Toronto

'Let them eat cake': Ont. Chamber of Commerce president apologizes after new year's tweet draws ire

The president of Ontario's Chamber of Commerce, Rocco Rossi, has apologized for a New Year's Eve tweet featuring a bottle of Veuve champagne and caviar, boasting that he was celebrating the "1-percenter way."

Rocco Rossi's tweet came just as now-scrapped hike in minimum wage was set to kick in

Rocco Rossi, a one-time mayoral hopeful, was among the leading voices to call for the repeal of the Ontario Liberals' labour reforms under Bill 148, which would have seen the province's minimum wage increase by $1 to $15 per hour beginning Jan. 1. (Twitter)

The president of Ontario's Chamber of Commerce, Rocco Rossi, has apologized for a New Year's Eve tweet featuring a bottle of Veuve champagne and caviar, boasting that he was celebrating the "1-percenter way."

In the apology, issued around 9 p.m. on New Year's Day, Rossi said the tweet "was never intended to offend."

Rossi, a one-time Toronto mayoral hopeful, was among the leading voices to call for the repeal of the Ontario Liberals' labour reforms under Bill 148, which would have seen the province's minimum wage increase by $1 to $15 per hour beginning Jan. 1.
Instead, in October, the Doug Ford government froze the rate at $14 as part of a sweeping pro-business roll-back that included scrapping plans to offer two paid sick days to all Ontario workers and forcing employers to pay part-time and casual staff the same rate as full-timers.

The reforms, Rossi said last fall, were "too much, too fast."

"The compounding labour reforms and unintended consequences came at too high a cost to Ontario's economy."

Rossi's now-deleted tweet drew widespread ire on social media, where it was described as everything from "unfortunate" to "tone-deaf."

While meant to be "satirical," Rossi said, his tweet "in retrospect was insensitive and caused offence."

But for some that apology wasn't good enough.

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