WORKERS’ ACTION CENTRE: New protections for Ontario workers announced today

Action Alert: Workers' Action Centre

New protections for Ontario workers announced today

Workers in Ontario have won important new protections against wage theft under new legislation introduced today.

The new bill introduces many changes that Workers’ Action Centre members and supporters across the province have been calling for through the Stop Wage Theft campaign.  If passed the new legislation would:

  1. Give workers 2 years to claim unpaid wages
  2. Get rid of the unfair $10,000 limit on the unpaid wages that can be claimed
  3. Make temp agencies and client companies jointly liable for ESA violations
  4. End WSIB rating system loopholes that provided an incentive for companies to use temp agencies
  5. Ban recruitment fees for all migrant workers

The Ministry of Labour also announced that they will fulfill their 2008 commitment to $10 million for proactive employment standards enforcement.  The government pledged to bring in more penalties for employers who violate the law and indicated the need to continue to make further changes to address precarious employment.

The bill will be tabled at Queen’s Park later this afternoon. We will share more analysis in the coming days.

WAC speaks out

WAC members spoke out today about the new protections:

“Wage theft is increasing across Ontario because many employers know there is virtually no cost to breaking the law. We have been fighting to make sure workers, including temp agency workers, have better protection at work. We now need the government to use stronger and more effective enforcement tools to fully protect workers on the job.” – Tom Wu

“Getting rid of the unfair $10,000 limit for employment standards claims and giving workers 2 years to file claims is a significant victory for Ontario workers, especially migrant workers. If these laws had existed a few years ago, I could have claimed the thousands of dollars of my stolen wages immediately rather than being forced to go to court. – Senthil Thevar

In a front-page Toronto Star article featuring the changes WAC coordinator Deena Ladd stated  “the way things are now, a client company can have someone working for them for five years as a temp worker but never be held responsible for any of their working conditions…under this bill, these companies will now be held jointly liable – which means they would have to think about their business practices.”

We also need to make sure temp workers get equal pay for equal work and to close the gaps so that all workers covered under the law.

Recruitment fee ban just a first step 

The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change and other migrant worker groups have documented how migrant workers pay an equivalent of two years’ salaries in fees in their home countries to unscrupulous recruiters and agencies to come work in Canada.  

Extending the ban against recruitment fees to all migrant workers is an important first step in taking action to stop recruiter abuses. However, the Ontario government must take steps to license recruiters and make employers jointly liable for violations in order to crack down on exorbitant recruitment fees.  This is just one change among other comprehensive protections for migrant workers that are needed.

Read more about WAC’s Stop Wage Theft campaign here
Read more about the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change #makeitright campaign here and MWAC’s analysis on proposed changes here

www.workersactioncentre.org

Copyright © 2013 Workers’ Action Centre, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Workers’ Action Centre
720 Spadina Avenue
Suite 223
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2T9
Canada

TORONTO STAR: #KnownToPolice

Carding on the Rise Again
The Toronto Star questions Toronto Police Services’ tactics on TCHC property as well as the controversial and racially disproportionate practice of ‘Carding’ in a 3 part feature: #KnownToPolice

PT.1 As criticism poles up so do the police cards

PT.2 One officer, five years: 6600 contact cards

PT.3 Tense times in policing on TCHC property

http://www.thestar.com

 

CLEO: Your Legal Rights: Information Bulletin on the Legal System for 09/24/2013

Brought to you by Your Legal Rights, a website of legal information for people in Ontario
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

Legal System

The following email bulletin provides you with the latest news, legal information resources, common questions and training webinars from Your Legal Rights for the topic: Legal System.

Latest News and Events

Legal aid lawyers want collective bargaining rights

Ontario’s legal aid lawyers — most of them women — say they are being denied the right to collective bargaining despite overwhelming support from their members.

Article Source:

Toronto Star

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PLEI Connect: Creating an Online Community of Practice
It seems almost paradoxical, but online communities require a lot of offline work. Although they exist in virtual space, digital communities are created and maintained through the hard real-world work of people like Brenda Rose, project manager for PLEI Connect, an interactive online public legal education (PLE) website.

Article Source:

Legal Aid Ontario

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Ontario reviewing access to criminal court records

The Ministry of the Attorney General is reviewing its policies on media access to criminal court records in a bid to make the province’s justice system more open and transparent.

Article Source:

Toronto Star

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Ontario picks panel to improve First Nations presence on juries
The Ontario government will move forward with a plan to get more First Nations people on to jury rolls, naming a committee of aboriginal leaders and public servants to lead the push.

Article Source:

The Globe and Mail

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LAO invests an additional $3 million in community and legal clinics
A news release from Legal Aid Ontario: Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is investing additional provincial funding of $3 million in 2013/14 to create two new funds that support Ontario’s community and legal aid clinics. This support includes:

LAO’s budget commitment

Article Source:

Legal Aid Ontario

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CLEO’s report, Public Legal Education and Information in Ontario Communities: Formats and Delivery Channels, is now available
Community Legal Education Ontario’s report Public Legal Education and Information in Ontario Communities: Formats and Delivery Channels is now available.

Article Source:

CLEO – Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario

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View all news on this topic

Latest Resources

Administrative Justice Support Network
A project of Community Living Ontario, the Administrative Justice Support Network supports people who are making an appeal before an administrative board or tribunal whether or not they have legal representation. Their website has information on selected board and tribunals, links to additional information, and information on where to find more specific legal advice or legal representation.

Produced by:
Community Living Ontario

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Lawsuits and Disputes
This section of the Ministry of the Attorney General website contains information on contracts and torts, suing and being sued, How do I find a lawyer or a paralegal?, the civil courts, mediation and arbitration, and landlord and tenant issues.

Produced by:
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General

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View all resources on this topic

Latest Training

Looking for a Family Law Lawyer
Recorded on February 23, 2012  – This webinar is designed for community workers and advocates who support women in finding a family law lawyer. It is a discussion about where to look for a family law lawyer, how to choose and work with one, and some options for clients who aren’t satisfied.

Presenting Organization:
METRAC

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Latest Common Question

My husband has abused me and threatens to have me deported if I report him…View all questions on this topic

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About Your Legal Rights

Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and is funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.

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Copyright © 2013 CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario), All rights reserved.

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

The Latest from Your Legal Rights

 

Latest News

Soothing the aggressive attorney: Lawyers are finding ways to be healers rather than adversaries

From a Toronto Star article: Good lawyers are fearless adversaries, smart, tough and, when need be, aggressive. Or so they’ve been taught.

Article Source:

Toronto Star

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Program helps ‘unaccompanied minors’ navigate Canada’s refugee process

When Ivie Okaro was 16 and still lived in a rural area 240 kilometres northwest of Lagos, Nigeria, she dreamed of going to university, of becoming a doctor or a nurse. But she had to drop out of school because her father, a farmer who sold palm oil, fell into financial trouble and couldn’t afford the fees.

Article Source:

Toronto Star

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RCMP stops responding to people using access to information laws: information commissioner

Canada’s national police force is violating the rights of some Canadians trying to access RCMP documents, according to the country’s information watchdog.

Access to Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault says over the past months her office began receiving complaints from individuals saying they were not hearing back from the RCMP after filing access to information requests.

Article Source:

Global News

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Seniors’ healthcare should be a federal priority: CMA poll

Canadians have little confidence in the ability of the health-care system to meet the needs of a burgeoning number of seniors and they are looking to government to shift their priorities and come up with a coherent plan.

That’s the message that emerges from a new poll commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association.

Article Source:

The Globe and Mail

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Report says access to justice in Canada ‘abysmal,’ calls for change by 2030

Access to justice in Canada is being described as “abysmal” in a new report from the Canadian Bar Association, which also calls for much more than “quick fix” solutions.

The summary report, released Sunday at the association’s conference in Saskatoon, says there is profoundly unequal access to justice in Canada.

Article Source:

The Globe and Mail

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Latest Resources

Mental Illness, Criminal Offences, & Deportation

People with mental illness come into conflict with the law in disproportionate numbers. If they are not Canadian citizens, this can put them at risk of being removed from Canada. This publication is a resource for front-line workers helping clients with mental illness who may be at risk of removal because of their involvement with the criminal justice system.

Produced by:
CLEO – Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario

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Vacation

The Employment Standards branch of the Ministry of Labour has information on vacation time and vacation pay, and what employees are entitled to for both.

Produced by:
Ontario Ministry of Labour

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Tenant Bankruptcy

This Landlord’s Self-Help Centre fact sheet looks at issues such as what happens when a tenant declares bankruptcy, how a landlord becomes aware of a tenant bankruptcy, and what happens if a landlord has served a notice to terminate a tenancy for non-payment of rent and the tenant assigns into bankruptcy.

Produced by:
Landlord’s Self-Help Centre

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Latest Common Question(s)

I rent my basement to a tenant who has a regular overnight visitor. Can I put a stop to it?

Question:
I rent my basement to a tenant who has overnight visitors almost daily. This is my property and I do not know who is coming and going. What right do they have to visitors, how frequently and how long they can stay?

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What if a claimant is unsuccessful at their refugee protection hearing?

Question:
What if a claimant is unsuccessful at their refugee protection hearing?

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What are the rules about reporting elder abuse?

Question:
What are the rules about reporting elder abuse?

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About Your Legal Rights

Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and is funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.

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Copyright © 2013 CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario), All rights reserved.

Project Traveller results in 43 arrests, the seizure of 40 firearms and $3 million in drugs

image

GTA police agencies, including officers from Peel, York, Halton, Barrie, Guelph, Windsor, the OPP, RCMP, Toronto Police Services 23 Division, 31 Division, Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS), and Emergency Task Force (ETF) kicked in doors early this morning in a series of raids that netted 40 firearms, $3 million in drugs, and lead to 43 arrests in Toronto and Windsor, where police agencies there also conducted raids. The raids primarily targeted a cluster of apartment high-rises on Dixon and Mercury Roads.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair also made the disclosure that Toronto Police investigators were aware of the video which allegedly shows Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine weeks before the media got word of it. Police gained knowledge of the video from wipe-taps.

When questioned, Blair also said many of those arrested were of Somali origin, but that everyone would be treated ‘fair and equally’.

The operation was code named ‘Project Traveller’, a joint operation between police agencies, Canada Border Services Agency, and likely the RCMP’s Immigration Task Force which operates out of the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre at 6900 Airport Road.

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2013/06/13/massive_police_raid_launched_in_toronto.html

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/photo-galleries/police-raids-executed-in-project-traveller-1.1323770

What does it take to convict a cop?

Toronto Star Columnist Rosie DiManno asks the question after Ontario Superior Court Justice M. Gregory Ellis finds Toronto Police Services Constable Glenn Weddell not guilty of the assault of Dorain Barton during the G20 protests in Toronto. Toronto Police Services settled with Barton in a civil suite arising from the same incident.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/06/03/what_does_it_take_to_convict_a_cop_asks_dimanno.html