New Brunswick invokes notwithstanding clause in bill making vaccination mandatory
FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government has invoked the notwithstanding clause to shield vaccination legislation tabled today against charter challenges. Education Minister Dominic Cardy says the law making vaccinations mandatory for children in schools and daycares unless they have a medical exemption is needed to prevent outbreaks of diseases. Cardy acknowledges Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which allows governments to override parts of the charter, is rarely used. But he says the province is prepared to use every power it has to ensure schools and daycares are safe for children.
A new law protecting B.C. whistleblowers goes into effect Dec. 1.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act outlines new protections for current and former B.C. government employees who come forward to report wrongdoing in their workplace.
Employees can now report concerns internally to a designated officer or to the B.C. ombudsperson, and will be protected from demotion, termination or reprisal. Whistleblowers can also raise their concerns anonymously if they wish.
Ottawa to argue appeal of tribunal order to compensate First Nations children
OTTAWA — Federal lawyers will be in court later this morning to argue the government's appeal of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that ordered Ottawa to pay billions of dollars in compensation to First Nations children and their families. In September, the tribunal ordered the federal government to pay $40,000 for every First Nations child who was inappropriately taken away from their parents after 2006. The Assembly of First Nations estimated that 54,000 children and their parents could be eligible for total compensation that could exceed $2 billion.
“This legislation protects whistleblowers if they speak up and requires that any investigation into allegations of serious wrongdoing will be administratively fair,” said attorney general David Eby. “It supports high standards of integrity and accountability in our public service, which British Columbians expect and deserve.”
The act also ensures those being investigated are treated fairly, and that ministries and the office of the ombudsperson are transparent in reporting the number of reports received each year and sharing the results of any investigations that have occurred.
“Having a legal framework that allows public employees to speak up about wrongdoing helps ensure accountability, transparency and integrity in government,” said ombudsperson Jay Chalke. “Whistleblowing allegations involve serious matters. I am confident that with the expertise of the investigative staff and policies that are in place at my office, both disclosers and those who have allegations made against them, will be treated fairly.”
Jason Kenney invokes Ralph Klein in speech to UCP members at 1st AGM since election win
Alberta is taking a gradual approach to balancing its budget while protecting programs that matter most, Premier Jason Kenney told delegates at the United Conservative Party's annual general meeting in Calgary on Saturday. "Some of this will be controversial, some of it will invite protests, saw one today," Kenney told the hundreds of members assembled in Calgary. "But I'm reminded of what premier Ralph Klein used to say. 'If a day goes by and there's not a protest, I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong.
The new law will also give the ombudsperson the power to investigate if an employee believes they have suffered reprisals after reporting a concern to their employer.
The PIDA was passed last year, in response to an earlier 2017 report.
That report made 41 recommendations as the result of an investigation into a 2012 wrongful firing of several health ministry employees. Following the firing, politicians implied an RCMP investigation was a possibility, though police never looked into the matter.
One of the wrongly fired employees was, who later killed himself. The province has since reached settlements with the employees or their families.
Singh reiterates support for Fredericton abortion clinic fighting to stay open .
FREDERICTON — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh visited a Fredericton abortion clinic Saturday that is struggling to remain open because New Brunswick does not cover abortions performed outside hospitals. Singh voiced his support for Clinic 554 and met with medical director Adrian Edgar. The clinic's fate drew attention to the provincial policy and became a focal point on the issue of abortion access during the fall federal election. Singh voiced his support for Clinic 554 and met with medical director Adrian Edgar.