FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2018
Ontario’s Government for the People Taking Immediate Action to Protect Electricity Supply Proposed legislation introduced to protect health and safety of Ontarians
QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario’s Government for the People is introducing legislation that will prevent large scale power outages in Brantford-Brant and across Ontario by quickly addressing the collective bargaining deadlock between Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and the Power Workers’ Union (PWU).
“People across Ontario need and deserve a reliable power supply, especially over the winter months,” said MPP Will Bouma. “Right now, that’s at risk.”
A work stoppage at OPG would significantly impact Ontario’s electricity supply. The Independent Electricity System Operator concluded that Ontario would not have the electricity needed to meet consumer demand resulting in brownouts and blackouts across the province.
“We want to see a fair deal reached between the parties,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour. “Our proposed legislation will remove the risk of widespread power outages and allow dispute resolution to happen appropriately.”
The collective agreement between OPG and PWU expired on March 31, 2018. A tentative agreement was rejected by a majority of employees represented by the PWU on August 9, 2018. Following further negotiations, the agreement was put to a second ratification vote, which was also rejected. The parties are in a deadlock and PWU gave strike notice on December 14, 2018.
“We are taking swift and decisive action to keep the lights on for Ontario families, seniors and businesses,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “We will not allow families and seniors to dwell in the dark or go without heat this winter and we will do whatever is required to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario.”
The proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 would prohibit and stop any strikes or lockouts between OPG and PWU for the current round of bargaining and send all matters in dispute to a mediator-arbitrator for a fair dispute resolution process.
For more information, contact MPP Will Bouma at 519-759-0361 or [email protected]