Beginning in the spring, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) plans to begin a series of consultations with regard to the changing workplace in the modern era, including discussions as to how they can amend and change such laws as the Labour Relations Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act to make them more relevant and provide greater protection to workers in the rapidly changing economy.
The public consultations will examine such crucial issues as:
- Greater diversity in the workforce;
- The increased importance of the service sector;
- Free trade agreements and their impact on labour; and
- Technological changes.
The ministry is currently in the process of developing the plan for the consultations, which will include regional public meetings. They are also developing a plan for the research and analysis that will take place. They hope to be able to announce the final schedule within the next few weeks on the MOL website.
Leading the consultations will be C. Michael Mitchell, who has been a lawyer for 37 years, and who is now a full-time arbitrator and mediator, and John Murray, who was once a justice with the Superior Court of Justice and who just became a full-time mediator and arbitrator last month. Murray has often provided legal advice to major corporations, both public and private, as well as to hospitals and universities. The two of them will coordinate and lead the consultations, and then provide the MOL with a written report, complete with recommendations.