Bill 47, the so-called Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, hollows out basically every major component of a good workplace health and safety system and also restricts access for injured workers to recover and start working again.
This is a giant omnibus bill that makes many changes, so the UCP government has created handy resource fact sheets. The trouble is the fact sheets misrepresent the changes with words like “simplified,” “clearer” or “more flexible” when, what it really means is that Bill 47 removes health and safety requirements for employers, takes away worker benefits and limits worker rights. So, here at the AFL, we decided we would go through the fact sheets and add another column to the documents to translate the information to help Albertans understand what it REALLY means.
Changes to OHS laws
These changes reduce many of the processes designed to keep workers safe, eliminate many oversight mechanisms and make a mockery of worker participation in occupational health and safety. For example, the UCP are severely limiting the ability for Alberta workers to refuse unsafe work, and putting even more restrictions on some front-line workers (during a global health pandemic). Other changes include some to the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees that severely restrict workers ability to participate and help make their workplaces safer, specifically to oil and gas and construction worksites. And, the UCP have also introduced a secretive way for employers to be left out of certain parts of the workplace safety legislation without any public accountability. View the Changes to OHS laws - Fixed fact sheet.
Changes to workers’ compensation laws
For the Workers Compensation changes, what we see is legislation that restricts workers ability to be compensated when they are injured at work, and changes that make it easier for workers to be kicked off any benefits through the WCB system. The UCP are reintroducing a cap on benefits, along with a percentage limit of replacement income within the cap, and they eliminated the requirement for WCB financial benefits to keep up with inflation in Alberta. View the Changes to workers’ compensation laws – Fixed fact sheet.
Stand up to Kenney
The UCP's Bill 47 eliminates workplace health and safety protections, as we know them, in Alberta. The new legislation is another attack on Alberta workers, which will put them at risk in more unsafe workplaces and means less compensation for those workers hurt or killed on the job.
Jason Kenney is using the pandemic as cover to ram through an extreme agenda that includes attacks on health care, education, worker rights and many other things that Albertans hold dear. In response, we launched the www.standuptokenney.ca campaign.
Take the “I'm ready” pledge and show Kenney that we’re serious! Take the pledge!