On July 7, 2020, the Solicitor General tabled Bill 195, the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (“Bill 195”). Bill 195 permits the government to continue to maintain and modify emergency orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for at least a year after the end of the declared emergency, and possibly longer. At the same time, it removes important mechanisms for democratic accountability.
Bill 195 authorizes the Government to maintain orders that interfere with the collective bargaining rights of unionized workers. With very limited exceptions, it also permits the government to increase the severity of restrictions on collective bargaining rights.
Why does this matter to me?
Under Bill 195:
- Vacations can be cancelled
- Your shift can be changed (from days to nights for example)
- Your job can be eliminated and you can be reassigned with no say
- Hours of work can be changed
- Leaves of absence can be denied or cancelled
- You can be moved to another site
- Contractors and volunteers can be brought in to do work, as long as there is not a layoff. But they can do your job and you can be reassigned.