This is page numbers 2525 - 2568 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was going.

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Committee Motion 87-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 349-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Operations Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, committee. Do you agree that you have concluded consideration of Tabled Document 348-19(2), Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2020-2021?

Committee Motion 87-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 349-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Operations Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 2539

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Committee Motion 87-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 349-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Operations Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 2539

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Mr. Norn.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 2539

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

[Microphone turned off] ...I move that consideration of Tabled Document 348-19(2), Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2020-2021, be now concluded and that Tabled Document 348-19(2) be reported and recommended as ready for further consideration in formal session to the form of an appropriation bill. Marsi cho, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 2539

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. The motion is in order. To the motion.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 2539

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Tabled Document 348-19(2) will be reported as ready for consideration in formal session through the form of an appropriate bill. Thank you, Ministers, and thank you to the witnesses for appearing before us. Sergeant-at-Arms, please escort the witnesses from the Chamber. Committee, we have agreed to consider Committee Report 12-19(2), Report on the Review of Bill 20, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act. I will go to the Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Development for any opening remarks. Member for Kam Lake.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Madam Chair. Bill 20, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act, received second reading in the Legislative Assembly on November 4, 2020, and was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Development for review on February 10, 2021. The standing committee held a public hearing with the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment and completed its clause-by-clause review of the bill with the Minister on March 2, 2021. The committee supports the introduction of emergency leave, however, thoroughly debated the delicate balance between the rights of employees and that of employers. During the clause-by-clause review of the bill, the committee passed one motion with concurrence from the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. I would like to thank the stakeholders that provided valuable feedback during the review of the bill and thank the committee for their efforts in reviewing this legislation. I would also like to thank all Regular Members who participated in the committee's review of this bill. Individual Members may have additional comments or questions. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 2540

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. I will now open the floor to general comments on the Committee Report 12-19(2), Report on the Review of Bill 20, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act. Do any members have general comments? Member for Frame Lake.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. I, too, would like to thank the committee for allowing me to sit in on their proceedings with regard to Bill 20. As the chair said, the Employment Standards Act is almost kind of like a sacred piece of legislation where you try to balance the rights and interests of workers and employers. I think it does generally reach that kind of proper balance. I think that the committee worked very hard to improve particularly the group termination notice provisions of the bill that was brought forward. It really wasn't clear who would initiate the notice and where it would go and how employees would find out about it and so on. I think they made some great strides in improving much of that. I want to thank them for their efforts at doing that.

I'm still quite concerned with the emergency leave provisions in the bill. It is unpaid leave, and right now, with the federal government, that unpaid really is paid leave because you can apply for federal benefits. When the federal government ends those benefits, if we were in another emergency situation, there would be no pay for someone who needs to take emergency leave. This issue was raised by the Status of Women in their submission, and I think the issue is that it really wouldn't create any kind of an incentive for people to self-isolate if there was a pandemic going on. You would have people that would be going to work sick and possibly spreading things and so on. That issue has not been addressed in the bill. I know there is a recommendation that is going to come forward shortly that will attempt to try to deal with that but in any event that, I think, remains a piece of unfinished business.

The one area that I'm most concerned about is the group termination notice provision. That is because, at the end of the day, if and when these changes are adopted, workers will lose weeks of paid work. I think that is indisputable, and I will ask the Minister for his interpretation. Workers will lose weeks of paid work if this goes ahead as is. In any event, I do have some further comments and questions for the Minister when we get into actually reviewing the bill, and of course, I'm going to be bringing forward a couple of relatively small amendments to try to even up the balancing, I think, a little bit better to improve the bill a little bit further. Again, I want to thank the committee for its hard work. This is a difficult, complex set of changes that had been proposed, and I think that the committee did a good job at trying to reach a better balance. Thanks, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Member for Great Slave.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Madam Chair. This was my sort of first opportunity to really delve into legislative work sitting on this side of the House. I found it to be a really interesting process, and I'm not quite sure if I fully understand how everything is supposed to work. I do really appreciate the Minister and the clerk for walking us through it and being patient and answering questions, of myself, anyway. One thing that I do just want to comment on generally is that I find that this is an opportunity for us to get ahead of a situation that could occur next time. This is a lesson learned from COVID where we're trying to make things so that, when a situation occurs, the red tape is not necessarily there and we can react more nimbly.

While it may not be perfect in addressing all the situations because, honestly, we can't put the onus always back onto the very struggling private sector to pay when we wouldn't be doing that in other scenarios, I see where this would be a difficult thing for us to navigate. However, it's a situation that will occur anyway when there is an emergency, that notification will not be able to be given, and instead of leaving companies sitting in violation of an act or a regulation, instead, they can deal with the situation and not be penalized for it. Employees will still be paid out under the contracts for the amount of leave that they are entitled to. Again, I think this is a bigger conversation, then, about whether or not service workers and people who generally don't have great benefits as employees actually should deserve a better benefit package, and I think that's the conversation that should be had if we're talking about people getting unpaid leave. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 88-19(2): Concurrence Motion Tabled Document 348-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2021-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Any other general comments? Seeing no further comments, Member for Kam Lake.

Committee Motion 89-19(2): Committee Report 12-19(2) - Standing Committee on Social Development - Report on the Review of Bill 20: An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act - Public Consultation on Prescribed Emergency Provisions, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

March 12th, 2021

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Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I move that this committee recommends that the Department of Education, Culture and Employment undertake public consultation to develop prescribed emergency provisions, including those that have already been defined in relevant sections of Bill 20. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 89-19(2): Committee Report 12-19(2) - Standing Committee on Social Development - Report on the Review of Bill 20: An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act - Public Consultation on Prescribed Emergency Provisions, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. The motion is in order. To the motion. Member for Frame Lake.