September 26, 2019
New advisory panel to advise Minister on wide range of construction issues from health and safety to labour laws
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS – The Ontario government is partnering with the construction sector by establishing a special advisory panel to provide advice on a broad range of workplace issues, Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton announced today.
The Construction Advisory Panel will provide input on issues of interest in the construction sector to the Minister of Labour. Issues could include labour and employment law, the rise of new equipment and technologies, workplace health and safety, and injury prevention. The panel will provide an opportunity for the Minister to hear the different perspectives and concerns from construction industry partners.
“Construction is a vital engine of growth for our economy, creating good quality jobs across our province. That’s why it’s important that we listen to and work closely with our construction partners,” said McNaughton. “This is an opportunity for the construction sector to bring their issues, concerns and changing trends directly to me and our ministry.”
In order to get proper buy-in of both labour and management, it is important that a balance be struck between these groups. For this reason, the panel will be made up of between 8-12 members, with the following composition:
- At least one employee or employer representative from the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sector.
- At least two employee or employer representatives from the six other sectors of the construction industry.
- At least two employee or employer representatives from industry labour groups/employer groups or associations.
The establishment of an informal, multi-sector committee providing broad advice is part of the government’s strategy to support the construction sector and ensure Ontario is Open for Business. The panel will complement the work of other construction-related initiatives, including the Construction Health and Safety Action Plan Advisory Group, which developed and implemented an action plan on construction health and safety.
- Construction is a major industry in Ontario, employing more than 525,000 workers.
- The advisory panel, which will provide balanced representation from employer and labour groups, will meet three times a year with the Minister of Labour.
- The Ministry of Labour oversees and participates in several construction-related working groups and committees, such as the Construction Health and Safety Action Plan Advisory Group and the Provincial Labour-Management Health and Safety Committee. These groups tend to have specific mandates; the new advisory panel will build on these efforts while enabling construction partners to express their concerns directly to the Minister.
“Since becoming Minister of Labour, Minister McNaughton has shown a willingness to listen to those in the construction sector. This announcement confirms that he will continue to hear our concerns. We applaud him for doing things differently and listening to employers and workers alike.”
— Wayne Peterson, Executive Director, Construction Employers Coordinating Council of Ontario
“We applaud Minister McNaughton for establishing an advisory council for the construction industry. He has clearly shown an interest in consulting with a broad and diverse representation of people who understand and have worked in the industry and the importance of creating a safe and skilled trades workforce.”
— James Barry, Executive Chairman, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction Council of Ontario
“The health and safety of our workforce is our number one priority and Merit Ontario looks forward to providing the Minister with advice and solutions. This panel will be an important part of our efforts to ensure the voice of the open shop construction sector is heard at Queen’s Park.”
— Michael Gallardo, Executive Director, Merit OpenShop Contractors Association of Ontario