Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (Oct. 2014)

A review of Manitoba’s Public Interest (Whistleblower Protection) Act (PIDA) has spurred 10 recommendations, including the strengthening of protections available to address allegations of reprisal.

Dianna Scarth, former executive director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, released her review of the PIDA on August 11, 2014, seven years after the act was proclaimed. The review focused on the effectiveness of the legislation, which was the first of its kind when the province introduced it in 2007. The recommendations fall within four major areas:

  • Ensure all employees receive adequate education programs to compliment information available online and that designated officers responsible for managing internal disclosures are adequately trained;
  • Create a central process to ensure all bodies covered by the PIDA have effective procedures in place to provide them with support when creating procedures and interpreting the Act, and to track and gather data related to internal disclosures among all departments, bodies or organizations, and make this data publicly available.;
  • Clarify and amend procedure related to the Manitoba Ombudsman’s responsibilities under the PIDA; and
  • Strengthen the protections available to address allegations of reprisals by giving the ombudsman the authority to investigate and take immediate action to address these acts.

“We will be reviewing these recommendations and consulting stakeholders to see the best way to update our legislation,” Jennifer Howard, Minister responsible for the Civil Service Commission, which oversees all hiring in government, says in a statement.

My opinion

In Ontario, we have had section 50, “Reprisals by Employer Prohibited” for many, many years. In fact, part 2 of section 50 was added in 1998 so I would venture a guess we had this was a wee bit longer.

It is one of my favorite sections to discuss and the Ministry here in Ontario values it as well. Section 50 was made mandatory in all “Working at Heights” training, of which HRS Group Inc. is an approved provider.

I would also suggest that it is really needed in the construction sector because of the immediate hiring from high school of students that can be easily injured if appropriate training and safeguards are put in place.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

 

 

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