COVID‑19 has brought on a historic disruption to the labour market that has permanently shifted the landscape of work. To attract innovation, investment and economic growth, Ontario will lead the economic recovery by:

  • proposing labour and employment law reforms
  • advancing our world-class employment and training programs

The notion of the workplace is redefined as more people work from home and other remote locations. As we enter the COVID‑19 recovery phase, there is an opportunity to:

  • adapt to these changes
  • capitalize on the positive impacts
  • lead economic recovery through workforce development and new approaches to employment policy

Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee

Minister McNaughton, Minister of Labour Training and Skills Development established the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee (OWRAC), to provide recommendations to shape the future of work in our province.

The committee’s mandate is to provide recommendations to position Ontario as the best place in North America to recruit, retain and reward workers.

The committee led consultations and delivered a report in 2021 with recommendations that addresses the complexities and opportunities caused and/or accelerated by the COVID‑19 pandemic, including:

  • changes in technology
  • the growth of ‘work from anywhere’ employment
  • the significance of skills development in the global labour market

The committee will continue to advise the government on these recommendations.

Committee report

The committee’s report focused on three pillars:

  1. Economic recovery: How to make Ontario the top jurisdiction with a world-class workforce and talent supply?
  2. Strengthening Ontario’s competitive position: In an increasingly remote, global and technologically advanced economy, how will we ensure that Ontario remains the best place in North America to recruit, retain, and reward workers?
  3. Supporting workers: How to ensure Ontario’s technology platform workers benefit from flexibility, control, and security?

Read the full report here.

Committee member biographies

The committee is made up of experts from a range of sectors.

Rohinton P. Medhora – OWRAC Chair

Rohinton is President of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, ON. Previously, he was Vice President of programs at Canada’s International Development Research Centre. His fields of expertise are innovation policy, international economic relations and development economics. He has published extensively on these issues in professional and non-technical journals and has produced several books.

Rohinton sits on The Lancet and the Financial Times Commission on Governing Health Futures 2030, as well as the Commission on Global Economic Transformation, co-chaired by Nobel economics laureates Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz. He serves on the boards of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and the McLuhan Foundation and is on the advisory boards of the WTO Chairs Programme, UNU-MERIT, and Global Health Care.

Rohinton received his doctorate in economics in 1988 from the University of Toronto where he subsequently taught for a number of years.

Mark Quail

Mark is a lawyer in private practice in Toronto, which is restricted to entertainment and technology-related matters. Mark’s legal career has been divided between private law practice and in-house counsel for music companies. Mark’s entrepreneurship includes the formation and operation of numerous record labels, a music publishing administration company and an apps company.

Mark holds a B.A. from University of Toronto and an LL.B. from The University of British Columbia. He was called to the bar in Ontario in 1990.

Kathryn Marshall

Kathryn is an employment lawyer based in Toronto. Her practice is focused on employment law and civil litigation.

She handles all areas of employment law, from job offer reviews to litigation involving wrongful termination, constructive dismissal, discrimination, bad faith, harassment, bullying, disability, and all forms of deferred compensation.

In addition, Kathryn has experience handling complex employment matters involving indigenous communities, government officials, political staff, and unionized employees.

Vasiliki Bednar

Vass is the Executive Director of McMaster University’s Master of Public Policy in Digital Society and a Public Policy Forum Fellow, whose work focuses on regulatory structures needed to embrace the future of work.

Vass was the Chair of the federal government’s Expert Panel on Youth Employment.

A graduate of McMaster’s Arts & Science Program, Vass holds her Master of Public Policy from the University of Toronto and successfully completed Action Canada and Civic Action DiverseCity Fellowships.

She was also the co-host of “Detangled,” a weekly pop-culture and public policy radio show and podcast that ran from 2016-2018. She currently writes a newsletter about Canadian start-ups and public policy called “Regs to Riches.”

Sean Speer

Sean is Assistant Professor in Public Policy at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. He is also the project co-director of the Ontario 360 project at the Munk School and the PPF Scotiabank Fellow at the Public Policy Forum.

Mark Beckles

Mark is Vice President of Social Impact & Innovation with RBC Corporate Citizenship.

He has over 25 years’ experience in financial services, Mark has executive leadership experiences in banking, insurance, risk management and non-profit leadership.

Mark leads the strategic execution of RBC’s Social Impact portfolios including RBC Future Launch, RBC Tech for Nature and RBC Emerging Artists. Mark also leads stakeholder relations to cultivate and maintain key relationships across Canada including policy makers, partners and stakeholders to advance RBC’s community investment priorities.

Mark previously served as Head, RBC Insurance Advice Centre, responsible for over 500 licensed insurance advisors who provide insurance advice and solutions to 750,000 RBC Insurance clients across Canada and served as Regional Vice President, Retail Banking at RBC with market responsibility for North Mississauga and Scarborough.

He is a vice-chair of the Board of Directors of William Osler Health System. He is also a board member of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and sits on the audit and finance committee. He also serves on the advisory committee of the Lincoln M. Alexander Award.

Mark holds an MBA in International Business from the University of Bradford and has completed executive programs with Richard Ivey School of Business and holds the Institute of Corporate Directors designation.