LAWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
April 23: Bill C-65 expanding employers’ OHS duties to prevent violence and harassment has come out of committee and is poised for final passage. Key provisions:
- Definition of “workplace violence” broadened to include “physiological” injuries and illnesses
- Employer duty 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.
- Workers’ right to assert claims against employer for failing to protect them from violence/harassment continues for up to 3 months after employment ends.
April 23: The Canadian Standards Association completed review of a draft revision of CSA Z259.10 – Full Body Harnesses, which sets out design, testing, marking and information requirements for use of full body harnesses in fall protection systems. CSA Z259.10 is technically a voluntary standard but many jurisdictions require employers to follow it by incorporating the standard by reference into their OHS fall protection and/or PPE regulations.
April 16: Bill C-68 making significant changes to the Fisheries Act received second reading and went to committee for markup. Highlights:
- Current “causing serious harm to fish” broken into 2 separate prohibitions—causing death to fish and “harmful alteration, disruption and destruction” of fish habitat (HADD)
- HADD includes temporary harms that don’t kill and don’t last
- New ban on harm to ecologically significant areas
- New category of projects that must get Fisheries Act
April 18: The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission published a new regulatory document explaining what employers should do to promote a workplace “safety culture.” While technically binding only on energy companies covered by CNSC regulations, the new REGDOC-2.12, Safety Culture regulatory document may be seen as a best practice for other industries.
April 11: Sustainable Development Technology Canada will provide $14.1 million to fund 5 clean technology developments in the private sector:
- $3.3 million to ATTAbotics (Calgary) for robotic warehousing fulfillment tech
- $2.2 million to ClinnUp Technologies (Quebec) for green municipal wastewater treatment solutions
- $1.1 million to KmXMembrane Technologies (Oakville, ON) for water treatment at mining sites
- $4.1 million to New Rubber Technologies (Tilbury, ON) for tech to turn scrap rubber and plastics into new high-value materials
- $3.4 million to Springpower International (Mississauga) for green production of lithium ion batteries.
April 22: The MOE marked Earth Day by launching new consultations aimed at total elimination of plastic waste from landfills and marine environments.