News briefs

Saskatchewan bans forced retirement; EI premiums to fall; Corporate killing charge dismissed; Entry rules eased for foreign workers in ALTA., B.C.; Miners’ big pay day

Saskatchewan bans forced retirement

Regina — Saskatchewan has introduced a bill to amend the Human Rights Code to abolish mandatory retirement. The current code lets employers force workers to retire at 65. Likewise, collective agreements will not be able to specify a retirement age. Exempted are occupations where advancing age relates to the ability to perform the job, such as firefighters and police officers.

EI premiums to fall

Ottawa — Employment insurance premium rates for 2007 will fall from the current $2.62 to $2.52 per $100 of insurable earnings for employers, and from $1.87 to $1.80 for employees. Rates in Quebec will be $2.04 for employers and $1.46 for employees.

Corporate killing charge dismissed

Ottawa — An Ontario Superior Court judge reluctantly dismissed criminal charges against Ontario Power Generation in the deaths of two swimmers who drowned after a hydroelectric dam near Calabogie, Ont., was opened without warning in June 2002. The judge said he’s obliged to apply the law as it existed before bill C-45 took effect. “Some could, with understandable justification, find perversity in the result — particularly when there exists a substantial body of evidence pointing in the direction of a cumulative and aggregated corporate failure to ensure public safety at the site of this generating station.”

Entry rules eased for foreign workers in ALTA., B.C.

Ottawa — The federal government has made it easier for employers in Alberta and British Columbia to hire foreign workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Employers don’t have to advertise for as long to fill openings for the occupations listed as “under pressure.”

Miners’ big pay day

Saskatoon — Due to a tight labour market and high commodity prices, 400 workers at Cameco’s McArthur River and Key Lake uranium mines have scored a 21.5-per-cent wage increase over four years.

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