Que., Ont. seek to mend labour mobility row
— The election of new governments in Ontario and Quebec may be thawing a long-standing labour mobility dispute between the neighbouring provinces. The ministers of labour are entering negotiations to dismantle inter-provincial trade barriers. Quebec regulations bar construction workers who do not possess provincial credentials from worksites. In retaliation, Ontario passed a 1999 law restricting the ability of Quebec construction workers to work on the Ontario side of the border. Construction workers have been at odds over the right to work, particularly in the Ottawa area.
NWT creates Human Rights Commission
— The Northwest Territories has proclaimed into law portions of its Human Rights Act that create a Human Rights Commission and a Director of Human Rights position. Previously human rights issues fell under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Nunavut passed its own Human Rights Act last November with complaints going to the Department of Justice.
HRPAO launching Toronto chapter
— The Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario has appointed a task force to establish the scope and function of a newly created Toronto chapter. While Toronto was well served with HRPAO events, there is a desire to give HR professionals in the city the same voice as those represented by chapters in other areas. Toronto becomes HRPAO’s 29th chapter.
Older worker employment jumps
— Women aged 55 and older saw a 14.2-per-cent increase in their employment rate in 2003, Statistics Canada reports. Older men also fared well, with an 8.3-per-cent increase in employment. Younger workers, aged 15 to 24, had an employment level increase of just 1.7 per cent. The unemployment rate for 2003 was 7.6 per cent.
Few gains for pensions
— The average corporate pension plan recorded a two-per-cent increase in its funded status in 2003, and can expect similar results in 2004, an analysis by consulting firm Watson Wyatt Canada shows. While the stock market had a good year, bond yields were low and plan liabilities grew, resulting in weak pension plan performance.
Nova Scotia sets safety fines
— Nova Scotia’s occupational health and safety officers now have the power to issue tickets for failing to comply with an order. Employees and employers can receive a $450 ticket for failing to provide a compliance notice, and $800 for failing to comply.
Half of resumes coming by e-mail
— The Internet’s impact on recruitment has grown to the point where about 50 per cent of all resumes are submitted by e-mail, a survey of 100 of Canada’s largest firms found. Unfortunately, jobseekers aren’t refining their searches, resulting in an influx of inappropriate resumes, many of which are deleted with no followup, reports Accountemps, the recruitment firm that commissioned the study.
$4-million to help with foreign credentials
— Ontario will provide $4-million in funding over the next three years to help the employment prospects of immigrants with foreign credentials. The funds will go to training programs to assist immigrants in complementing their skills to work in the fields of teaching, health care and engineering.
Construction deaths prompt task force
— A 50-per-cent increase in construction fatalities in 2003 has resulted in Ontario setting up a “safety action group.” There were 30 construction deaths in the province last year, the highest level in more than 10 years. Experts will identify best practices and then work with employers and unions to implement them.