In Western Canada, labour and employment law is evolving along two distinct paths, with governments in British Columbia and Alberta both in the process of passing labour law reforms.
In B.C., the NDP government’s Bill 30, the Labour Relations Code Amendment Act will make remedial certification easier for unions, restrict what employers can say to employees about unions and give successor rights to certain types of contractors. The B.C. government is also amending the Employment Standards Act, raising the age a child can work and instituting unpaid leave for victims of domestic abuse, among other changes.
From Alberta and the new United Conservative Party comes Bill 2, An Act to Make Alberta Open for Business, which undoes labour-law changes made by the UCP’s NDP predecessors. The bill passed first reading May 27 and its changes include restoring a mandatory secret ballot for union certification votes, changing the period for unions to give evidence of support for a union to 90 days from six months, eliminating holiday pay if the holiday lands on an off day and lowering the minimum wage for workers between 13 and 17 years old.