Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Quebec

Government of Quebec

January 25, 2008 15:25 ET

Labour Ministers Work Together to Improve Canadian Workplaces

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2008) - At their annual meeting, Canada's federal, provincial and territorial labour ministers underscored their commitment to promoting safe and healthy workplaces and improving protection for workers.

The meeting, which began on January 23 and concludes today, was co-chaired by the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and Mr. David Whissell, Minister of Labour for Quebec.

All labour ministers are very concerned about violence in the workplace. This meeting provided them an opportunity to discuss legislation and other initiatives by the provinces and territories as well as the recently proposed federal regulations.

"By addressing this issue, we can make sure all Canadians feel safer at work. In addition we had the opportunity to discuss the issue of work stoppages in the federal jurisdiction, as well as the recent announcement of the Federal government to introduce legislation related to reservists and the Wage Earner Protection Program," declared Minister Blackburn.

"Quebec City was the right choice for holding this annual meeting, given that the city is celebrating the 400th anniversary of its founding," said Minister Whissell. "Our discussions provided an opportunity for us to share knowledge with a view to improving our labour laws. I had the opportunity to introduce to my colleagues Quebec's recent innovative legislation to protect the employment of people who have been victims of crime or tragic circumstances."

One of the most important issues addressed at the meeting was violence in the workplace. The ministers shared their best practices with respect to prevention and awareness of violence in the workplace. They also agreed on the importance of developing violence prevention measures appropriate for their jurisdictions in order to help build safe and healthy workplaces where both workers' and employers' rights are respected, and in that regard all ministers endorsed a joint statement on the prevention of violence in the workplace.

Ministers also exchanged best practices related to the protection of temporary foreign workers and young workers. Ministers gave their approval to a Federal-Provincial-Territorial strategy on Canada and the International Labour Organization, collaboration on the issue of work-life balance and work to harmonize Canada's Workplace Hazardous Material Information System with the Globally Harmonized System for the classification and labelling of chemicals.

The labour ministers meet every year to share experiences and promote cooperation among the various governments. Throughout the year, ongoing work continues through the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation.

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via Marketwire.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Blackburn
    Michael Winterburn
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Office of Minister Whissell
    Marisol Schnorr
    Press Secretary
    Quebec Ministry of Labour
    Pierre Laberge
    Communications Directorate