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British Columbia

BC's new pension standards legislation will come into force on September 30, 2015, announces government

Topics: - Pensions
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - All

The BC Ministry of Finance issued the following news release on May 13, 2015 regarding the province's new pension standards legislation:

The Province's new Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA), which accommodates alternative pension plan designs and improves plan governance, comes into force on Sept. 30, 2015, Finance Minister Michael de Jong has announced.

The new legislation modernizes the existing policy and regulatory framework for B.C.'s occupational pension plans by replacing the current legislation. It has been largely harmonized with Alberta legislation to streamline the operation of pension plans with members in both provinces.

Key benefits of the PBSA include greater access to financial hardship unlocking, enabling the establishment of target benefit plans, and enhanced disclosure and governance of pension plans.  read more »

BC indexing general minimum wage and liquor server wage to provincial Consumer Price Index

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Government issued the following news release on March 12, 2015:

The B.C. government is indexing increases in the general minimum hourly wage and liquor server wage to B.C.'s Consumer Price Index (CPI), Minister for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond announced today. 

The government is committed to reasonable and predictable yearly minimum wage increases linked to B.C. CPI. Going forward, from 2016 onward, the minimum wage will be determined using a formula calculated upon the percentage the B.C. Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased in the previous calendar year. In years where there is a negative CPI change, the minimum wage would stay the same.

In addition, this indexing formula is being applied to the period since the last minimum wage increase in 2012. Effective Sept. 15, 2015, the general minimum hourly wage will increase from $10.25 to $10.45 and the liquor server wage from $9.00 to $9.20 per hour.  read more »

BC Federation of Labour launches "Fight For $15" campaign to increase province's minimum wage

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Federation of Labour issued the following news release on November 26, 2014 outlining its new camaign to increase the province's minimum wage, which currently sits at $10.25 for most jobs, to $15:

BCFED launches Fight For $15 campaign to increase the minimum wage

November 26, 2014

VANCOUVER - The BC Federation of Labour has launched the Fight For $15 campaign, calling on the provincial government to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour.

"At the current minimum wage, working full-time is not enough to lift a worker out of poverty," said Jim Sinclair, President of the BC Federation of Labour. "It has been almost three years since the last increase to the minimum wage. Workers fall behind when their wage is stagnant, yet the cost of living goes up each year."  read more »

Discriminatory to provide birth mothers same amount of top-up benefits as birth fathers, adoptive parents

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

In a rare oral judgment that was issued on November 12, 2014 - British Columbia Teachers' Federation v. British Columbia Public School Employers' Association, 2014 SCC 70 - the Supreme Court of Canada overturned a decision by the BC Court of Appeal and restored the decision of a labour arbitrator concerning top-up benefits provided to teachers who are new parents.

The labour arbitrator, John B. Hall, had ruled that it was discriminatory - under section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and section 13 of the BC Human Rights Code -  to provide the same amount of top-up benefits to birth mothers as birth fathers and adoptive parents.

Specifically, Arbitrator Hall had ruled:  read more »

Class action lawsuit launched against Canadian Hockey League for breach of employment standards obligations

Ontario lawyer Ted Charney, Charney Lawyers, announced that he has filed a class action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League for breach of employment standards legislation as it relates to the junior hockey players who play in the league. This is his press release:

CHL CLASS ACTION LAUNCHED TORONTO, October 20, 2014 - A class action has been commenced on behalf of all players in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Western Hockey League (WHL), and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) who entered into contracts with the teams in those leagues. It is alleged that the contracts with the players are employment contracts that contravene the minimum wage set by the legislation governing each jurisdiction where a team is domiciled.

The defendants are the Canadian Hockey League, the OHL, the WHL, the QMJHL, and the sixty teams that play in each of these leagues.  read more »