MPP Jim McDonell Introduces Labour Relations Bill

June 10, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jim McDonell introduced his second Private Member’s Bill earlier today. Bill 94 addresses issues related to the determination of the size and composition of bargaining units, as well as certification procedures at the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

MPP McDonell commented: “Labour relations in Ontario need to be based on three principles. Firstly, certification must be done transparently and democratically through a free vote. Secondly, our Charter right to be presumed innocent must apply in labour relations as it does in other legal proceedings. Thirdly, there must be accessible and clear remedies for the victims of unlawful behavior on the part of any participant in the labour market.”

Currently, the burden of proof lies on the employer in most proceedings before the OLRB, with decisions often made without even a hearing. MPP McDonell stated: “In a fair and democratic society, we have the right to a vote, a fair hearing and the presumption of innocence. My Bill enshrines these rights in the Labour Relations Act by making OLRB hearings mandatory for determining bargaining unit size, ensuring certification follows a free and fair vote and placing the burden of proof on the complainant when irregularities are suspected. Employee protection is strengthened by giving the OLRB the power to order a representation vote if it is proven that the employer has breached the Labour Relations Act.”

The Ontario PC Caucus has released several White Papers, including Paths to Prosperity – Flexible Labour Markets on the subject of labour relations. MPP Jim McDonell insists reforms to the Labour Relations Act are needed: “We are operating in a 21st century economy on 20th century terms, if not older. In a competitive world we need to strengthen transparency and accountability in labour relations in order to attract job creators and the skills we need to succeed in the coming years”.