Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Labour


HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA -- The Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour of Canada, and Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Labour, the Honourable David Morse, released the conclusions of a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for Labour held today in Halifax.

Ministers met to discuss a range of issues of common concern including:

· Promotion of labour standards in the context of international trade agreements
· Occupational safety and health for youth
· Wage loss protection in the event of bankruptcy
· The balance of work with family and personal life

Ministers reviewed Canada's experience with international trade agreements and the labour side accords. They agreed to continue their dialogue on this subject with particular attention to how provinces and territories can be more involved in the development and implementation of these new accords.

"I am pleased with our discussions on Canada's approach to promoting labour standards in the context of international trade agreements," said Minister Bradshaw. "Globalization has important implications for working people which we need to address."

Discussions of workplace safety and health for youth focused on the recommendations emerging from a national conference on this subject held in Ottawa in October 2000. Ministers compared notes on the extensive range of initiatives taken by Ministries of Labour to respond to this issue and agreed to increase exchanges and consultations among governments and with the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada to pursue this critical issue.

"The health and safety of young workers is a widespread issue in Canada and around the world. These meetings bring us each new perspective on labour issues like this and help us share effective solutions," said Minister Morse.

Ministers considered a discussion paper released by Industry Canada on the subject of wage loss protection in the event of bankruptcy, and agreed to intensify the ongoing work on this matter with relevant federal agencies in order to find a solution to salary protection for workers.

The Ministers agreed to release a report entitled Work-Life Balance in Canada providing information on the wide variety of initiatives undertaken by different labour jurisdictions across Canada designed to improve the balance of work with personal and family life. This report will be made available on the website of the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation (www.labour-info-travail.org/E_main.cfm).

The Ministers of Labour meet every year or two to share experience and promote coordination among the labour jurisdictions in Canada. In the meantime, ongoing work continues through the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation (CAALL). CAALL was established in 1938 as a forum for the exchange of information and ideas about the administration of labour legislation in Canada as well as other labour-related issues.

- 30 -

Backgrounders available upon request.

For more information:

David Klug
Office of the Minister of Labour
(819) 953-5646

Linda Bergeron
Director of Communications, Labour Program
(819) 997-2508

Valerie Bellefontaine
Environment and Labour for Nova Scotia
(902) 424-2575