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Business groups raise concerns about Ontario's planned labour reforms

Last Updated Aug 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm EDT

A coalition of business groups says Ontario’s proposed changes to labour laws will put 185,000 jobs at risk in the first two years of being implemented.

The Keep Ontario Working Coalition, which includes groups such as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Retail Council of Canada, has released an economic impact analysis of the labour reforms in Bill 148.

A spokesman for the coalition says the bill will have “dramatic unintended consequences,” including job losses.

The proposed legislation would, among other things, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, require equal pay for part-time workers and expand personal emergency leave.

Business groups have repeatedly expressed concerns about the minimum wage increase and the pace at which it would be implemented.

The bill would boost the minimum wage, which is currently set to rise with inflation from $11.40 an hour to $11.60 in October, up to $14 on Jan. 1, 2018, and $15 the following year.