AN EXPERT PANEL THAT
INCLUDED A MANAGEMENT SIDE...
VERY SENIOR MANAGEMENT SIDE
LAWYER, VERY SENIOR LABOUR SIDE
LAWYER THAT DID A TWO-YEAR
PROCESS THAT HAD A LOT OF
CONSULTATION ASSOCIATED WITH IT.
THEY DID A FINAL REPORT THAT WAS
VERY THICK.

Julie says 419 PAGES.

Sheila says I THOUGHT IT WAS 16, BUT YOU
MIGHT BE RIGHT.

[Laughter].

Steve says BUT THE BOTTOM LINE...
THERE MAY HAVE BEEN
CONSULTATION, BUT THE GOVERNMENT
CLEARLY DECIDED WITH ONE SIDE
OVER ANOTHER.

Sheila says I THINK THAT'S THE MATTER OF
DEBATE IN TERMS OF A MINIMUM
WAGE INCREASE THERE WAS SIDING
WITH ONE SIDE, BUT IN TERMS OF
WHAT FOLKS WERE LOOKING FOR, IN
TERMS OF THE CHANGES IN BILL
148, I THINK THEY KIND OF SPLIT
IT DOWN THE MIDDLE.
AND SO I THINK WHAT... WE HAVE
TO BE CLEAR THAT THERE WAS A
LONG CONSULTATION PROCESS, THEN
THE BILL WAS INTRODUCED.
THERE WERE PUBLIC HEARINGS
ACROSS THE PROVINCE AFTER BOTH
FIRST AND SECOND READING, WHICH
WAS UNUSUAL.
SO THERE WAS CONSULTATION.
I THINK THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY
IN ONTARIO, AND ACROSS CANADA,
HAS BEEN UNUSED TO, UNFAMILIAR
WITH LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT
REALLY PROVIDE THE KIND OF
SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE IN
WORKING POVERTY THAT WE SAW WITH
BILL 148.
AND THAT RESULTED REALLY IN A
VERY... THERE WAS SHOCK AND AWE
FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, AND
I REALLY THINK THAT THAT KIND OF
PROGRESS WAS REALLY IMPORTANT,
GIVEN THE KIND OF SITUATION THAT
ANDREW HAS TALKED ABOUT AND
GIVEN THE FACT THAT WORKING
PEOPLE IN ONTARIO HAVE REALLY
FALLEN BEHIND OVER THE LAST 15
YEARS.

Steve says DOWN TO OUR LAST
COUPLE OF MINUTES.

Julie says IMPORTANT POINT.
IMPORTANT POINT.
CHANGING WORKPLACES REVIEW,
MINIMUM WAGE WAS EXCLUDED,
SHEILA, FROM THE CONSULTATION.

Steve says WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Julie says IT WAS NOT TO BE TALKED
ABOUT, NOT TO BE TALKED ABOUT.
THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT HAD
ALREADY DECIDED IN 2014 TO INDEX
THE MINIMUM WAGE TO INFLATION
BASED ON ANOTHER CONSULTATION.
SO THEY WERE GOING TO PARK THE
MINIMUM WAGE AND EVEN THE
MINISTER OF LABOUR, THE PREVIOUS
MINISTER, SAID THEY WEREN'T
GOING TO EVEN LOOK AT IT UNTIL
2019 OR 2020.
WE WERE SHOCKED, APPALLED AND
BAMBOOZLED.

Steve says THEY CHANGED THEIR MIND.

Julie says FURTHER TO YOUR COMMENT ABOUT
CONSULTATIONS, WE ACTUALLY
LOOKED AT HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE
ALLOWED TO PRESENT TO COMMITTEE
REPRESENTING THE BUSINESS
COMMUNITY.
IT WAS HEAVILY WEIGHTED ON THE
SIDE OF UNIONS.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, STEVE, IN
WINDSOR, THE SAME UNION
PRESENTED THREE TIMES UNDER A
DIFFERENT UMBRELLA.
LIKE YOUTH, WOMEN AND THE
GENERAL.

Steve says OKAY, HERE'S...
EVERYBODY'S GOT TO FORGIVE ME.
HERE IS WHERE I GOT TO JUMP IN.
WE'RE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH
AND WE JUST GOT THREE OUTS.
WE'RE OUT OF TIME.

Julie says OH!

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @MeredithMartin."

Steve says BUT I HAD JUST 10
SECONDS LEFT TO THANK EVERYBODY
FOR COMING IN TODAY, BECAUSE
THIS WAS A GREAT DISCUSSION.
WE DIDN'T GET TO APPRENTICES.
WE'LL HAVE TO GET TO THAT NEXT
TIME.
JULIE KWIECINSKI FROM THE
CANADIAN FEDERATION OF
INDEPENDENT BUSINESS, AND ANDREW
PARKIN FROM MOWAT CENTRE AND
SHEILA BLOCK, THANKS SO MUCH FOR
COMING IN TO TVO TONIGHT AND
HELPING US OUT WITH THIS.

Andrew says THANKS A LOT.

Sheila says THANK YOU.

Watch: Ontario's Employment Challenges