News Briefs

RCMP HR officer found in contempt; Pilot PNP expands; Feds expand foreign worker services; Weighing in on OHS; N.S. weighs wage hike; GM offers to buy out U.S. hourly workforce

RCMP HR officer found in contempt

Ottawa — The former chief RCMP human resources officer deliberately misled a parliamentary investigation into the administration of the police force’s pension and insurance plans and has been found in contempt of Parliament. Barbara George, who was suspended last spring from her post with the RCMP, “impeded” the House of Commons’ public accounts committee by “failing to provide truthful, complete and accurate testimony,” stated a report by MPs released last month. While Parliament has the authority to issue sanctions, the report said the finding of contempt is itself a “very serious sanction” and recommended no further action.

Pilot PNP expands

Toronto — International students who graduate from any Canadian post-secondary institution, and have a job offer in Ontario, can now apply for Ontario’s pilot Provincial Nominee Program and have the chance to become permanent residents. Previously, only Ontario grads could be considered. Under the pilot program, Ontario employers can hire skilled workers, including international students, to fill jobs where labour is in short supply. These workers are then nominated to the provincial government to fast-track their application for permanent residency.

Feds expand foreign worker services

Ottawa — Two new offices in Toronto and Moncton, N.B., will help employers in Ontario and Atlantic Canada hire temporary foreign workers. The offices will provide advice to employers, facilitate the entry of foreign workers and help streamline the application process. There are already offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.

Weighing in on OHS

Hamilton — Canadians can weigh in on health and safety issues emerging from changing workplaces in an online survey by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. With a more diverse workforce, including more women and people of different ethnic backgrounds, and more people working contract and part-time work or being self-employed, gaps in worker protection, technological challenges and the question of who is responsible for health and safety are becoming more apparent. To take the survey, go to

N.S. weighs wage hike

Halifax — Nova Scotia’s Minimum Wage Review Committee is recommending increases to the province’s minimum wage that could see it rise to $9.65 per hour (from its current rate of $7.60) by 2010. The committee wants to see the wage rise to: $8.10 on May 1, 2008; $8.60 on April 1, 2009; $9.20 on April 1, 2010; and $9.65 on Oct. 1, 2010. Beginning on April 1, 2011, the wage would then be adjusted each year based on the consumer price index.

GM offers to buy out U.S. hourly workforce

Detroit — Following a record $38.7-billion US loss for 2007, General Motors is offering buyouts to 74,000 employees, its entire hourly workforce in the United States. The company is offering retirement incentives of $45,000 US to $62,500 US while employees who give up their pensions and health-care coverage will receive a lump sum of $140,000 US for 10 years of service and $70,000 US for less than 10 years. GM plans to replace these workers, who earn up to $78.21 US an hour with the cost of pension and health care, with new workers whose hourly wages will start between $14 US and $16.23 US.

To read the full story, login below.

Not a subscriber?

Start your subscription today!