Federal, provincial and territorial labour ministers discuss common goals and collaboration as Canada emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic 

News release

February 25, 2022              Gatineau, Quebec                

Federal, provincial and territorial labour ministers met virtually today to share information and advance work on priority issues in workplaces across the country.

The meeting was chaired by the federal Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr., and addressed the challenges and opportunities ahead for workers as Canada emerges from the COVID‑19 pandemic.

The ministers discussed labour issues related to COVID‑19 and the changing nature of work. Ministers shared labour policy successes and lessons learned, with all governments recognizing that workplaces have changed significantly as a result of the pandemic. Other topics of discussion included the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, protections for gig workers and changes to leave provisions.

Paid sick leave was a topic of discussion. Ministers noted the importance of protecting workers and preventing the spread of illness in the workplace, with several ministers sharing updates on changes in their jurisdictions. Discussions regarding paid sick leave across the country are ongoing.

The discussion also included updates on Canada’s ratification of the International Labour Organization Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019. In addition, officials shared progress on the implementation of the Pan‑Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Reconciliation Agreement, the second agreement of its kind.

Ministers committed to pursuing their collaboration and to working toward the implementation of policies supporting safe and healthy workplaces across the country.

Quotes

“When workers, employers and governments work together, we create safer and healthier workplaces. The COVID‑19 pandemic has exposed gaps in Canada’s social safety net, including the lack of paid sick leave across the country. We have an opportunity to close them if we work together. Today’s meeting of labour ministers is yet another example of collaboration leading to improved policies for Canadian workers.”

– Federal Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Quick facts

  •  The federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for labour meet regularly to discuss issues of mutual concern that they can collaboratively address. Throughout the year, their work is supported by Deputy Ministers through the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation.

  • In January 2018, the ministers responsible for labour endorsed an agreement in principle that clarified key principles and considerations associated with occupational health and safety harmonization. The National Occupational Health and Safety Reconciliation Agreement was endorsed in January 2019 and was subsequently signed by all jurisdictions.

Associated links

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Daniel Pollak
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr.
343-551-7558
daniel.pollak@labour-travail.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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