Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Statement by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto Regarding the Repeal of Bill 148

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto express concern with the Ontario Government’s decision to repeal Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. 

This bill introduced important changes to Ontario’s labour legislation to guarantee basic rights to the most marginalized workers, including a $15/hour minimum wage, two paid sick days and equal pay for equal work. 
The government’s decision to take away these basic labour rights will substantially increase poverty among low-income workers, the majority of whom belong to racialized communities, including Indigenous peoples, youth, women and recent newcomers. 
In line with our work with marginalized people, we hear daily stories of survival, struggle, empty bellies, mental health challenges and exploitation. Many of our participants who work continue to juggle multiple precarious jobs where they are employed part-time and paid less than their colleagues who are protected by the benefits of their full-time employment.  
Bill 148 had been making a real difference in the lives of people. For example, the minimum wage increase to $15 would reduce instances where families have to decide to either put food on the table or buy a pair of winter boots for their children. 
Close to two million people work for minimum wage in Ontario. We believe that these workers deserve dignity and respect for their hard work especially when the Ontario economy is booming. 
We call on our provincial government to fulfill its pledge to be a government for the people, especially for those who are struggling to thrive and to reverse its decision to repeal Bill 148. We strongly believe that the provisions in this bill have the capacity to lift many out of poverty and improve the lives of hard-working Ontarians who produce our food, build our homes and care for our children and seniors, thus enriching our communities.   
We urge our Sisters, Associates, friends and employees to contact their MPP and the Premier of Ontario and ask them not to repeal Bill 148.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto
November 2018


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