OHL players won’t fall under provincial laws for workers
Ford government does the OHL’s bidding
The provincial government announced today that it will exclude major junior hockey players from the protections of the Employment Standards Act, 2000. This means that the players will continue to receive only a small allowance, despite having to spend dozens of hours a week in workouts, practices, games and attending mandatory promotional events, all of which allow the teams to make money.
The London Free Press reports that the government’s fall fiscal update contains a section that sets out its plan to “exclude OHL players from the Employment Standards Act, 2000…”
The London Free Press spoke to Josh Mandryk about the government’s plan:
Joshua Mandryk with Goldblatt Partners, the firm representing junior hockey players in Ontario alongside Charney Lawyers, said the government’s decision is moving in “exactly the wrong direction.”
“We’re deeply disappointed that the government has decided to strip these young workers of their rights at work,” he said.
The government’s justification for its actions was also set out in the London Free Press article, as was Josh’s response:
“For many Ontario families, Friday nights and Sunday afternoons are characterized by get-togethers to cheer on the local Ontario Hockey League team. Hockey isn’t just woven into the fabric of Ontario’s proud heritage, it is also an economic driver. The OHL makes significant economic contributions to local communities across the province,” the government’s “Plan for the People” said.
Mandryk shot back.
“Many businesses are economically and culturally significant, but that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to get away with not paying their workers,” he said.