News briefs

Ont. firefighters get better WCB protection; B.C. beefs up privacy act; Manitoba safeguards pensions; Government staff denied access to Facebook

Ont. firefighters get better WCB protection

Toronto — The Ontario government wants to expand workers’ compensation coverage for firefighters who suffer from fire-related illnesses. New legislation would ensure full-time firefighters were covered for eight types of cancer that are thought to be work-related and heart attacks that occur within 24 hours of a fire would also be considered work-related.

B.C. beefs up privacy act

Victoria — British Columbia employees and service providers will soon have to notify public bodies about unauthorized disclosures of personal information. The change is one of the amendments meant to strengthen the province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Other changes include strengthening the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s inquiry and review processes, allowing public bodies to routinely disclose predetermined personal information and increasing response time to indirect access requests.

Manitoba safeguards pensions

Winnipeg — Manitoba has enacted a law to better protect workers’ retirement savings. The Registered Retirement Savings Protection Act, which will take effect on Nov. 1, will prevent creditors from seizing money held in deferred profit sharing plans, registered retirement savings plans and registered retirement income funds. Registered pension plans are already protected from most creditors.

Government staff denied access to Facebook

Toronto — Government of Ontario staffers and MPPs who try to access the popular online social networking site Facebook are greeted with the same “access denied” message they would get had they tried to access a pornographic website. Minister of Government Services Gerry Phillips said the site was banned earlier this month because it is not directly related to the workplace.

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