Quebec backs Nortel pensions
Quebec — The Quebec government will back the pension assets of 3,750 Nortel employees if their pensions are terminated while the company is under bankruptcy protection. Under provincial legislation covering bankruptcy provisions, the Régie des rentes du Québec, the province’s pension plan, would take charge of the pension assets and invest them on behalf of the Quebec beneficiaries for up to five years.
Ontario unveils apprenticeship grants
Toronto — Ontario hopes three new incentives will boost apprenticeship completion. The incentives will be available by January 2010 and include: grants of up to $2,000 to apprentices and $1,000 to employers when training is completed; grants of up to $1,500 per term to help with the cost of school; and allowing apprentices to complete more of their in-school training upfront if placements are temporarily unavailable.
Alberta encourages closer look at WCB
Edmonton — The Alberta government will continue to press the provinces Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) to improve the fairness of its processes in light of a hostage-taking at the board’s Edmonton offices in October, said Employment Minister Hector Goudreau. A man with a gun, who said his WCB benefits were cut off after he injured his knee at work, took nine people hostage. Despite legislation in 2002 to create a tribunal to review long-standing, contentious claims, no cases have been re-opened, said Liberal WCB critic Hugh MacDonald.