Chamber: Urgent Action Needed to Address Labour ShortagesAugust 10, 2022
(TORONTO- August 9, 2022) –Today, Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, released a statement following the reintroduction of Ontario’s 2022 budget and Speech from the Throne for the new session of the Legislature:
“Across sectors, employers in Ontario cannot find enough qualified candidates to fill job vacancies. Labour shortages are significant in healthcare, construction, early childhood education, aviation, agriculture, food and beverage manufacturing, and more. These are having substantial impacts on the broader workforce and economy.
“For example, staffing shortages in Ontario’s health care sector impact worker absenteeism, community wellbeing, and overall economic health. Addressing capacity gaps and backlogs within Ontario’s health care system is urgent. A health human resource strategy should focus on leveraging technology and health innovation, collecting data, tackling immediate workforce shortages, and supporting the next generation of health care professionals.
“The Ontario Government has taken steps to mitigate labour shortfalls through recognition of foreign credentials, red tape reduction, and economic immigration. However, workforce development strategies are needed to address gaps. With the return of the Legislature, we call on all parties to collaborate with the public and private sector to implement recommendations from our Blueprint to Bolster Prosperity, which outlines both immediate and long-term solutions to Ontario’s labour shortages.”
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
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Backgrounder: Blueprint to Bolster Ontario’s Prosperity
As outlined in OCC’s Blueprint to Bolster Ontario’s Prosperity, a document comprised of letters to each provincial cabinet minister with key recommendations on behalf of the business community, government should be focused on policies that result in growth and competitiveness. Some of our recommendations include:
- Addressing Ontario’s labour market challenges by boosting immigration, removing barriers to labour mobility, and introducing workforce development strategies for key sectors such as construction, health care, tourism and hospitality, and transportation.
- Bolstering our health care system by developing a health human resources strategy, delivering on digital health, and addressing backlogs in routine vaccines, diagnostics, and cancer screenings.
- Continuing to prioritize lowering the administrative burden on business and ensuring that regulation is streamlined and effective.
Planning for Ontario’s long-term energy needs to ensure businesses and residents continue to have access to reliable, clean, and affordable energy for generations to come.
- Propelling housing affordability through increased supply and regulatory reforms to fuel the industry and help organizations attract and retain talent.
- Advancing regional transportation connectivity and fare integration as well as broadband infrastructure projects in collaboration with the private sector.
- Modernizing public procurement to support small businesses and equity-seeking entrepreneurs to diversify the supply chain.
- Seizing Ontario’s opportunity to lead in the global green economy by minimizing uncertainty, supporting cleantech, mobilizing clean energy solutions, and strengthening climate adaptation.
The blueprint letters outline both policy asks where immediate action is required to support business and foundational recommendations for long-term prosperity and were informed by OCC’s diverse membership. Read the letters.