News Briefs

Alberta eliminates health premiums; N.B. to make inquest mandatory for workplace deaths; Nfld. and B.C. protect reservists’ jobs; Alta. workplace deaths rise


Alberta eliminates health premiums

Edmonton — Alberta’s health-care premiums will be eliminated effective Jan. 1, 2009. Currently, premiums run $528 for individuals and $1,056 for a family. With this change, Alberta joins seven other jurisdictions that do not collect health premiums or taxes: Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

N.B. to make inquest mandatory for workplace deaths

Fredericton — New Brunswick wants to make a coroner’s inquest mandatory for workplace deaths. Changes to the Coroners Act would mean there’s an automatic public inquest each time someone dies at a woodland operation or mill, fish or food processing plant, construction site or mining site.

Nfld. and B.C. protect reservists’ jobs

St. John’s, Nfld. — Newfoundland and Labrador has introduced a bill that would provide job protection for military reservists who are deployed or are training to be deployed for foreign or domestic operations. Reservists would also be entitled to unpaid leave for treatment or rehabilitation resulting from the deployment. Similarly, the British Columbia government has also introduced changes to its Employment Standards Act to provide job protection for reservists deployed for domestic emergencies and overseas missions, including pre- and post-deployment duties related to the operation.

Alta. workplace deaths rise

Edmonton — The number of workplace deaths in Alberta rose by 24 per cent last year, from 124 in 2006 to 154 in 2007. There were about 800 workplace deaths in Canada last year, according to the Association of Workers Compensation Boards, including 139 in British Columbia, 100 in Ontario and 82 in Quebec.

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