In June 2021, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, appointed the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee (OWRAC), to provide recommendations to help Ontario meet the challenge of leading the future of work.

One of the OWRAC’s recommendations was to appoint experts to design and test a portable benefits program, where contributors could be consumers, employers, workers and the government.

Most workers in Ontario with full-time, permanent jobs have medical insurance and dental coverage. In comparison, less than a quarter of people who work part-time or in precarious jobs have similar benefits, which means these workers, and their families, often have to make difficult choices between their health and other necessities like food and shelter. Independent contractors, low-wage workers, newcomers, younger workers, and racialized people are less likely to have workplace benefits. These portable benefits would be tied to workers, instead of employers, and could better support worker mobility, help businesses attract workers and make their futures less uncertain.

Panel focus

Minister McNaughton established the Portable Benefits Advisory Panel to recommend  a portable benefits program for Ontario.

The panel includes leading experts, who are responsible for providing advice on the design and implementation of a portable benefits program for workers who fall outside of traditional employer provided benefits.

The panel will consider costs to employers to ensure that Ontario businesses are able to remain economically competitive through their participation in a portable benefits program.

Panel members

The panel includes experts from a range of sectors, including the perspective of those who do not currently have benefits.

Susan McArthur – Chair

Susan McArthur is co-founder and executive chair of LockDocs Inc., a start-up focused on digital identity as a service. Susan was recently Chair of Ontario’s Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee, Susan was also recently a managing partner at GreenSoil Investments, a venture capital firm focused on investing in both real estate and agri-food technology.

In addition to her venture capital experience, Susan has 25 years of international and domestic investment banking experience and is a director of Great West Lifeco, Canada Life, IGM, IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie Inc. Susan is a graduate in Political Science from Western University and completed the Institute of Corporate Directors course at the University of Toronto.

Sunil Johal

Sunil Johal is Vice President of Public Policy at the CSA group, and the David and Ann Wilson Professor in Public Policy and Society at the University of Toronto’s Victoria College.

In 2021, Sunil served as Special Advisor to the Deputy Ministers at Employment and Social Development Canada. He was also Policy Director at the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre from 2012 to 2019, where he led the Centre’s research activities and established himself as a thought leader on issues such as the future of work. In February 2019, Sunil was named Chair of the Expert Panel on Modern Labour Standards by the federal Minister of Labour.

Sunil holds degrees from the London School of Economics, Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Western Ontario.

Brad Nicpon

Brad Nicpon is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault. His practice focuses on infrastructure, construction, energy, project development and public-private partnerships.

Brad has significant legal experience in both domestic and international infrastructure markets. His experience includes the drafting and negotiating of legal arrangements to construct, operate, finance, purchase and sell infrastructure assets across various classes.

Brad has an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School, an M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Genetics and Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. Brad qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Province of Ontario in 2008, and as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales in 2016.

Marlayna Perrone

Marlayna Perrone is a professional sommelier who has worked in the Hospitality and the Beverage industries for over 10 years. Her experience includes working in a variety of environments, with several different roles, where health, dental, and vision benefits were not provided by her employer.

She has experience in various areas of hospitality, including corporate cellar management, trade shows, private in-house dining, casual dining and fine dining.

Marlayna completed the “Certified Sommelier” level through the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas and is a diploma candidate with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

Allan Shapira

Allan Shapira is a Senior Partner and Managing Director of Aon's Wealth Solutions business in Canada. In addition, Allan consults with organizations in both the private and public sectors on the design, financing and administration of  retirement and benefit programs.

Allan is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries.

He served as a Chair of the Actuarial Advisory Committee to the then Financial Services Commission of Ontario, as a member of the Ontario Minister of Finance's Advisory Council on Pensions and Retirement Income, and as a member of the Ontario Ministry of Finance's Stakeholder Reference Group established in connection with the province’s review of the solvency funding framework for defined benefit plans. Allan also served as the actuarial advisor to the Ministry of Finance in its discussions in 2016 with the federal government on the enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan.