Public Transit Safety

In Ottawa about two weeks ago, a double decker public transit bus crashed into a bus shelter. Three people died and 23 others were injured. As this news broke, I couldn’t help but think of the TTC, the Toronto Transit Corporation, just a few hours’ drive away. Within the last eight or nine years, the TTC has been conducting drug and alcohol testing on its employees in certain circumstances. So far, the TTC has been largely successful in defending its
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Federal Employment Law Changes

Federal employment law changes are pending for later in 2019. Well, at least possibly. This of course assumes that the writ for the next federal election is not dropped before the changes become effective. The changes are part of federal Bill C-86, which received royal assent on December 13, 2018.  This Bill contains a number of changes, including far-reaching changes to the Canada Labour Code, the Employment Insurance Act, and federal pay equity legislation. The changes will apply to federally
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Action, Following Broncos’ Deaths

Many Canadians, myself included, have friends or family members who have died, or been seriously injured, in highway collisions with semis. Yesterday morning, in a provincial court in my home province of Saskatchewan, the driver of the semi that collided with the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus pled guilty to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. It was reported that the driver had no alcohol in his system and was not
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Ringing in the New Year, with Random Drug and Alcohol Testing

Random drug and alcohol testing. The union fought it, vigorously, for years. The squabble had Suncor and the union in and out of court a number of times, over the course of several years. Then, late last month, an important agreement was announced. Suncor and the union (Unifor local 707A) at its oil sands operations have agreed that Suncor will implement random drug and alcohol testing for all safety-sensitive positions in the municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta, beginning in the
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Criminal Code Westray Provisions: R. v. Metron (Part 2 of 2)

Last week, we looked at the 1992 Westray mine disaster, and the subsequent amendments to the Criminal Code regarding workplace safety. The intent underlying the Westray provisions was to facilitate prosecuting corporate criminal negligence for workplace disasters. One tragic case in which a conviction occurred under the Westray provisions is  R. v. Metron Construction Corporation. The Facts On Christmas Eve, 2009, a group of construction workers were repairing a 14th floor balcony. Late that afternoon as they completed their shift,
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Criminal Code Westray Provisions (Part 1 of 2)

It was one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian history, and it resulted in important changes to the Criminal Code relating to workplace safety. In happened in 1992. An explosion at Westray Mine’s underground coal mine in Nova Scotia killed 26 underground workers. The Aftermath A public inquiry followed. The 1998 report harshly criticized Westray mine management. It found “a complex mosaic of actions, omissions, mistakes, incompetence, apathy, cynicism, stupidity, and neglect.” Despite the inquiry, a litany of charges
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