News Briefs

Alberta toughens union rules;Alberta expands PNP;Ottawa adopts anti-bullying law for federal workplaces;Privacy breaches still too common: watchdog

Alberta toughens union rules

Edmonton — Alberta has made changes to its labour code for the first time in 20 years. Bill 26 will prevent unions from subsidizing contract bids by unionized contractors that are competing with non-union firms. It will also ban the practice of “salting,” in which union organizers join a non-unionized work site to kick-start a certification drive.

Alberta expands PNP

Edmonton — Alberta is stepping up efforts to recruit temporary foreign workers by enlisting Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members through the provincial nominee program. Previously, only employers could sponsor employees through the program, now called the Alberta immigrant nominee program. The new rules allow Albertans to sponsor a parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew to become permanent residents of Canada, but under more stringent terms. The sponsored worker must have a post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate, work experience and be between 21 and 45 years old.

Ottawa adopts anti-bullying law for federal workplaces

Ottawa — The federal government has adopted a new law that protects federally regulated workplaces from all forms of violence, including psychological harassment. Under the new regulations, employers have to develop policies and programs to address bullying, teasing and other harmful behaviour, and assess their programs’ effectiveness every three years.

Privacy breaches still too common: watchdog

Ottawa — Businesses are still too lax about how they handle personal information, said federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, who described the frequency of data breaches as “epidemic.” In the commissioner’s annual report to Parliament, she said one common cause of privacy breach is the downloading of unencrypted personal data onto laptops that are then stolen or lost.

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