Premier Doug Ford is urging Ontario businesses to rally behind him as he stares down the “forces” opposed to his rollback of workplace protections and a higher minimum wage.
Speaking to the Ontario Economic Summit in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Friday, Ford warned that powerful interests are trying to thwart his changes.
“There are forces in Ontario who had it good under the stagnant Liberal economy, who were happy seeing businesses close and freezing workers out of better jobs,” he said.
Statistics Canada data shows Ontario’s economy has actually been growing for years before he was elected in June.
Still, Ford said cancelling the $1 hike to the $14-an-hour minimum wage — and eliminating two paid sick days for Ontario workers as of Jan. 1 — has awakened his political foes.
“These forces are already organizing and preparing to spend a lot of money to try to stop us,” the premier said, apparently referring to some labour unions.
“But these desperate intimidation tactics won’t stop us,” stressed Ford.
“We’re prepared for the fight ahead and today … my ask of the OCC, of big and small businesses, of entrepreneurs, of skilled trades people, of colleges, of pro-job labour unions, of young people trying to get into skilled trades, is to keep it up,” the premier said.