News briefs

Ottawa adds four sector councils; Drummed out during paternity leave; Literacy investment’s productivity ROI; Toronto area after research jobs; Privacy commissioner ponders separate law for workplaces
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/25/2005

Ottawa adds four sector councils

OTTAWA — The list of sector councils has expanded to 30, with the creation this month of four new councils: The Police Sector Council, the Canadian Food Industry Council, the Canadian Printing Industries Association and the HR Council for the Voluntary/Non-Profit Sector. Sector councils bring together business, labour and educational representatives to identify and address skills and labour needs in specific sectors.

Drummed out during paternity leave

SCRANTON, PA. — The former drummer of Pennsylvania rock band Breaking Benjamin is suing his former band claiming he was unfairly dropped from the group while on paternity leave. Jeremy Hummel said he asked for six weeks off when his first child was born, the band agreed, hired a substitute drummer and then fired Hummel while he was on leave.

Literacy investment’s productivity ROI

OTTAWA — Canada needs a strategy to invest in adult literacy and numeracy, says a C.D. Howe report, Public Investment in Skills: Are Canadian Governments Doing Enough? The report authors, who are University of Ottawa professors, tracked data by the International Adult Literacy Survey and found that raising a country’s literacy scores by one per cent relative to the international average is associated with an eventual increase of 2.5 per cent in productivity, as well as a 1.5-per-cent rise in national income per person. They also cite research showing that investing in raising literacy and numeracy among people with low skills is more important to economic growth than increasing the number of highly skilled graduates.

Toronto area after research jobs

TORONTO — In an effort to make over the Toronto region as an international research hub, the Toronto Region Research Alliance was launched early this month, with governments at three levels, as well as corporations, research institutes and hospitals and universities committing a total of $8 million. The goal of the alliance is to bring together various stakeholders to build the research capacity, accelerate the commercialization of research and attract increased research and development money to the region, which comprises of Hamilton, Guelph, Waterloo and the Greater Toronto Area.

Privacy commissioner ponders separate law for workplaces

OTTAWA — Twice as many complaints as in the previous year were made to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in 2004, the first year the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act applied to all commercial activities, except in provinces with similar legislation. Of the 723 complaints filed at the office of Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, 17 per cent were well-founded and 45 per cent were resolved through mediation. In her 2004 annual report tabled in Parliament, Stoddart said issues up for review in 2006 may include whether a separate law is needed to cover the employer-employee relationship.

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