Top Stories of 2019
Premier Doug Ford
After a disastrous first year in power and with his personal popularity in the basement, Premier Ford hit the reset button in June 2019 and totally overhauled his government and it’s approach to conducting business. He fired his autocratic chief of staff and replaced him with a qualified person. The language and tone of all government communications softened. Many of the government’s cuts were rolled back. During the summer recess there were daily happy announcements and re-announcements across the province. As a consequence, our government’s popularity has started to improve.
Ontario College of Trades Registrar & CEO George Gritziotis
OCoT’s Registrar & CEO, Gritziotis, continues to go about his business of leading the province’s skilled trade and apprenticeship system with the same high level of commitment. energy and professionalism as he had on the day he started in the role despite the fact that our provincial government declared it will disband the College. It was a campaign pledge and schedule 40 of Bill 100 proposes a framework for a new model. Gritziotis and his organization continue to provide best in class service to the construction industry even while the dark cloud of the organization’s end hangs above it.
Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton
When he was shuffled into the Labour portfolio about six months ago, with the commitment and energy of ten people, Minister Monte McNaughton went on a personal crusade to meet with virtually every construction stakeholder group out there to learn about their challenges and issues.
He has been everywhere listening and learning. Furthermore, he pushed the Accreditation Standard, which was more than 10 years in the making and ready to go for about two years, over the finish line. When the training and skills development responsibilities were added to his portfolio, he put an immediate stop to the two-year review of portable skill sets and restricted trades that the previous minister had announced but which had not commenced. He is a minister who is not afraid to make difficult decisions, who takes action and pursues results to make a better Ontario.
WSIB Chair Elizabeth Witmer and President & CEO Tom Teahen
Elizabeth Witmer and Tom Teahen have continued to provide impressive leadership as they modernize our provincial compensation agency. The unfunded liability, which once stood at more than $14 billion, has been eliminated, the past claims cost has been removed from employers’ premium rates, rates were reduced in 2019 and again for 2020, the WSIB’s IT platform has been totally modernized.
Employers now have private access to their own information that will help them improve their experience and reduce future premiums and starting in 2020 employers will have a premium rates that reflect their own individual costs to the system with a new prospective experience rating program. Witmer and Teahen are leading more change than the WSIB has seen in decades.
A Business School Text Book Case for Collaboration
WSIB Vice President of Workplace Health and Safety Services,
Rod Cook, Chief Prevention Officer,
Ron Kelusky and IHSA President & CEO
Enzo Garritano deserve recognition for leading their teams in working together to create Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers.
The Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Office led by Kelusky rolled out the Accreditation Standard to recognize employers that effectively use health and safety management systems. Garritano and his team at the IHSA agreed to upgrade the Ontario version of the Certificate of Recognition (CoR) program by adding four additional modules to create Ontario CoR 2020.
The WSIB’s Health and Safety Services team led by Cook created the Health and Safety Excellence Program which is designed to encourage employers, regardless of their current level of health and safety management, to get on board the journey to excellence; Cook was able to persuade the WSIB’s board of directors to set aside a significant envelope of money to reward successful employers. CoR aligns with Accreditation and the HSEP maps to Accreditation.
This kind of collaboration should be a business school case study deserves recognition. The results are brilliant.