[1] There have always been workers outside the “standard” employment relationship. Regardless, the nature of employment has changed. See Leah F. Vosko, “Precarious Employment: Towards an Improved Understanding of Labour Market Insecurity” in Leah F. Vosko, ed, Precarious Employment: Understanding Labour Market Insecurity in Canada (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006) 4, 6; Judy Fudge, “The New Workplace: Surveying the Landscape” (2009) 33 Man LJ 131; Katherine Stone, “The New Psychological Contract: Implications of the Changing Workplace for Labour and Employment Law” (2001) 48 UCLA L Rev 519.

[2] A brief note on terminology and classification. Immigrants are people who have emigrated from other countries throughout the world and have settled in Ontario. They may be established in Canada or recently arrived. Racialization has been defined as “the process by which societies construct races as real, different and unequal in ways that matter to economic, political and social life”: Ontario Human Rights Commission, Policy and Guidelines on Racism and Racial Discrimination (2005, revised 2009). Online: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/sites/default/files/attachments/Policy_and_guidelines_on_racism_and_racial_discrimination.pdf. Many immigrants are racialized persons and vice versa. Between 2001 and 2006, “over three quarters of immigrants to Canada were from the global South or countries with racialized majority populations”[Sheila Block & Grace-Edward Galabuzi, Canada’s Colour Coded Labour Market: The Gap for Racialized Workers (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Wellesley Institute, 2011), 6. Online: http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Colour_Coded_Labour_MarketFINAL.pdf]. However, there are important distinctions between the two categories. Many racialized persons have been Canadian for several generations and immigrants who are not visible minorities are less likely to be racialized. Then again, Caucasian immigrants may be racialized because of an accent or other cultural differences.  The LCO discusses immigrants and racialized Ontarians separately while acknowledging the commonality in how they may experience precarious work.

[3] A Creative Symposium was held on 30 November 2006 in order to discuss the creation of a new law reform commission for Ontario and identify potential law reform projects.

[4] Andrea M. Noack & Leah F. Vosko, Precarious Jobs in Ontario: Mapping Dimensions of Labour Market Insecurity by Workers’ Social Location and Context (Law Commission of Ontario, 2011). Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/vulnerable-workers-commissioned-papers-vosko-noack.pdf; Leah F. Vosko, Eric Tucker, Mark P. Thomas & Mary Gellatly, New Approaches to Enforcement and Compliance with Labour Regulatory Standards: The Case of Ontario, Canada (Law Commission of Ontario, November 2011). Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/vulnerable-workers-commissioned-papers-vosko-tucker-thomas-gellatly.pdf; See also student paper: Jamie Baxter, Precarious Pathways: Evaluating the Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada (Law Commission of Ontario, July 2010). Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/baxter.pdf.

[5] See the Appendices for a list of consultations carried out in the Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work Project.

[6] Efforts to reduce the benefits of employees in secure jobs with excellent benefits (particularly pensions) has recently threatened the stability of several European countries such as Greece. See for example, Niki Kitsantonis, “Ahead of Summit, Greece Rushes to Approve New Cuts”, New York Times (29 February 2012). Online: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/world/europe/ahead-of-summit-greece-rushes-to-approve-new-cuts.html.

[7] “50th OECD Anniversary: International Migration and the SOPEMI” in International Migration Outlook 2011 (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, 2011). Online: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/22/5/48342373.pdf.

[8] The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, 2012-2013 Economic Outlook, Economy Battles Strong Headwinds: Modest Growth Ahead, Economic Policy Series (2011). Online: http://www.chamber.ca/images/uploads/Reports/2011/EconomicOutlook111228.pdf.

[9] John Morrissy, “Canadian jobs market headed for serious downturn”, Financial Post (2 November 2011). Online: http://business.financialpost.com/2011/11/02/canadian-jobs-market-headed-for-serious-downturn/.

[10] Law Commission of Ontario, Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work (December 2010), vi-vii (Law Commission of Ontario, Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work Background Paper). Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/VulnerableWorkersBackgroundPaper-December2010.pdf. Citing Harry W Arthurs, Fairness at Work: Federal Labour Standards for the 21st Century (Gatineau: Human Resources Skills Development Canada, 2006), 232. Online: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/labour/employment_standards/fls/pdf/final_report.pdf.

[11] John Stapleton, Brian Murphy & Yue Xing, The “Working Poor” in the Toronto Region: Who They Are, Where They Live, and How Trends are Changing (Metcalf Foundation, February 2012), 24-25. Online: http://metcalffoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Working-Poor-in-Toronto-Region.pdf.

[12] Guy Standing, Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Huntington: Bloomsbury, 2011), 24.

[13] Vosko, et al, note 4.

[14] Sheila Block, Work and Health: Exploring the Impact of Employment on Health Disparities (The Wellesley Institute, 9 December 2010), 4 (Block, Work and Health). Online: http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Work_and_Health.pdf; Wayne Lewchuk, Marlea Clarke & Alice de Wolff, Working Without Commitments: The Health Effects of Precarious Employment (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2011), 11-20.

[15] LCO consultation meeting with F.A.R.M.S. (17 January 2012) Mississauga, Ontario.

[16] In certain circumstances, a federal program may provide these employees with temporary employment insurance support: Service Canada, Work-Sharing. Online: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/work_sharing/index.shtml.

[17] Tom Zizys, Working Better: Creating a High Performing Labour Market in Ontario (Metcalf Foundation, 2011), 21. Online: http://metcalffoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/working-better.pdf.

[18] Leah F. Vosko, Temporary Work: The Gendered Rise of a Precarious Employment Relationship (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000), 27.

[19] Zizys, note 17.

[20] Arthurs, note 10, 19.

[21] Citizenship and Immigration Canada, News Release, “More Federal Skilled Workers for Canada in 2012” (3 November 2011). Online: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2011/2011-11-03.asp; Wallace Immen, “Ottawa to seek innovative business migrants”, The Globe and Mail (9 March 2012) A6.

[22] Canada has three temporary foreign worker programs discussed below.

[23] Zizys, note 17, 9.

[24] René Morissette, Grant Schellenberg & Anick Johnson, “Diverging Trends in Unionization”, Perspectives on Labour and Income, Vol 6, No 4 (Statistics Canada, April 2005). Online: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/10405/7827-eng.pdf.

[25] The Conference Board of Canada Hot Topics, Canada Inequality: Is Canada Becoming More Unequal? (July 2011). Online: www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/canInequality.aspx; Block, Work and Health, note 14, 67. In 2011, the rate of income inequality in Canada was slightly higher than the OECD average: OECD, Society at a Glance 2011: OECD Social Indicators (2011). Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/soc_glance-2011-en, 67.

[26] OECD, Growing Income Inequality in OECD Countries: What Drives It and How Can Policy Tackle It?, Forum, Paris, 2 May 2011 (2011), 7 (OECD, Gr