Bill 148 ($15 minimum wage and other labour/employment standards reforms) was referred again to the Ontario legislature’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. This committee will conduct public hearings next week in the Main Legislative Building at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

The tight deadlines for these hearings were finalized and made public only yesterday afternoon, but it’s not too late to make sure your voice is heard in person, or in writing.


To request to appear for a five-minute presentation before the committee on Thursday, November 2 (9:00-10:15 a.m. and 2:30-6:00 p.m.), contact the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs at or 416-325-3506 by no later than Monday, October 30 at 5 p.m.

(Please note: Just like the first round of hearings, if the number of requests to appear exceeds the number of spots available, a short list will be created by MPPs on the committee.)


Written submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, November 3.
Please email written submissions to

This is the final opportunity to help influence the outcome of Bill 148. Your individual business story could make a difference!

TTC suing Manulife over its role in multi-million dollar benefits scam

The TTC is suing its insurer, Manulife, for up to $5 million in connection with a health benefits scam that allegedly involved more than 150 former employees.

The transit agency filed a statement of claim in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, it said in a news release on Thursday, arguing Manulife didn’t have appropriate fraud management controls in place and didn’t spot unusual trends that could have curbed the abuse.

Group insurance market reaches $40 billion

Fraser Group’s report shows that total revenues generated by the group insurance industry in Canada in 2016 increased 4.7 per cent compared to 2015, (when they reached $38.6 billion). He points out that group insurance revenue growth in 2016 was higher than that of gross domestic product. Real GDP growth (excluding inflation) was 1.5 per cent.

Fraser says costly medications have driven revenue growth for group insurers in Canada over the past two years. “The major driver of growth nationally in both years was medical benefits (drugs and extended health care services).” Revenues from medical benefits increased 4.8 per cent in 2016 and 5.5 per cent in 2015, he said.

Bill 148 and Pay Equity: A Changing Landscape and Increasing Scrutiny of Ontario Employers

As part of the 30th anniversary of the Pay Equity Act (Act), the Pay Equity Office has implemented several new initiatives in 2017 in support of its mandate to administer and enforce the Act. These initiatives, coupled with pending legislative changes under Bill 148, present significant changes and potential risks to employers across the province.

The purpose of this FTR Now is to consider the pay equity risks posed by Bill 148, to raise awareness of the new Pay Equity Office initiatives and to review the pay equity challenges that currently face Ontario employers.

The impact of Ontario’s public drug program changes on private plans

It has been a busy period for changes to public drug programs in Ontario, as the provincial government has been working on policies with the potential to offer savings to private benefits plans: pharmacare coverage for people under the age of 25 and upgrades to the Trillium drug program for people with high drug costs. What are the possible impacts on plan sponsors?

Tips for boosting employee acceptance of benefits changes

The irony of pensions and benefits is that employees tend to ignore them until they need them or until their employer changes them. And whether it’s good news or bad news, there are almost always trade-offs.

Changing pensions or benefits can be a tough sell to employees. When employers say “change,” employees often hear “change for the worse” and are likely to react defensively. So what can plan sponsors do to ease employees’ anxiety and help ensure the change goes smoothly?