In the Ontario election’s ongoing war of voter inducements, the NDP added another sweetener Tuesday, unveiling its promise to require at least three weeks of vacation for all full-time employees.
The policy would make Ontario just the second province to oblige businesses to provide more than two weeks off for employees after one year.
New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath — who polls suggest is at least tied for the lead heading into next Thursday’s vote — called it a recipe for “balanced life.”
The business community responded with a heavy sigh, as the prospect of a labour-oriented NDP government comes closer to reality.
Giving workers more time off is a laudable goal, employer groups say, but an extra week of mandatory holiday could be the final straw after a string of labour costs imposed by the current Liberal government — coupled with billions in business taxes and other new expenses pledged by the NDP.
Already in place are a 21-per-cent hike in the minimum wage, more vacation time and new emergency days off.
“It is just one more way that employers in this province will find themselves in a precarious situation,” said Karl Baldauf, an Ontario Chamber of Commerce vice president. “I would really begin to question what we are going to be doing to the health of Ontario’s economy, and economic prosperity more generally.”