Connect with us

Anglais

‘Blanket ban’ on pot smoking for some workers could be challenged in court, union warns

Published

on


The legalization of recreational marijuana next week is reopening old wounds and sparking new battles between employers and employees in high-risk jobs that could wind up in the court system.

A recent decision by Air Canada to prohibit all employees in flight operations and aircraft maintenance from using cannabis at all times, both on duty and off duty, has raised eyebrows on both sides of the debate.

On Tuesday, rival WestJet Airlines said it, too, will ban recreational cannabis use for employees in « safety-sensitive » positions both on and off the job.

Trend all too common

Niki Lundquist, a lawyer with Unifor, a union that represents 315,000 Canadian workers, said the trend is all too common.

« In the past two weeks we’ve been inundated with amended drug and alcohol policies — and those policies actually purport to regulate off-duty conduct, so use of any kind, » she said.

« We see that as a very common feature suddenly, an absolute prohibition on cannabis use and that’s without regard to if it’s impairing, without regard to the legality of it — it’s just a blanket ban. »

Intrusion on ‘dignity and privacy’

She said the union is writing opinions on why such policies won’t stand scrutiny, as well as filing grievances.

It’s preparing to take employers to court if necessary to prove that Canadian law doesn’t allow such « intrusions on employees’ dignity and privacy, » she said.

Several large Canadian employers in industries ranging from mining to steel to transportation refused comment for this article on their drug policy updates.

But Kevin Neveu, CEO of Precision Drilling Corp., said he feels ready for legalization after his company « modernized » its employee policies.

« For example, in our operating rules, we used to require that our workers be drug and alcohol-free, » he said.

« We’ve amended the wording to say they must be free of ‘impairment,’ rather than isolating alcohol or drugs or legalized drugs or illegal drugs, so we’ve cleaned up the wording. »

Trained to watch for drug impairment

A key safety provision at Precision’s drilling sites is a morning fitness test, where managers must assess workers to make sure they are ready for the job. The managers are trained to watch for illness or excessive tiredness as well as drug or alcohol impairment, Neveu said.

If marijuana impairment is suspected, the employee can be sent for urine or blood testing. A positive test could lead to them being terminated.

Employee education starts during a three-day orientation for new Precision employees during which a drug and alcohol test is performed. If the employee tests positive, they are disqualified and must wait 90 days to apply again, Neveu said, adding about 15 per cent usually fail.

Handled on a case-by-case basis

Random drug testing is allowed in most of the U.S. states where Precision operates and is a useful tool to head off drug use problems, Neveu said, adding the company only uses that tool when it’s needed.

He added he’s disappointed that random drug testing isn’t allowed in Canada given the difficulty in identifying a worker who may be impaired by marijuana.

The company handles medical marijuana in the same way it handles any prescription drug, on a case-by-case basis that assesses whether the person can continue safely in each job based on how the drug is likely to affect him or her, he said.

Recreational and medical products banned

At heavy oil producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., both recreational and medical marijuana products are banned, spokesperson Julie Woo said.

Several studies published over the past year have shown that many employers in Canada aren’t ready for legalization. That’s still true, said Paula Allen, vice-president of research and integrative solutions for consultancy Morneau Shepell.

Many are on the sidelines waiting to see what happens, she said, adding the cost of inaction could be enormous for those firms.

‘You could be criminally liable’

« It’s the employer’s responsibility to make sure they’re managing risk, » she said. « If you’re negligent and you know there’s a problem … you could be criminally liable. »

Policies will evolve over the six to 18 months after the new pot laws are in place and workplace problems begin to appear, Allen said.

Key issues revolve around how testing is used to support an employer’s claim of impairment, she said, as users of cannabis can test positive for a long time after the impairing effects have worn off.

Lundquist agreed that testing is an unresolved issue.

« People are going to be disciplined and lose their jobs for off-duty conduct that has no impact on their ability to do their work. »



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Anglais

Ontario government says cannabis stores to be phased in

Published

on

By


The Ontario government says it plans to take a « phased approach » to introducing retail cannabis stores, with only a handful of licences being handed out at first.

In a statement Thursday evening, the province says it will issue up to 25 licences ahead of the first day of private retail sales on April 1.

It says the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will implement a lottery system to determine who is eligible for the initial licences, with the results announced in January.

The province’s Tory government says it was compelled to implement the phased approach due to « severe supply shortages » being experienced by cannabis outlets across the country.

The announcement comes on the same day councillors in Torontoand Ottawa voted to allow privately operated retail stores to open within their boundaries.

The only legal way for Ontario residents to currently acquire recreational weed is through a government-run website, the Ontario Cannabis Store, which has experienced its own shortages.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Anglais

Council agrees to talks with province about TTC subway upload

Published

on

By


Councillors have voted to enter into discussions with Premier Doug Ford’s government about the province’s plan to take ownership of the TTC subway system, even though they registered their opposition to the plan.

At a meeting Thursday, council voted 24 to 1 to approve recommendations in a report from City Manager Chris Murray to start talks with the province on a potential “upload” of the subway to Queen’s Park.

But they also voted 23 to 2 to in favour of an amendment from Mayor John Tory to “reaffirm (council’s) support for keeping ownership of the Toronto Transit Commission in the City of Toronto.”

Council passed a similar motion in May, after the Ontario PCs floated the upload in their election platform.

In a speech to council, Tory expressed skepticism about the upload, saying the Ontario PCs have never fleshed out the plan in detail and suggesting the proposal was “a solution in search of a problem.”

The PCs say the city has a poor track record of building new lines, and the province is better positioned financially to create an efficient regional transit network.

But city staff were unable to answer questions raised by councillors Thursday about what the plan would mean for TTC service or the city’s ability to co-ordinate transit with land use planning.

I think, in the end, the best way to protect the transit system … is to go to the table and get answers to the questions,” said Tory.

Staunch opponents of the upload agreed it was best to talk with Queen’s Park, given the legislative authority the province has over the city.

“As the largest city in this country, as the economic engine of this province and country, our ability to own and operate the transit system is central to our success,” said Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York). He said he saw “zero benefit” to Ford’s government taking over the subway.

“I believe we should use absolutely every tool that we have, every tool at our disposal, to fight this. And that includes, based on our legislative framework, being at the table.”

The recommendations approved by council authorize the city manager to enter into an agreement with the province under which the city would share information about the subway system that could help facilitate the upload.

Staff are expected to report back to council early next year with an update.

In a letter to Tory last month, Ontario Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek said he wanted the city’s written commitment by no later than Thursday that it would participate in the information-sharing agreement.

The minister said the goal of the exercise is to assess the value of the subway assets, the maintenance backlog, and the operating costs of the network.

A confidential legal opinion attached to the city report warned council effectively has no legal power to prevent the upload.

The legal opinion, which was obtained by the Star, said Queen’s Park could unilaterally take ownership of the network without compensating the city financially, and even leave the municipality on the hook for the billions of dollars of debt it has accrued funding the system.

Although the city manager’s recommendations passed with almost unanimous support, some councillors vowed fierce pushback if the province actually takes concrete steps to upload the subway. Yurek has said the Ontario PC’s could introduce enabling legislation early next year.

Councillor Krystin Wong-Tam (Ward 13 Toronto Centre) called the subway the “heart and the spine” of Toronto and argued it has to remain integrated with the bus and streetcar network in order to provide quality service. She urged council to block Ford’s plans.

“I think we’re about to get into the biggest fight in this term if (Ford) is successful in taking this away from us” she said.

In a statement released Thursday evening, Yurek said he was pleased with council’s decision.

“Our government was elected to get the people of Ontario moving and we are working towards that goal,” he said. Yurek claimed that the city “is not good at planning or building subways.”

He promised to carry out talks with the city “in good faith.”

In another significant transit decision Thursday, council voted 19 to 3 to extend the King St. streetcar pilot project until July 31, 2019. City transportation staff said they needed more time to collect and report on data from the pilot, which was set to expire on December 31. Their final report is expected by March, after which council will decide whether to make the project permanent.

Ben Spurr is a Toronto-based reporter covering transportation. Reach him by email at bspurr@thestar.ca or follow him on Twitter: @BenSpurr



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Anglais

Friends of Canadians detained in China say they aren’t national security threats

Published

on

By


Friends of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig tell Global News they can’t understand how the two men, arrested separately in China, could pose threats to Chinese national security.

University of Ottawa associate professor Costanza Musu calls Kovrig a close friend. She’s known him for more than a decade.

“The International Crisis Group is a highly regarded NGO that he works for and that he provides analysis for as a senior analyst. They don’t engage in any non-transparent activity at all,” Musu told Global News.

“In no capacity would he really have done anything of the sort that would endanger Chinese security.”

WATCH: China says 2 Canadians were placed in detention on suspicion of ‘endangering national security’






On Thursday, Chinese government officials confirmed the two Canadians are being detained over national security concerns. They added that the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver was a mistake and called for her immediate release.

Musu said Kovrig has always had a passion for global politics and developed a love for China while working for Global Affairs Canada. She says he spent months and months learning Mandarin to prepare for a diplomatic posting in that country.

Kovrig took a leave from Global Affairs at the end of 2016 because he wanted to keep living and working in the region, she said. Musu doesn’t see how a person with such an extensive understanding and appreciation of China — as well as extensive connections with Chinese officials — could be seen as endangering national security.

Kovrig is based in Hong Kong, but Musu believes he was on a trip to Beijing to see friends and contacts when the arrest occurred.

“We just don’t know exactly where he is or why he’s being detained so not knowing the reasons make it very difficult for everyone who knows him to figure out what’s best to do,” Musu said.

READ MORE: Who is Michael Kovrig, the Canadian ex-diplomat arrested in China

On the other side of the country, Vancouver lawyer Shaun Driver is also worried about his friend.

Spavor took Driver to North Korea in 2011.

“He connects people to the culture in North Korea and he gives you an opportunity and he opens up a window for people who are interested to understand it, to go and do it,” Driver told Global News.

“I don’t get how he’s a national security threat.”

READ MORE: Michael Spavor, who facilitated North Korea travel, ID’d as second Canadian to go missing in China

Calgary-born Spavor founded the Paektu Cultural Exchange, which focuses on making connections in North Korea. He facilitated former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s visits there in 2013 and 2014, and his Facebook page shows Spavor in photos with leader Kim Jong Un.

“I’ve considered him to be the greatest unknown Canadian,” said Driver.

“You have this guy who has all these connections in North Korea, he’s building bridges and trying to resolve things on a grassroots level, and I always respected that.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Chat

Technologie15 minutes ago

Une invention d’Intel pourrait décupler l’efficacité des ordinateurs

Actualités27 minutes ago

COP24: «le Québec repart les mains vides», affirme le PQ | PATRICE BERGERON

Arts Et Spectacles38 minutes ago

Une exposition sur le hockey à la Grande Bibliothèque

Affaires55 minutes ago

Migrants: Lopez Obrador propose à Trump d’investir en Amérique centrale

Anglais57 minutes ago

Ontario government says cannabis stores to be phased in

Actualités1 heure ago

Mises à pied chez Bombardier: les élus québécois se défendent | MYLÈNE CRÊTE

Arts Et Spectacles2 heures ago

Keith Richards annonce avoir réduit l’alcool

Anglais2 heures ago

Council agrees to talks with province about TTC subway upload

Technologie2 heures ago

Californie: un milliardaire crée une app pour éviter des poursuites

Actualités2 heures ago

Brigitte Bishop confirmée à la tête du BIG de Montréal | PIERRE-ANDRÉ NORMANDIN

Affaires3 heures ago

DavidsTea a creusé sa perte au 3e trimestre

Anglais3 heures ago

Friends of Canadians detained in China say they aren’t national security threats

Technologie3 heures ago

Voici à quoi ressemblerait Super Smash Bros. dans la réalité

Actualités3 heures ago

Le corps retrouvé à Sorel-Tracy serait celui de Josée-Marie St-Germain | ISABELLE GRIGNON-FRANCKE

Santé Et Nutrition4 heures ago

Edible Glitter Is Great and I’m Not Afraid to Say It

Arts Et Spectacles4 heures ago

Ten Years Thailand fait entrer la politique au cinéma | SIPPACHAI KUNNUWONG ET DELPHINE THOUVENOT

Anglais4 heures ago

Braiden Jacob’s death now homicide investigation, say Thunder Bay police

Technologie4 heures ago

Facebook a ouvert quelques heures une boutique à Manhattan

Actualités5 heures ago

Sylvain Caron assermenté comme chef du SPVM

Santé Et Nutrition5 heures ago

The Feel Good Food Plan Is Back! | Healthyish

Santé Et Nutrition2 mois ago

Gluten-Free Muffins

Anglais1 mois ago

Body found after downtown Lethbridge apartment building fire, police investigating – Lethbridge

Styles De Vie2 mois ago

Renaud Capuçon, rédacteur en chef du Figaroscope

Anglais1 mois ago

100 years later, Montreal’s Black Watch regiment returns to Wallers, France

Anglais2 semaines ago

Ontario Tories argue Trudeau’s carbon plan is ‘unconstitutional’

Santé Et Nutrition3 mois ago

3 fois par jour – Desserts: le casse-tête sucré de Marilou | Sophie Ouimet

Mode2 mois ago

Kid’s collections : Little Hedonist

Anglais2 mois ago

No federal party will turn back the clock on the legalization of marijuana

Actualités2 mois ago

Le fils aîné de Tony Accurso meurt dans une embardée | Daniel Renaud et Vincent Larouche

Anglais1 mois ago

Keystone pipeline is Trump’s latest failed attempt to roll back environmental regulations

Affaires3 mois ago

Pas de grève cette semaine à Postes Canada

Technologie2 mois ago

Le nombre de morts par égoportrait ne cesse d’augmenter dans le monde

Anglais2 mois ago

Police presence in Jewish communities across Canada to be increased following Pittsburgh shooting – National

Actualités2 mois ago

La souveraineté est toujours nécessaire, dit Bernard Landry | Denis Lessard

Anglais3 mois ago

Condo developer Thomas Liu — who collected millions but hasn’t built anything — loses court fight with Town of Ajax

Mode3 mois ago

Have A Nice Day | Hello it’s Valentine

Mode1 mois ago

W.I.M.A.M.P, la capsule responsable de Bobo Choses 2018

Technologie2 mois ago

La maison connectée, un paradis pour les pirates

Affaires3 mois ago

Taxes sur les importations: Pékin riposte à Washington

Anglais4 semaines ago

‘At whose expense?’: B.C. entrepreneur says small business owners caught in postal strike crossfire

Trending