Statement from Labour Minister on Auditor General’s Report

Labour Minister Christina Gray has issued the following statement following today’s release of the Auditor General’s report.

“Albertans need to know that when they go to work, they will come home safely at the end of the day. Today’s report from Alberta’s Auditor General is further evidence that the former administration neglected issues involving Alberta workplaces and made slow progress on a series of Occupational Health and Safety recommendations his office made over six years ago.”

“During my time as Minister of Labour, our staff have demonstrated a willingness to go the extra mile to ensure issues affecting Alberta workplaces are addressed. We have already taken the initiative on a number of large issues that are important to Albertans, including:

  • Launching a review of the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) system to ensure it provides fair compensation and meaningful rehabilitation to Albertans.
  • Passing Essential Services legislation to comply with the Supreme Court of Canada and remove unconstitutional bans on strikes and lockouts in the public sector.
  • Conducting focused safety inspections of late-night convenience stores and gas stations to identify the risks posed to Albertans working alone at night.
  • Providing basic workplace protection and compensation to waged, non-family farm and ranch workers while developing regulations with the help of industry stakeholders.
  • Increasing the minimum wage to help low-income Albertans make ends meet after struggling for years with the lowest minimum wage in the country.

“Our government has made progress on a number of these issues that were neglected under the previous administration and we will work with our officials to meet the remaining recommendations of the Auditor General’s report. We have already begun developing a new evaluation framework to ensure we are meeting our goals to identify and prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities, and ensure workplaces are in compliance with the law as has been recommended by the Auditor General.”

“There is much more work to do, as the former government ignored the need to modernize Alberta’s labour laws, including Occupational Health and Safety legislation. We are committed to undertaking this important work in the coming years for the benefit of all Albertans.”

“Albertans deserve more from their government and that includes ensuring that workplaces are fair and that hardworking Albertans can return home safely to their families.”