The Ontario Liberals have said they will look into the idea of a four-day work-week if elected next year.
Leader Steven Del Duca revealed the plan during his keynote speech at the party’s Annual General Meeting on Sunday afternoon.
“An Ontario Liberal government will launch a pilot project to analyze the potential for a four-day work-week,” Del Duca said.
He pointed out that the “creative concept” is being examined in countries around the world, including New Zealand, Spain, and Scotland.
“I want us to understand if it has merit here,” he said.” I want us to gather the facts in an open and transparent way and then make responsible decisions.”
A four-day work-week would allow people to work the same number of hours—40, on average, in Canada—over four days rather than five.
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Del Duca noted that such attempts to “improve the way people work” doesn’t mean that Ontarians don’t want to work hard.
He stated that Ontarians want to be able to do meaningful work without their jobs having a “brutally negative impact” on their mental health, their families, and the environment.
Young workers in particular need to know that they can live happy lives in the province while pursuing rewarding careers.
“We are here on this planet working to live, not living to work,” Del Duca said. “And that’s an important distinction that we should never forget.”
Fifty-three percent of respondents to a June 2020 Angus Reid poll said they would support a four-day work-week. Younger Canadians were even more likely to see it as a “good idea.”
The poll suggested a 30-hour work-week, though, rather than the 40-hours that would continue under the Liberal’s proposal.
The next Ontario provincial election is set for June 2, 2022.