Fedeli more con­cerned about red tape than work­ers

North Bay Nugget - - OPINION -

the fol­low­ing is in re­sponse to the story On­tario min­is­ter gets ear­ful in North bay on pro­vin­cial red tape which ap­peared thurs­day. to the ed­i­tor: the Nugget re­cently re­ported that our MPP met with a group of busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives to hear about their strug­gles with what Vic Fedeli calls ‘red tape.’

We’ve heard Mr. Fedeli use these words be­fore. It sounds like he’s char­ac­ter­iz­ing the work and re­spon­si­bil­ity of man­agers and busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives as an end­less process of fill­ing out forms to sat­isfy the needs of gov­ern­ment rules. No doubt, fill­ing out forms takes hu­man re­source time, and ex­ec­u­tives must al­lo­cate bud­get lines to fol­low the law by pay­ing staff to do cler­i­cal work.

but when Mr. Fedeli says ‘red tape,’ he can’t just mean fill­ing out forms. What does he re­ally mean?

Our MPP staged a closed-door gath­er­ing of busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives to hear some­thing he al­ready be­lieves to be true. he didn’t hold a pub­lic gath­er­ing like a town hall to try to learn some­thing new from his con­stituents. In­stead, he filled a room with in­di­vid­u­als who share his views as the MPP of Nipiss­ing.

Wouldn’t a pub­lic fo­rum like a town hall or a panel dis­cus­sion be a bet­ter way to ad­dress these con­cerns?

back to the red tape stuff. We also learned from the Nugget ar­ti­cle that red tape has some­thing to do with taxes, pay­roll and safety, and that these busi­ness-re­lated nui­sances are im­ped­ing jobs growth.

but didn’t Stats canada re­cently re­port that On­tario gen­er­ated 103,000 full-time jobs in the past 12 months, 36,000 in Septem­ber alone, out­pac­ing the rest of canada, and with $14 as the min­i­mum wage? We should be cel­e­brat­ing!

taxes like hst help com­mu­ni­ties run im­por­tant ser­vices for the well-be­ing of cit­i­zens, de­cent wages help peo­ple pay for liv­ing ex­penses and maybe some nice things like a night out at one of our amaz­ing res­tau­rants, and safety and en­force­ment reg­u­la­tions help pro­tect em­ploy­ees from po­ten­tially harm­ful im­pacts of em­ploy­ment.

It’s hard to know what ex­actly Mr. Fedeli means when he uses ex­clu­sive and coded lan­guage like ‘red tape.’ and es­pe­cially when used in the con­text of an ex­clu­sive, closed­door dis­cus­sion with sev­eral busi­ness folks.

Peo­ple earn­ing a de­cent min­i­mum wage and work­ing in a safe work­place, with se­cu­ri­ties like sick days, fair sched­ul­ing, and be­reave­ment, this is all about fair­ness, good health and com­mu­nity well-be­ing -- all nec­es­sary com­mu­nity stan­dards to pre­vent out-mi­gra­tion and to al­low for per­sonal in­vest­ments like bet­ter win­dows or ed­u­ca­tion up­grades.

re­cently Mr. Fedeli was given an op­por­tu­nity to present an 800-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion in ses­sion at Queen’s Park about pro­tect­ing em­ploy­ment stan­dards and the legally sched­uled Jan. 1 min­i­mum wage bump to $15. re­gret­tably, our MPP de­clined. If not our MPP, then who will look out for the in­ter­ests of low-wage, pre­car­i­ous work­ers?

Jared Hunt

North Bay

Jared Hunt is an ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of the North Bay Labour Coun­cil

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