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April 12, 2017

Wildrose calls on NDP to extend and enhance consultation process for labour review

With Alberta businesses on edge, the NDP government must immediately extend the shockingly short consultation period for their labour review that is being rushed through before changes to the labour code and employment standards are announced, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

At present, the NDP government has set aside only 36 days for an online survey that focuses on only employment standards. At the same time, the NDP government has tasked former Labour Relations Board Chair Andrew Sims with a more comprehensive review of the Labour Relations Code that could have significant impacts on labour relations in the province. To date, the consultations held by Sims with Alberta businesses and workers have been limited to only four meetings in private.

“The NDP government’s ‘consultation’ is all too reminiscent of their handling of Bill 6 and slamming Albertans with a carbon tax,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Albertans deserve more than a little over a month to provide feedback on what could be an overhaul of Alberta’s labour code, especially when other provinces provided years for consultation on similar changes.”

Wildrose is calling on the NDP government to do the following:

  • Extend the online submission period for stakeholders to provide feedback on employment standards and the labor relations code, as outlined in the mandate letter for Sims;
  • Extend the length of the public consultation period with Sims to a full year, to end on March 13, 2018; and,
  • Enhance the consultation process by holding open meetings with concerned stakeholders and ensuring that the feedback from meetings is published.

The last labour review in Alberta took over a year, consulted with many stakeholder groups, and resulted in regulations that worked effectively for almost 30 years.

“The current farce of a consultation is an insult to workers and business owners in Alberta,” Wildrose Shadow Labour Minister Glenn van Djiken said. “All signs point to the NDP government rushing through this review to a predetermined outcome. If the NDP government truly believed they must meet high expectations for transparency and engagement when making any legislative changes, they would extend and enhance this consultation and ensure transparency in the process.”