Bill 160 is meant to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to bring about the recommendations of the Expert Panel, but it needs a serious reworking if it is to achieve those aims.
In the wake of several workplace fatalities, the provincial government established an Expert Panel to examine and make recommendations on improving the health and safety system in Ontario, particularly for the most vulnerable workers. The government has accepted those recommendations and has committed to implement them. Bill 160 is supposed to amend the Act to pave the way to implement those recommendations.
The Bill is making rapid progress through the Legislature and is now before the Standing Committee on Social Policy. This is the last opportunity to get the Bill amended before it becomes law. President Smokey Thomas"s letter to Premier McGuinty outlines OPSEU"s grave concerns with the Bill as currently written.
OPSEU members are encouraged to read President Thomas"s letter and contact their MPPs to convey their concerns and insist that the necessary amendments are made to ensure workers have meaningful protections and rights.