New Brunswick, Nova Scotia collaborating on technical safety

Provinces agree to share information on licensing, certification and more following discussions

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are working together to improve workplace and public safety.

The first annual report from the Partnership Agreement on Regulation and the Economy (PARE) looked at how the two provinces could improve safety and inspection services.

What is PARE?

PARE is an “innovative, collaborative approach” designed to make it easier to do business across the two provinces and to find efficiencies in government programming, said Nova Scotia Premier Darryl Dexter and New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham in the introduction to the report.

“Specifically, we are proud to have joined forces to make it easier and safer for trucks and cars to travel the main corridor through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We have collaborated to ease regulatory burden for operators in onshore oil and gas, and we began harmonizing building codes and technical safety training and regulation. Many other initiatives are underway and showing promise to help us meet our objectives,” the premiers said.

Improving safety and inspection services

The provinces point out that worker safety is an everyday government responsibility.

“We establish safety expectations and develop structures to ensure these expectations are met,” the report said, including items such as legislation, regulations, standards, codes and processes.

“Historically, much of this work developed incrementally, and uniquely, within each jurisdiction,” the report said. “Today, it’s necessary to move toward greater harmonization and standardization in recognition of economic realities and the influence of requirements emerging nationally and farther afield.”

In 2010, senior staff from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick met to discuss inspection services related to technical safety, and to identify where standards and regulations already align and where the two provinces should consider collaborating.

The discussions led to the identification of key areas for collaboration, including rules related to boilers and pressure equipment, cranes and operators, elevators and lift devices and power engineers. As a result there is now agreement to work toward:

•sharing information on certification and licensing,

•developing common criteria for education and experience requirements, and

•co-ordinating requirements related to examination and certification systems.

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