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Occupational Health & Safety

CARI Chair's latest message focused on safety and changes to laws in 2019

Matt Zubick, CARI's Chair.
Matt Zubick, CARI's Chair.

According to the latest Chair's message by Mathew Zubick, included in this week's Newsletter from the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI), a new year often means new laws and rules to contend with, and 2019 is no exception. Zubick says changes to national and provincial laws in Canada could affect your business. Distracted driving is another nation-wide concern. See CARI's breakdown of recent changes to policy and laws in Canada below.

Canada-wide Changes
Carbon tax: 
Greenhouse Gas Polluting Pricing Act , January 1, 2019

  • Provinces that failed to create a carbon pricing plan (Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) will be subject to a fee for pollution. 
  • Nova Scotia will launch a cap-and-trade system.

Tax rate: January 1, 2019

  • The small business tax rate is lowered from 10 per cent to 9 per cent.

Provincial Changes
British Columbia
February 18, 2019: Family Day will take place on the third Monday in February to align with other provinces.

  • June 1, 2019: Minimum wage will rise from $12.65 per hour to $13.85.

Ontario
April 1, 2019: Workplaces with 20 or more employees must have a code of practice for managing violence in the workplace.

  • As of April 1, both Ontario and New Brunswick will classify harassment and violence as workplace hazards that affect health and safety.

Quebec
January 1, 2019: Considerable changes to labour standards including an increase in paid vacation for employees who have worked for the same employer for three years. These employees will be entitled to three weeks paid vacation.

  • Changes to paid leave, overtime, equal pay, and psychological harassment policies. 

Distracted Driving
Those recycling and waste management businesses offering pick-up, hauling, and transport of materials should review local road rules with employees. Promote safe driving and avoid disruptions to day-to-day operations by staying current on provincial standards. 

Provinces across Canada are passing stricter laws and handing out harsher punishments for distracted driving offences. Manitoba enacted stiffer penalties this past November and Ontario has new laws as of January 1. Depending on the province, a first offence may carry a fine of up to $1000, significant demerit points (up to 5), and a license suspension (either at roadside or upon court conviction). 

Distracted Driving Laws in Canada (Source: CAA).

While provincial laws generally associate distracted driving with use of a restricted electronic device, the RCMP has recently updated its definition of the offense to include a host of other activities:

Distracted driving is a form of impaired driving as a driver's judgment is compromised when they are not fully focused on the road. Distracted driving qualifies as talking on a cell phone, texting, reading (e.g. books, maps, and newspapers), using a GPS, watching videos or movies, eating/drinking, smoking, personal grooming, adjusting the radio/CD and playing extremely loud music. Even talking to passengers and driving while fatigued (mentally and/or physically) can be forms of distracted driving. Source: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cycp... 

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