Ontario hiring 98 more labour inspectors to speed up COVID-19 pandemic workplace response

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WATCH ABOVE: On Tuesday, Ontario’s provincial government announced its first step of its six-part COVID-19 preparedness plan. As Erica Vella reports, it involved a $70-million flu shot campaign – Sep 22, 2020

TORONTO — Ontario says it will hire 98 new labour inspectors this fall as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says the government will begin to recruit the workers in October.

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The hiring blitz will increase the number of government inspectors from 409 to 507 and will cost $11.6 million.

Read more: Ontario announces $70M flu shot campaign as part 1 of fall COVID-19 plan

McNaughton says the inspectors will allow the government to respond faster to situations that may arise during the pandemic.

Labour inspectors investigate workplace hazards, injuries, fatalities and work refusals.

They also have the power to stop unsafe work, order employers to comply with the law, and initiate prosecutions.