Monday, January 21, 2013

Regulatory study finds gaps in Alberta

A new report has come out comparing Alberta’s regulatory scheme to that of other provinces from the perspective of operating a business.  Despite this government-commissioned puff-piece study being (gasp!) generally positive about Alberta, the report has a few interesting things to say:

Employment standards: 
  • The information provided by the Employment Standards office in Alberta is assessed as inconsistent, with the answers to specific questions sometimes varying depending on the individual. ” 
  • Alberta’s investigation officers are assessed as “not sophisticated.”

Health and Safety: 
  • Alberta is assessed as being “ineffective at policing,” with low rates of prosecution and convictions relative to other provinces.

Labour relations: “
  • The Alberta Labour Relations Board is assessed as “not funded proportionate to its importance,” reducing its ability to meet timelines.
  • Among the four provinces, Alberta is assessed as being most employer-friendly, while Saskatchewan is assessed as being the most union-friendly among the four provinces.”

It is mildly surprising that even an employer-focused study funded by the government to show how good Alberta is highlights that Alberta's OHS system is ineffective at preventing injury.

-- Bob Barnetson

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