Province to hire labour inspectors to fight COVID-19

Monte McNaughton, Ontario's minister of labour, training and skills development, announces $1.49M for job training in London-area, August 19, 2020. Photo from @MonteMcNaughton on Twitter.

The province of Ontario is about to begin the largest labour inspector recruitment in its history.

According to the Ministry of Labour, the province will hire 98 labour inspectors to work with businesses on the fight against COVID-19. Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said this move will ensure there are more inspectors in the field at a time.

“Our government is taking the steps necessary to protect Ontario workers on the job and keep our economy on the road to full recovery,” said McNaughton. “By adding more inspectors to our team, we can respond faster to situations as they arise and help make sure that every office, plant, store and job site in this province is safe, during COVID-19 and beyond.”

The inspectors will not only have the usual capacity to look at health and safety compliance, but also check businesses for protection against the spread of the virus, and investigate worker injuries and hazardous situations.

The hiring blitz will raise the total inspector count to 507, a 24 per cent increase, according to the ministry. The total full-year cost of the inspectors is estimated at $11.6 million.

Recruitment will begin in early October, and applicants will have one month to apply.

Between the start of the pandemic and September 8, ministry inspectors conducted over 19,400 inspections and investigations related to COVID-19. During those visits, over 16,500 orders were issued.