In April, the Ontario government launched a new “Jobs and Recovery Committee” – to help businesses and people return to work and begin the work of economic recovery.
“While we focus our energy and resources on defeating COVID-19, today’s job numbers highlight why we also need to plan for an economic recovery,” said Rod Phillips, minister of finance. “At Premier Ford’s request, I have convened the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. And our first order of business is to prepare for the next phase of Ontario’s Action Plan, which will be ready to launch as soon as COVID-19 is contained. This team will get our economy moving again ― with a focus on job creation, opportunities for growth, and protecting our province from future threats.”
On June 4, the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) submitted four specific requests to the provincial committee related to the recovery from COVID-19.
- Industry regulation – “Regulations are more effective when currently targeted and not very burdensome,” reports HRAI in a press release.
- Consumer confidence – HRAI is requesting that a clear signal to the marketplace (i.e. homeowners, building owners, and operators) that the HVAC/R sector will continue to operate safely and complying with public health protocols, ministry of labour guidelines, and industry best practices.
- Indoor air quality and ventilation – They are asking the ministries of labour, training and skills development, and health and long-term care to utilize the subject matter expertise of the HVAC/R sector to develop industry standards to ensure safe indoor air and ventilation measures in place.
- Job creation: building retrofits and energy cost savings – lastly, HRAI is urging the Ontario government to work with the federal government on programs that will stimulate market activity, specifically programs that will encourage investments in buildings.
HRAI members view that current regulatory systems are performing their primary functions reasonably well to: ensure consumer and public safety, product quality and product energy efficiency, encourage business growth and innovation, and ensure that only properly training, certified and qualified technicians and tradespeople are performing the highly technical work of the HVAC/R sector.
The committee is chaired by Finance Minister Rod Phillips and includes Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development, Prabmeet Sarkaria, associate minister of small business and red tape reduction, Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade, Peter Bethlenfalvy, president of the treasury board, Caroline Mulroney, minister of transportation, Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health, Ernie Hardeman, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, Greg Rickford, minister of energy, northern development and mines and minister of indigenous affairs, John Yakabuski, minister of natural resources and forestry, Laurie Scott, minister of infrastructure, Lisa MacLeod, minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries, and Lisa Thompson, minister of government and consumer services.