Privatization not in the cards: Minister

Ontario responds to criticism from union over review of its workplace health and safety system

The Ontario government said privatization is not on the table in the current review of the province’s workplace health and safety system.

Last week, occupational health and safety inspectors working for the Ministry of Labour, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), demonstrated to protest the “potential” privatization of health and safety enforcement in Ontario.

But Peter Fonseca, the Minister of Labour, said the fears of privatization are unfounded.

“The review will not consider or recommend privatizing our enforcement system,” he said. “Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors play a crucial role in our prevention and enforcement system. I greatly appreciate the hard work that our inspectors do to make our workplaces safer.”

Fonseca appointed former Secretary of Cabinet and Deputy Minister of Labour Tony Dean to review Ontario’s workplace health and safety system. Assisting Dean is a nine-member panel of safety experts from labour groups, employers, and academic institutions.

“All panel members bring a wealth of experience, skill and knowledge in the area of workplace health and safety and are well aware of the important role that inspectors provide,” said Fonseca.

Members of OPSEU have started to share their views with the panel, said Fonseca, and their “continued input is most welcome and will be carefully considered by Mr. Dean and the panel.”

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