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Results: 1 - 15 of 128
View Leah Gazan Profile
I think I'll leave it at that. Please send that in writing.
I put forward an order paper question and I'm still waiting for a response. I say that because we're not really seeing movement on the ground and I can't seem to get any sort of indication on what's been spent or what the plan is. As everybody knows—and I certainly appreciated the support and solidarity in the House of Commons today from all parties—solidarity only goes so far. As for action, I'm not seeing any action.
Moving to a different area, one thing that the pandemic really highlighted was the necessity for paid sick days. We know that people are going to work sick. They should be able to stay home and get well, especially with what we saw during the pandemic.
I was pleased to see the inclusion of 10 paid sick days in division 29. I'm wondering if officials would be able to walk the committee through what the changes in this section will do.
Zia Proulx
View Zia Proulx Profile
Zia Proulx
2022-05-05 16:48
Good afternoon. I'm Zia Proulx.
I'd be happy to walk you through the key changes. Basically, there are five key things, including in BIA Number 1.
I'll give you just a general overview. They're basically in response to some amendments that were made during the legislative process of Bill C-3, which happened in the fall of 2021, and also stakeholder feedback that we received in March. We did consultations on the implementation of the paid sick leave provisions and on the regulations.
The first key point is that it would simplify how employees earn paid sick leave days. Stakeholders told us that the rules setting out the rate at which employees earn their days of paid sick leave are complex. The rule was that you would earn three days of leave after 30 days of employment, and then you would need to wait another 60 days before being able to earn additional days, but always for up to 10 days per year. The proposed amendment would remove the 60-day period, so it would make it simpler. The earnings model would be simpler for employees, employers and for enforcement.
The second part is that it would align the requirements for the provision of medical certificates for paid sick leave and unpaid sick leave. Bill C-3, which received royal assent in December, created a misalignment between the requirements for medical certificates under the Canada Labour Code for paid sick leave and unpaid sick leave. It was five days for paid sick leave, and it had to be three days for unpaid leave. If the proposed amendment is adopted, employers would be entitled to request a medical certificate if the leaves of absence are five days or longer, regardless if it's paid or unpaid.
The third key point is, as currently drafted, employees whose employers change as a result of a transfer of business or contract retendering process could lose their earned days of paid sick leave, despite working the same job. That is inconsistent with other parts of the Canada Labour Code, like annual vacation, so the legislation—
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
Could I just get someone to confirm the date the Canada emergency sickness benefit and the Canada recovery caregiving benefit are coming to an end? I imagine somebody from ESDC has that date ready at hand.
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
I would happily accept a follow-up in writing for the committee on that question.
I'm also curious to know from ESDC how many people have been accessing the Canada emergency sickness benefit and the caregiving benefit in 2022. Again, if they'd like to follow up in writing with the committee, I'd be happy to receive that information in writing.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair and members of the committee, thank you very much for inviting me to speak to Bill C‑19, Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1.
I apologize for joining you virtually. I was supposed to be with you in person, but my flight was cancelled this morning as a result of fog in Toronto.
The budget I tabled last month was published during Canada's quick and remarkable recovery from the recession caused by COVID‑19. Canada has experienced one of the fastest employment recoveries in the G7. We've recovered 115% of the jobs we lost during those terrible first months. By comparison, the United States has recovered only 93% of lost jobs.
More than three million jobs have been created or recovered, and our unemployment rate has fallen to 5.3%, its lowest point since we began collecting comparable data nearly 5 decades ago. Our real GDP is 1.5% higher than it was before the pandemic. According to the International Monetary Fund, the IMF, Canada will have the strongest economic growth of all the G7 countries this year and in 2023.
I have some good news: last Thursday, S&P once again confirmed Canada's AAA credit rating. We owe that in part to the emergency support measures we put in place to keep Canadians and the Canadian economy afloat. We also owe it to the remarkable courage and determination Canadians have shown in the past two years.
But we still do have challenges ahead.
Inflation, a global phenomenon, is making things more expensive in Canada too. Snarled supply chains have driven prices higher at the checkout counter. Buying a house is out of reach for far too many Canadians. Russia's illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine is directly contributing to higher food and energy prices both here at home and around the world. This impact is hitting the most vulnerable the hardest.
We need to do better as a country at innovating and encouraging small businesses to grow. We need to continue to address the existential threat of climate change, which is why, with the investments outlined in this budget and through Bill C-19, our government is focused on growing our economy and making life more affordable for Canadians.
One of the pillars of our plan is investing in the backbone of a strong and growing country, our people. People need homes in which to live, but Canada simply does not have enough of them.
This budget represents the most ambitious plan that a federal government has ever put forward to tackle that fundamental issue, and it will put Canada on a path to double the number of new homes we will build over the next 10 years.
We also need to make the housing market fairer, which is why, for example, Bill C-19 will legislate a two-year ban on foreign investors. Homes need to be for Canadian families to live in. They cannot be a speculative asset class.
We will also make all assignment sales of newly constructed or renovated housing taxable for GST and HST purposes.
As well—and this is something that I know members of this committee care about deeply—Bill C-19 will help seniors and people with disabilities live and age at home by doubling the home accessibility tax credit's annual limit to $20,000, which will make upgrades such as wheelchair ramps more affordable.
A country and a growing economy also require an expanding labour force. Thanks to Bill C‑19, we'll be making it easier for skilled immigrants, whom our economy needs, to settle in Canada. This will help increase the government's ability to select candidates from the express entry system pool who meet the needs of Canadian businesses.
We will also be investing in the talented and determined workers who are already here and making it more affordable for specialized tradespersons to move here and find jobs.
Under the bill, we propose to establish a labour mobility deduction to enable tradespersons to relocate temporarily to a work location.This measure will grant tax deductions of up to $4,000 per year for transportation and temporary relocation expenses in an effort to reduce labour shortages in the specialized trades.
Bill C-19 will also continue our government's work to ensure that we have a robust tax system in which everyone pays their fair share. Through this legislation, our government will speed up the creation of a public registry of federally incorporated corporations to happen before the end of 2023, two years earlier than planned, to help counter illegal activity, including money laundering, corruption and tax evasion. Let me point out that this is only a first step.
This work is particularly pressing as Canada works hard with our allies through the new Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs Task Force to target the global assets of Russia's elites and those who act on their behalf.
This brings me to how Bill C-19 will allow the government to cause the forfeiture and disposal of assets held by sanctioned people and entities and to use the proceeds to help the people of Ukraine. Canada is leading the way on this effort as part of a group of allies. We would be the first member of the G7 to take this important step, and I can think of few better ways to pay for the very expensive rebuilding of Ukraine than with the seized assets of Russia's leaders.
To save time, I will quickly state some of the other measures set forth in Bill C‑19. I'm certain these measures will be supported by the members of this committee and my colleagues in the House.
Bill C‑19 provides for the introduction of a tax on luxury motor vehicles, aircraft and boats.
It proposes a tax cut for businesses engaged in zero-emission manufacturing activities.
It will also entitle employees to 10 days of medical leave in certain sectors such as air, rail, road and marine transportation, as well as banking, postal and delivery services.
It will put money back into the pockets of Canadians even more—
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Good afternoon, Mr. Chair, and members of the committee.
I would like to begin by acknowledging that we are joining you from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, on the traditional territory of the Beothuk people.
Thank you for inviting me to join you today to discuss my mandate letter commitments and some of the important progress that’s been made so far by our government.
First and foremost, I’m proud to say that we have made incredible strides over the last few months to ensure workplaces are fair, safe, and healthy.
For example, this past December, Bill C‑3 received royal assent. This important piece of legislation will provide a minimum of ten days of paid sick leave per year for employees working in the federally regulated private sector. This is huge.
Paid sick leave will protect workers and their families, protect their jobs, and protect their workplaces. This is an important step in the ongoing fight against COVID‑19 and a necessary addition to the social safety net that organized labour and the NDP have long been advocating for.
These changes to the Canada Labour Code are significant, and we recognize that workplaces need time to prepare.
That’s why we’re engaging with federally regulated employers to work with them on the implementation of these changes in advance of their coming into force. We’re also ensuring they have time to implement payroll changes and work with unions to adjust collective agreements as needed.
I’m also meeting with my counterparts at the provincial and territorial level to seek their views on developing an action plan to provide paid sick leave across the country, while respecting their jurisdiction and the unique needs of small business owners. This will be one of the topics for discussion when we meet later this month.
Now, we will build on all of this work, while supporting the fight against COVID‑19 and its variants. We will continue to build a strong middle class and work toward a better future where everyone has a real and fair chance at success.
Mental health is an important concern for Canadians and has become an even more prominent issue as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
As part of my mandate, we plan on amending the Canada Labour Code to include mental health as a specific element of occupational health and safety, and require federally regulated employers to take preventative steps to address workplace stress and injury.
The biggest battleground for mental health right now is the workplace. The line between work and home has become blurred by the pandemic, and boundaries are more important than ever.
With this in mind, we are also getting ready to move forward on my mandate commitment to develop a right-to-disconnect policy. Such a policy would help support better work-life balance and help do away with the informal expectation that so many workers face to remain connected—without compensation—well beyond normal working hours.
The Final Report of the Right to Disconnect Advisory Committee, which was published just last week, will help guide our next steps.
In addition, we will continue to advance the state of equity, diversity and inclusion in federally regulated workplaces. The Employment Equity Act Review Task Force has resumed its work, which is expected to conclude this summer.
I’ve also committed myself to doing everything I can to protect workers from violence and harassment.
To that end, I am continuing to work with my provincial and territorial counterparts to ratify the International Labour Organization’s Convention 190, which will help eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work.
I would also like to mention that I will be working collaboratively with some of my colleagues to eradicate forced labour from the supply chains of Canadian businesses. Through the development of legislation, we will continue to advance concrete action to ensure that companies operating abroad do not contribute to human rights abuses.
The list I’ve covered today isn’t exhaustive—work is ongoing on many other fronts to deliver on other important mandate commitments, such as continuing to advance implementation of the Pay Equity Act and working with my colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, to maintain momentum on a just transition to a low carbon economy that leaves no one behind.
The progress being made on these and other key initiatives will help build strong, healthy workforces that are productive, innovative, and resilient.
I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak to what I— with the support of many—have been and will continue working on to make our workplaces better for everyone.
I will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
View Louise Chabot Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Minister, thank you for being with us today to talk about the many issues addressed in your mandate letter.
I don't know if you will agree with me, but there is one thing we agree on: the Canada Labour Code needs some love. It needs to be modernized to adjust to the issues that affect the world of work today. There are many challenges. Integrating the mental health component into occupational health and safety seems to me to be a must. This is increasingly documented. It is not only the pandemic that has exacerbated the situation. Psychological trauma at work is a reality. We need to move forward fairly quickly.
My question is simple. When will the 10 days of paid sick leave be implemented?
I know you are having discussions with the provinces, but that is not what this is about. Bill C‑3 was passed to implement 10 days of paid sick leave for all federally regulated employees. Many employees are wondering when they will be entitled to these 10 days, and rightly so. It would be nice if legislation was, in fact, implemented in the short term.
When can we expect this to be done for federally regulated employees?
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Thank you, Ms. Chabot.
Firstly, it will begin on February 25, when I'll sit down with my provincial and territorial colleagues to talk about a national action plan. I don't need to tell you, of course, that in terms of 10 days sick leave nationally, 95% of workers in the jurisdictions that they're in are provincial and territorial.... On the issue of the federal question, the consultations will begin next month. I expect they will last weeks, not months, and then we will be able to draft regulations for which we will have another consultation process, and it will proceed accordingly.
We're going as fast as we can, but it is incredibly important that we get it done right. We need to allow the time for employers to update their systems, which is important. We need to adjust collective agreements. These things do take time, and I guess what we're trying to do is balance, as we always do, making sure we get it done right, and get it done as expediently as we possibly can.
It was in that spirit, I acknowledge, that we voted on this unanimously in the House, because it is pressing. It is making sure that we get it done right, with urgency, and with the certainty that it's what workers and employers are looking for.
View Bonita Zarrillo Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for being here today.
I want to start by saying that my comments are coming from a space of being a woman who has worked for over 40 years in the workforce in Canada in five provinces. My network over those years has obviously been a lot of women. It's important for me to share with you that my perspective is coming from that space.
I'm disappointed today to hear that the consultation for the bill for 10 days of paid sick leave for federal workers was not done before that bill came.... I remind the minister that the NDP amendments were adopted to improve workers' accessibility, and it's still not accessible to workers.
The government has chosen to delay this. I just want to understand on a gender lens. You say that we're months away.... Will there also be disaggregated data and some analysis of the demographics of the workers who have been most affected by this?
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
I think most definitely; I will ensure that. We definitely need to know that data and we definitely need to have that data, but you know, as I said in my answer previously, I think it's incredibly important that we get the balance right. We've got to make sure that we get it right and do it right. There are collective agreements that need to be adjusted, as I said, and employers who need to adjust their systems as well. Those things do need to be done, and it's very important that we do it right.
View Terry Sheehan Profile
Lib. (ON)
Excellent. Let's keep on Bill C-3 then.
Mr. Chair, you'll be interested in this. Prince Edward Island has one day of paid sick leave, Quebec has two, recently British Columbia legislated five days each year for both full- and part-time employees. This was an important piece of your mandate, and congratulations to everyone, including yourself, on getting this passed unanimously in December. This would provide federally regulated private sectors with ten paid days of sick leave.
Minister, could you please explain again why it was so critical to move swiftly on Bill C-3 and what you are going to do to get sick leave implemented? You touched on it a bit. If you could just drill down on that, it would be great.
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