TORONTO — Today, Minister McNaughton issued the following statement regarding Labour Day:
Today, Labour Day 2019, is a day to take stock, to prepare our children for their return to school while celebrating the last long weekend of our precious summer. It’s also time to recognize many hard-fought wins workers across the province have gained over the years.
Our government has a tremendous amount of respect for the workers who continue to build this province up.
That is why, this morning, I joined thousands of them to march in the provincial capital.
Workers want to be treated right, paid fairly and come home safe after a hard day’s work. Those are values I hold dear too.
In the nearly 150 years since the first Ontario workers went on strike to demand a nine-hour work day, we have made significant progress. We now have paid vacations, public holidays, overtime pay, and robust health and safety regulations. We continue to improve our labour and employment laws to ensure workers and businesses in this province can thrive.
Still, we have more work to do. Twenty-four young people lost their lives in work-related accidents between 2014 and 2018. As Minister of Labour, that makes me angry.
As a father, it makes me sad.
The Ministry of Labour has conducted approximately 79,000 workplace inspections since our government took office. They have issued a total of 135,000 orders over that period.
We know that most businesses play by the rules and ensure their workers are healthy and safe. We also know there are bad actors who must be held accountable.
Worker safety must be an absolute priority for all of us.
One worker injury or, worse still, death, is one too many.
Our government is looking forward to working together.