Looking after your best interests...
Here is how EAC & CME has been working on your behalf...This month:
Restructuring of EAC:
•We are continuing to restructure EAC to generate efficiencies and maximize opportunities while maintaining a strong voice for employers regarding Workers Comp./H&S issues.
Repeal of the Industrial Exception
•On January 25, 2013, Attorney General of Ontario proclaimed in force as of March 1, the repeal of the “Industrial Exception”, Section 12(3)(a) of the Professional Engineers Act. CME led a campaign with 30 other industry associations to demonstrate that there was no safety rational for the repeal of the Industrial Exception. In June of this year, the Premier announced at a CME Roundtable that Cabinet had voted to retain the Industrial Exception. The PEO continues to pursue their agenda, citing false and misleading information to justify the repeal of the Exception. CME is in the process of following up with MPP’s to communicate the reality that manufacturing is safe and getting safer.
•CME submitted comments to the Environmental Bill of Rights on Bill 91, the Waste Reduction Act and the Waste Reduction Strategy. CME members have made great progress on waste reduction over the years through LEAN, Ontario waste regulations etc… We do not believe that the Ontario government has evidence that the industrial sector will be a big contributor to waste reduction in Ontario.
Closing the Skills Gap
•Skills challenges remain high on our members priority list – CME partnered with Colleges Ontario and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) to deliver “Closing the Skills Gap” June 21. This event brought together stakeholders from business, government and academia to discuss potential solutions to the persistent skills challenges in Ontario. We continue to work with the Workforce Shortage Coalition to highlight the skills issues and develop solutions.
•CME is working to organize a roundtable with the Ministry of Finance on tax and finance issues and productivity within the next two months.
•CME is actively engaged with the Ministry of Labour on a number of different policy fronts. Key issues include the prevention strategy, Prestart Safety Reviews, Employment Standards and the WSIB unfunded liability. CME has made great progress through the Open for Business – Client Services Sub-committee which meets to discuss many of these priority issues.
2014 WSIB Premium Rates
•The WSIB has announced that premium rates will remain at the same level for 2014: No increases or decreases for any rate group. There will, however, be a 1.1% increase ($900) applied to the current maximum insurable earnings ceiling, making it $84,100 for 2014 (which is a legislative requirement). CME continues to work on the Rate Framework, benefit review, and the new prevention division. We also continue to promote the successful safety group program which has been extended until 2014.
•CME commended the government for mirroring the federal decision to extend the accelerated depreciation for manufacturing and processing equipment through 2015 – a move that will result in $265 million in savings for Ontario companies – as well as the formulation of a new $295 million youth employment and mentorship fund, which could help encourage more youth to explore opportunities in in-demand manufacturing-related careers.
•While CME also noted its support for the government's commitment to reduce the deficit, other moves in the budget received a less favourable response. In particular, the elimination of a threshold exemption for large employers on employee health taxes is expected to drive down competitiveness.