OHS Canada Magazine

Alberta Federation of Labour concerned about workplace safety following cabinet reshuffle


October 28, 2022
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Legislation alberta alberta federation of labour Cabinet Shuffle Gil McGowan

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith (left) and Kaycee Madu, Deputy Premier and Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions.

The Alberta Federation of Labour is raising questions about workplace safety in the province following the recent cabinet shuffle by new Premier Danielle Smith.

The province no longer has a Ministry of Labour and Immigration. It has been renamed to the Ministry of Skilled Trades and Professions, which oversees occupational health and safety, labour relations and employment standards.

On Oct. 24, Kaycee Madu was sworn in as deputy premier and Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions.

“Is this merely an administration oversight, or is Premier Smith trying to make unions and workplace health and safety disappear in Alberta?” said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

“Given Smith’s earlier decision to abolish the Labour Ministry altogether, I’m afraid it’s the latter, rather than the former. This should set off alarm bells for all Albertans. I’m afraid that the UCP under Danielle Smith is in the process of declaring war on workers.”

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In a press release, McGowan dismissed arguments that the functions of the old Labour Ministry are simply being shifted over to the new ministry of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development and the ministry of Skilled Trades and Professions.

“Those new ministries only look at workers as units of production; cogs in the machine of business and the economy,” says McGowan. “There’s no recognition that workers have rights and that they need protections in the workplace. They’re almost inviting employers to ignore standards and exploit workers.”

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