January – MLA Craig Coolahan’s Report

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Calgary Klein

Hello Calgary-Klein!

I hope you had a great holiday season and start to the New Year.

As many of you may recall, in November 2016 I introduced Bill 208: The Occupational Health and Safety (Protecting Alberta Workers from Harassment) Amendment Act, which aimed to protect all Alberta employees from harassment at their place of work.

Bill 208 only got through a first reading before the end of the legislative session, which was unfortunate. I’m pleased to announce, however, that recent changes proposed to the Occupational Health and Safety Act will address the concerns I brought forward in Bill 208, and begin to protect Albertans from harassment in the workplace.

Thanks to the efforts of many who reached out to me with their support for Bill 208, changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act include provisions that address workplace harassment. Specifically, new Occupational Health and Safety provisions include new legislative definitions for violence and harassment, and outline the responsibility of employers and supervisors to prevent workplace violence and harassment. Furthermore, the proposed changes extend presumptive coverage for psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to all occupations. PTSD coverage for First Responders remains unchanged.

In addition, proposed changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act will better protect Albertans and support injured workers. An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans will improve workplace health and safety and provide fair compensation and meaningful support to injured workers and their families. The changes will also ensure Alberta workers have the same rights and protections as other Canadians.

The bill will modernize Alberta’s health and safety system to reflect modern workplaces, increase employee participation, improve safety, and increase supports to injured workers.

These proposed changes will better protect workers, ensure they have the same rights and protections as other Canadians, and empower them to participate in health and safety in Alberta’s workplaces.

Thorncliffe, Greenview, Highland Park, and Highwood Residents

At the Thorncliffe Greenview Town Hall with the Drop-In Centre (DI) on November 22nd, I announced that no new Seniors and Housing capital plan funds will be committed to the Centre 4800 project. This means that our government will not fund the DI in further construction of the project.

Minister Sigurdson and I have met with community members on multiple occasions, and our office has received hundreds of emails and phone calls on the topic. This announcement is a direct result from all your hard work in ensuring that your voices are heard. I want to especially thank Marvin Quashnick and Alison Abbott for putting in countless hours advocating for the community.

Let me be perfectly clear: this has never been a not-in-my-backyard issue. Rather, it is an issue of trust. Mayor Nenshi attended the Calgary Planning Commission in 2015 to vote down its development permit – the first time in decades a sitting Calgary mayor has participated – precisely because of this lack of trust.

Since I came into office I have recommended that the DI sell this property to the government, or partner with another organization the community trusted. I want to see all 46 housing-first units on this site built because we are in desperate need of more assisted living spaces in our city. Housing those in greatest need of housing is necessary. However, such a project can only succeed with a relationship based on community buy-in and trust.

The formal apology on November 22nd from the DI was an important first step in regaining the community’s trust. It will take consistency, time, and patience for that trust to be rebuilt.

 

As always, our office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at [email protected] or 403-216-5430.

Craig Coolahan

MLA, Calgary-Klein