Ford says Bill 124 repeal comes amid high cost of living

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Ontario Premier Doug Ford expressed frustration today with an Appeal Court ruling declaring his law imposing wage restraint on public sector workers unconstitutional, but says he has agreed to repeal it amid a high cost of living.

The province’s top court ruled that a law that capped salary increases for broader public sector workers at one per cent a year for three years violated collective bargaining rights.

Hours after the ruling, the government announced that it would repeal the law, known as Bill 124, something that opposition critics, labour advocates and health−care workers have long urged.

Today, Ford says measures like that should be up to governments, not the courts, though he respects the ruling.

Ford says when the law was enacted in 2019 the province’s finances were not as stable, and times are different now.

The premier notes that since a lower court first ruled the law unconstitutional, workers such as nurses and teachers have received back pay to compensate them, and his government is repealing the law now amid a cost−of−living crisis.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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