Bill 195 is the legislation to reopen Ontario. It is described by the government as a “flexible response to COVID-19.”
We strongly opposed this bill. While it permits the government to extend and modify emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for at least a year after the end of the declared emergency, and possibly longer, it also grants enormous latitude to employers to override collective agreement provisions and the grievance arbitration procedure.
Bill 195 authorizes the government to maintain orders, issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, that interfere with the collective bargaining rights of ONA members and other unionized workers.
ONA believes Bill 195 is unconstitutional and unnecessary, given that the COVID-19 threat seems to have somewhat subsided. It provides extraordinary powers to override existing laws and constitutional rights, such as Section 2(d) of the Charter.
ONA Telephone Town Halls
On July 13, we held two town halls on Bill 195. Thousands of our members called in to express concern about this legislation and to ask what the impact of Bill 195 will be on their jobs and on their clients in community and home-care settings. Listen to the 5:30 p.m. session here. Listen to the 7:30 p.m. session here.
In the meantime, we need your help! We are asking you to contact your MPPs and tell them you strongly oppose Bill 195. Contact information for MPPs in their constituency offices can be found here.
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Front-line workers, who helped and continue to help keep Ontarians safe and delivered critical services in this pandemic, deserve better than Bill 195 — an attack on their legal rights. They deserve to have their rights restored today.
The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), CUPE Ontario and the Ontario Federation of Labour are mobilizing to oppose Bill 195 and restore workers’ rights. Visit the OFL website to RSVP to a rally near you.
Read more about the rallies from the OFL here.