- The CP reports on Suzanne Legault's much-needed warning about the Cons' secrecy in government:
In a closed-door session with dozens of bureaucrats Thursday, Suzanne Legault cited a series of novel measures she says are damaging an already tottering system.- Meanwhile, Elizabeth Thompson points out the lack of any clear privacy rules at all governing most political parties and actors.
"I am seeing signs of a system in crisis, where departments are unable to fulfil even their most basic obligations under the act," Legault told the group.
As an example, she cited a directive in April this year from the Treasury Board warning bureaucrats to steer clear of ministers' offices when looking for documents to respond to an access-to-information request.
The directive imposes strict conditions under which documents can even be requested from a minister's office, and allows political staff members to make a final decision about whether the information is relevant to a request.
Legault drew on other examples of departments that do not bother to retrieve and examine documents before claiming they are exempt or excluded from the Access to Information Act.
- Hugh Wagner highlights the need for the provincial government to get labour legislation right, rather than pushing through attacks on workers with little thought about the consequences for people:
Saskatchewan's workplaces should be moving forward with a view to benefiting the whole of society, not just empowering employers at the expense of employees.- Ryan Meili introduces a national audience to his philosophy of upstream thinking. And for those interested, the Regina launch of the Upstream think tank will take place this afternoon.
Nationally recognized and respected labour relations scholar and lawyer Prof. David Doorey of York University observes in his review of the legislation that "Bill 85 in its final version remains a onesided package of reforms.
The bill's labour relations provisions in particular are designed to impose new obligations, new restrictions, new costs and new challenges on unions."
If this is not the intent of the legislation, I ask again that the government consult fully and openly with all stakeholders, to ensure the act is further amended or to ensure the impending regulations address the following issues: Obstacles to workers' ability to organize and secure collective bargaining rights should be removed. Concerns that families may no longer be able to spend weekends together and employees may be denied lunch breaks if the employer decides it's necessary should be explicitly dealt with. These seemingly small changes reflect a legislative thrust that expands employer control over working conditions. The regulations must address the lack of checks and balances over how employers exercise this discretion.
- Finally, Ed Broadbent's Jack Layton Lecture is well worth a view: