NDP Government Should Separate Compassionate Care Leave Components of Bill 17 for Immediate Passage: Wildrose

EDMONTON, AB: New legislation from the NDP government is omnibus in nature and would best be served if split into two distinct components to allow for faster passage of compassionate care, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.

Wildrose is willing to provide unanimous consent for all three stages of reading for the components of the bill that relate to protecting workers from being fired for taking unpaid leave for a sick day, looking after a sick relative, caring for a baby, attending a citizenship ceremony, or taking time off as a victim of domestic violence. Should the NDP government agree, these components could become law as quickly as tomorrow.

“Wildrose is sincere in updating employment standards in the province to protect those on compassionate leave, and want to work with the government to have them pass as quickly as possible,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “It’s our hope that the NDP government will recognize that these compassionate care components are separate and distinct from the labour code changes that require greater consultation, and will split the legislation into two.”

Should the government decide to split the current omnibus legislation into two components, it would allow for quick passage of compassionate care leave while allowing for the summer to be used to consult on labour code changes, as was done last year with the Municipal Government Act.

“The NDP government needs to realize that more consultation is needed on their labour code changes, including changes to union certification in the province,” Wildrose Shadow Labour Minister Glenn van Djiken said. “If they are sincere in taking the time to get this right, they will answer the call from us and concerned stakeholders, and use the summer to receive meaningful feedback.”

Audio of the scrum is available here.