The Eagle Blog

Bill 139 – McGuinty’s Ontario Government Gets it Wrong!

Some time ago I wrote a blog entry about the Greatest Canadian Staffing Industry Challenge … in which I identified misplaced government legislative change as a huge problem.

Maybe someone in the Ontario Government read my blog, realised that Ontario was in deep economic trouble already and so why not pile on the misery by attacking the staffing industry! Minister Fonseca, the Ontario Labor Minister aided and abetted by our old “friend” Vic Dhillon are doing just that!

Bill 139 is attempting to protect “the vulnerable worker’ … but is an agenda driven by misinformation, and a lack of understanding of the value our industry brings. The staffing industry in Canada upholds high ethical standards and conforms to the requirements of the labor laws. The suggestion is that “temporary workers” have been mistreated and therefore the members of our industry are all crooks … so the Ontario Government feels the need to fix that!

The staffing industry provides employment to some 300,000 people in Ontario. Are any of them mistreated? Possibly … maybe even probably, but why not address the issue and go after the companies that abuse the individuals or ignore our labor laws? Wouldn’t that make a little more sense that trying to change a whole industry, when you really don’t understand the implications … despite repeated attempts to educate!

Bill 139 will result in lost jobs … absolutely!

Bill 139 will very likely result in staffing companies going out of business … particularly in light of the current economic conditions. Statistics Canada cites average profitability among Ontario staffing companies as 2.6%! Do you think we have room for the additional costs and administrative burden this bill will bring? NO!!! Do you think our clients want to pay more? NO!!!

Bill 139 will result in lost productivity in Ontario … and being the ONLY jurisdiction in North America imposing these punitive measures on temporary help companies, it just means the work will be done elsewhere … maybe China, or India!

It appears that there are some MPPs who get it! This is a quote from Joyce Savoline during second reading debate of this bill …

I would like the minister to tell me why he is creating make-work projects when we have much more urgent business to attend to. Deflecting from that business with this bill does not serve us well in this Legislature.

Taking up valuable debating time when we are struggling is not appropriate. This is yet another bill and another example of a good idea not being followed through appropriately. It does not identify the hardships that will ensue for firms that are scrupulous and for their employees. I understand that there are some firms that take advantage of employees, but the legislation should target those companies and those companies only.

Did Minister Fonseca say, “Mr. McGuinty, I know that the economy is weak and that we don’t have a plan to make it better, but what I’d like to do is make it harder for the businesses who are out there finding employment for transitional and temporary labourers to operate”? What planet are we on here?

Imagine … the Ontario Government might concern itself with fixing the needs of an economy that has been decimated through losses in the manufacturing sector and now an “economic tsunami”, instead of attacking a sector that creates jobs!

I am not noted for my political correctness … and I am not about to change. I have some very pointed advice for Minister Fonseca and Premier McGuinty.

GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR ARSES!


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22 thoughts on “Bill 139 – McGuinty’s Ontario Government Gets it Wrong!

  1. Kevin:
    Not sure what you’re ranting about. Even if I did read the legislation link you provided not sure i would get it.
    Can you pls be more specific.

  2. Kevin:
    Not sure what you’re ranting about. Even if I did read the legislation link you provided not sure i would get it.
    Can you pls be more specific.

  3. Hey you shouldn’t feel bad, McGuinty’s government don’t get it … and they wrote the bill!

    There are a number of issues that will effectively increase the cost of using temps significantly and increases risk to the agencies. This hurts the staffing industry … but it also hurts any company that uses temps and it will mean a lot less jobs, so it hurts those workers who rely on temp work.

    To get into the details might take as many pages as the legislation itself.

    McGuinty’s government should be focused on helping Ontario businesses to weather this recession, not create EVEN more roadblocks.

  4. Hey you shouldn’t feel bad, McGuinty’s government don’t get it … and they wrote the bill!

    There are a number of issues that will effectively increase the cost of using temps significantly and increases risk to the agencies. This hurts the staffing industry … but it also hurts any company that uses temps and it will mean a lot less jobs, so it hurts those workers who rely on temp work.

    To get into the details might take as many pages as the legislation itself.

    McGuinty’s government should be focused on helping Ontario businesses to weather this recession, not create EVEN more roadblocks.

  5. I don’t get it either. The gov’t says this bill will protect the rights of temp workers.

    Maybe we should do away with the 40 hour week and minimum wage, both of which also create ‘roadblocks’ for employers.

  6. I don’t get it either. The gov’t says this bill will protect the rights of temp workers.

    Maybe we should do away with the 40 hour week and minimum wage, both of which also create ‘roadblocks’ for employers.

  7. Don loves to get a rise out of me!

    Maybe we should move to a different knd of state altogether … maybe one where everyone works for the government and where companies don’t need profits? Who needs GDP anyway? I know a couple of counties like that … would you like to live there?

    Could it be possible the government are trying to make popular moves to gain votes, without thinking through consequences? Is it possible that a well meaning political move could really hurt industry?

    Nobody I know wants our standard of living to go in reverse, but common sense says that any increase in costs needs to be paid for somehow. I don’t know any company right now that can absorb the kinds of increased costs, and risks, that our Ontario government is talking about.

    This legislation will cause there to be less jobs. It hurts the very people that it is intended to help AND it will hurt an industry that actually creates jobs AND it will hurt the productivity of any other Ontario company that relies on temporary labour for any number of good reasons.

  8. Don loves to get a rise out of me!

    Maybe we should move to a different knd of state altogether … maybe one where everyone works for the government and where companies don’t need profits? Who needs GDP anyway? I know a couple of counties like that … would you like to live there?

    Could it be possible the government are trying to make popular moves to gain votes, without thinking through consequences? Is it possible that a well meaning political move could really hurt industry?

    Nobody I know wants our standard of living to go in reverse, but common sense says that any increase in costs needs to be paid for somehow. I don’t know any company right now that can absorb the kinds of increased costs, and risks, that our Ontario government is talking about.

    This legislation will cause there to be less jobs. It hurts the very people that it is intended to help AND it will hurt an industry that actually creates jobs AND it will hurt the productivity of any other Ontario company that relies on temporary labour for any number of good reasons.

  9. You claim that these amendments will result in a financial burden for temporary agencies, but don’t really explain why. You only imply that there will be increased administrative costs to adjust. This would be the case with any changes in legislation that affect a particular business and really isn’t a justifiable reason to make changes to a law (assuming they are justified changes .. I’m guessing you don’t think they are).

    I wouldn’t suggest that temp workers are treated unfairly, any more than others. However, this legislation should serve to make it easier for them to transfer from temp. agency employees to full time employees with more job security. Wouldn’t that have a positive effect on the provinces economic health, especially in the long term?

  10. You claim that these amendments will result in a financial burden for temporary agencies, but don’t really explain why. You only imply that there will be increased administrative costs to adjust. This would be the case with any changes in legislation that affect a particular business and really isn’t a justifiable reason to make changes to a law (assuming they are justified changes .. I’m guessing you don’t think they are).

    I wouldn’t suggest that temp workers are treated unfairly, any more than others. However, this legislation should serve to make it easier for them to transfer from temp. agency employees to full time employees with more job security. Wouldn’t that have a positive effect on the provinces economic health, especially in the long term?

  11. Trying to get into a detailed description of ALL of the downfalls of this bill in a blog is tough. Let me try to give a feel for it…

    This legislation WILL mean less temporary jobs. Why?

    a. If I place someone on a job, no matter how long (a couple of days to cover reception, a week of labour at a worksite etc) then I then need to keep that person on my books as an employee for 35 weeks. At the end of that time I need to pay them for all stat holidays and termination pay. As an agency I might make (before internal costs) 20% margin, so someone needs to work for 5 days for me to be covering the cost of one stat holiday … meanwhile I have not covered my costs of sales, recruiting, offcie costs, management costs, proposal costs, marketing costs, charitable donations etc etc AND zero profit.

    So … as an agency i take on the risk of people who might not work out at a client or are only there for a short gig. I end up paying them more than I get paid by a client AND I still have all of my overhead costs. We are not really talking about an administrative overhead here!

    If that isn’t enough … these temps could work through another agency right after the gig with Eagle, and that agency would have the same costs. If they played the system they could probably end up getting paid for the same stat holidays by a bunch of agencies all of whom would also need to pay them a severance package. Under this legislation temps will be treated better than all other employees, and agencies singled out as a special class of employer (not a good thing).

    What will it mean?
    Agencies just won’t supply temporary labour for short contracts.
    Agencies will be very careful about who they place … they will only deal with proven entities.

    In addition to the agencies the other big losers are the vulnerable workers because they won’t have access to these jobs any more. Jobs that today give them Canadian work experience and a pay cheque.

    There is lots more … but hopefully this gives you some idea of why this legislation might be wrong. Well meaning … but just plain wrong.

  12. Trying to get into a detailed description of ALL of the downfalls of this bill in a blog is tough. Let me try to give a feel for it…

    This legislation WILL mean less temporary jobs. Why?

    a. If I place someone on a job, no matter how long (a couple of days to cover reception, a week of labour at a worksite etc) then I then need to keep that person on my books as an employee for 35 weeks. At the end of that time I need to pay them for all stat holidays and termination pay. As an agency I might make (before internal costs) 20% margin, so someone needs to work for 5 days for me to be covering the cost of one stat holiday … meanwhile I have not covered my costs of sales, recruiting, offcie costs, management costs, proposal costs, marketing costs, charitable donations etc etc AND zero profit.

    So … as an agency i take on the risk of people who might not work out at a client or are only there for a short gig. I end up paying them more than I get paid by a client AND I still have all of my overhead costs. We are not really talking about an administrative overhead here!

    If that isn’t enough … these temps could work through another agency right after the gig with Eagle, and that agency would have the same costs. If they played the system they could probably end up getting paid for the same stat holidays by a bunch of agencies all of whom would also need to pay them a severance package. Under this legislation temps will be treated better than all other employees, and agencies singled out as a special class of employer (not a good thing).

    What will it mean?
    Agencies just won’t supply temporary labour for short contracts.
    Agencies will be very careful about who they place … they will only deal with proven entities.

    In addition to the agencies the other big losers are the vulnerable workers because they won’t have access to these jobs any more. Jobs that today give them Canadian work experience and a pay cheque.

    There is lots more … but hopefully this gives you some idea of why this legislation might be wrong. Well meaning … but just plain wrong.

  13. Help!!! cries the samll/medium/large business owner and temp employee.
    This bill cannot be passed. It is a death sentence to both the worker and the emlpoyer. Is there a group, an association that has gotten together to fight this bill-please sign me up. This will not only result in business closing but also the access to employment for the vulnerable worker.
    I won’t even began how the bill doesn’t make sense as it’s Friday and I have a staffing agency to run, giving people income and opportunity and assisting with the productivity of my clients business day.
    Deos anyone have a really good McGuinty joke, I could use one today. Oh, I forgot he already is a big joke!
    This bill reminds me of an article I read awhile ago in the National Post, the headline “Want to be successful, move out of Ontario”
    Feeling lots of remorse for both the employer and relief worker RIP
    Kristine @ KS

  14. Help!!! cries the samll/medium/large business owner and temp employee.
    This bill cannot be passed. It is a death sentence to both the worker and the emlpoyer. Is there a group, an association that has gotten together to fight this bill-please sign me up. This will not only result in business closing but also the access to employment for the vulnerable worker.
    I won’t even began how the bill doesn’t make sense as it’s Friday and I have a staffing agency to run, giving people income and opportunity and assisting with the productivity of my clients business day.
    Deos anyone have a really good McGuinty joke, I could use one today. Oh, I forgot he already is a big joke!
    This bill reminds me of an article I read awhile ago in the National Post, the headline “Want to be successful, move out of Ontario”
    Feeling lots of remorse for both the employer and relief worker RIP
    Kristine @ KS

  15. It was rather interesting for me to read this post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

  16. It was rather interesting for me to read this post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

  17. I just found out about this ridiculous bill today when I called Kelly Services to let them know that I am available 2 days a week to work because I am only working part-time as a medical secretary. Last year I went back to school and got my Medical Office Administration diploma through the Second Career opportunity because I was having trouble getting a decent job in Kingston.

    I have 25 years administrative office experience including 12 years as a legal assistant and I could not find a job that paid anywhere near what I need to earn to look after myself as a single woman. I have an excellent service record with Kelly Services in Kingston. However, because I have been employed by Kelly Services for a period of 5 years they now tell me that because of Bill 139 they can no longer employ me…EVER!! WTF is that?!!! I am rewarded for my hard work and excellent service record by losing the ability to work as a temporary employee when I need to!! This is OUTRAGEOUS!! I am so angry that I could spit!

    Dalton McGuinty should be strung up and shot by firing squad. What the hell are low income Ontarians supposed to do for work now? The opportunities were already very far and few between and now there are even less! How is this bill supposed to help temporary agencies or the employees who work for them? It sure as hell isn't helping me!

    It will be interesting to see if the suicide rate increases over the next few years in Ontario. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it does. If the economy gets much work there will be a marked increased in homeless people on the streets of small town Ontario. Something has got to change for the better SOON!

  18. I just found out about this ridiculous bill today when I called Kelly Services to let them know that I am available 2 days a week to work because I am only working part-time as a medical secretary. Last year I went back to school and got my Medical Office Administration diploma through the Second Career opportunity because I was having trouble getting a decent job in Kingston.

    I have 25 years administrative office experience including 12 years as a legal assistant and I could not find a job that paid anywhere near what I need to earn to look after myself as a single woman. I have an excellent service record with Kelly Services in Kingston. However, because I have been employed by Kelly Services for a period of 5 years they now tell me that because of Bill 139 they can no longer employ me…EVER!! WTF is that?!!! I am rewarded for my hard work and excellent service record by losing the ability to work as a temporary employee when I need to!! This is OUTRAGEOUS!! I am so angry that I could spit!

    Dalton McGuinty should be strung up and shot by firing squad. What the hell are low income Ontarians supposed to do for work now? The opportunities were already very far and few between and now there are even less! How is this bill supposed to help temporary agencies or the employees who work for them? It sure as hell isn't helping me!

    It will be interesting to see if the suicide rate increases over the next few years in Ontario. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it does. If the economy gets much work there will be a marked increased in homeless people on the streets of small town Ontario. Something has got to change for the better SOON!

  19. I am truly sorry that you are in this position … our industry fought hard to try and get the minister to understand the implications of this Bill, but they just would not listen!

    Companies like ours are forced to change the way we operate to survive, and some small staffing companies will go out of business … the minister just doesn't care about that. He would not believe us when we told him that it is the very people this bill tries to protect who will suffer.

    You are an example. Call your MPP and tell him/her how impressed you are! I believe the MPP for Kingston is a Liberal and they created and voted this incredible law into being.

  20. I am truly sorry that you are in this position … our industry fought hard to try and get the minister to understand the implications of this Bill, but they just would not listen!

    Companies like ours are forced to change the way we operate to survive, and some small staffing companies will go out of business … the minister just doesn't care about that. He would not believe us when we told him that it is the very people this bill tries to protect who will suffer.

    You are an example. Call your MPP and tell him/her how impressed you are! I believe the MPP for Kingston is a Liberal and they created and voted this incredible law into being.

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