Monday September 5, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Today on Monday of this Labour Day long weekend, people are enjoying the last day of the summer break. Families are busy with back to school preparations. Much of the economy revs up again this coming week.
That includes the federal cabinet retreat in Vancouver. and the Bank of Canada is expected to announce another interest rate hike in their efforts to tamp down inflation.
BC government employees have just recently ceased their strike action, and bargaining across several sectors continues.
While you enjoy this last day of easy-pace, here are the political statements on this Labour Day 2022.
Premier John Horgan and Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, have issued the following statement marking Labour Day:
“Today is Labour Day, a day when we celebrate workers in British Columbia. These are the people who build our communities, protect and care for our families, and keep our economy moving. It is also a day when we recognize the accomplishments of the labour movement in advocating for working people.
“The challenges of the past two years have reminded us about the hazards many workers face and the ongoing need to ensure they are treated with dignity.
“In the past year, our government has taken more meaningful steps to make work safer and fairer in B.C. These steps include:
- increasing the minimum wage, which is now the highest of any province;
- introducing five paid sick days each year for workers covered by the Employment Standards Act, because no worker should need to make the choice between going to work sick or losing wages;
- introducing a single-step union certification process to protect and support workers who want more say about the terms and conditions of their employment through collective bargaining;
- taking new steps to further close the gender pay gap; and
- bringing British Columbia in line with international standards for children’s employment by raising the general working age from 12 to 16. We are now developing measures to protect 16-to-19-year-olds from hazardous work.
“Today, B.C. is leading Canada’s economic recovery. In the year ahead, we will continue to support a stronger B.C. that works for everyone.
“Happy Labour Day!”
Prime Minister’s statement:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his 2022 Labour Day statement said that Canada’s workers are “the backbone of our communities and our economy”.
He notes that “our workforce built this country”, itemizing roads to drive on, maintaining technology to connect us, delivery food to grocery stores, and more. Reliance on workers is a daily thing.
He notes that “families are feeling the impacts of inflation, particularly through rising food and gas costs”.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish all Canadians a safe and happy Labour Day. Today, we not only recognize the hard work and determination of the labour activists who fought for paid holidays, universal health care, and employment insurance, we also commit to building on their successes and continuing to make our workplaces safe and our future brighter,” says Trudeau in today’s statement.
Trudeau and his cabinet ministers will be holding a retreat in Vancouver this week. The House of Commons 44th Parliamentary sitting resumes September 19.
Federal NDP’s statement:
“Labour Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of workers and thank them for keeping our communities running. It’s also a time to recommit to fight to help make their lives better,” says national NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
He notes that inflation has hit an almost 40-year high and that workers and their families are struggling to keep up.
Saying that the NDP is always on the side of workers: “In this parliament, we also used our power to ensure federal workers have access to 10 days of paid sick leave.”
See full NDP Labour Day Statement 2022 online.
Education / back to school (archive)
BC Premier’s Statement on Labour Day in 2021 (September 6, 2021)
Editorial: Labour Day thoughts during a pandemic (September 7, 2020)