A roundup of new legislation, regulations, government announcements, court cases and arbitration rulings
LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Drugs & Alcohol
Nov. 28: The federal cannabis legalization plan (Bill C-45) got first reading and will be open to public comment until Jan. 20, 2018. Sections potentially affecting workplace safety:
- Amending Non-smokers’ Health Act to ban smoking and vaping in federally regulated places
- Government authority to adopt regulations on cannabis use in workplace
- Higher penalties for drug offences
- Government power to inspect and issue tickets for violations.
Nov. 7: Sex harassment has been illegal for decades. But newly proposed Bill C-65 could create turf wars between HR and EHS by turning sex harassment into an OHS offence under the Canada Labour Code. Highlights:
- Broader definition of behaviour deemed sex harassment
- Duty of employers to take steps to prevent and investigate harassment incidents
- Privacy and reprisal protections for workers who complain of harassment
- New worker right to have complaints investigated by neutral third parties and/or resolve complaints via informal resolution.
Jan. 27: That’s the new deadline to comment on a Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission proposal on nuclear emergency recovery requirements. Although aimed primarily at the government sector, the proposed regulations would also have implications for private sector companies and workplaces.
Nov. 20: Canada ratified a global agreement to phase down emissions of HFCs. The so-called Kigali Amendment amends the Montreal Protocol adopted in 1987 to reduce greenhouse gases creating a hole in the ozone layer. It has been ratified by at least 20 other nations including, surprisingly, our neighbor to the south.