Is Smith trying to make unions and workplace health & safety disappear in Alberta?

What should we make of the UCP’s actions on key workplace laws?

EDMONTON - In an Order-in-Council issued yesterday (O.C. 362/2022), the UCP cabinet failed to give any minister in Premier Danielle Smith’s new cabinet responsibility for the Labour Code or the Occupational Health and Safety Code.

The Labour Code sets out the rules for unionized workplaces in Alberta – including the rules that detail how working Albertans can exercise their constitutionally protected right to join unions and bargain collectively.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act, as the name implies, sets out the rules designed to keep Albertans safe at work.

“Is this merely an administration oversight, or is Premier Smith trying to make unions and workplace health and safety disappear in Alberta?” asks Gil McGowan, president of Alberta’s largest worker advocacy group, the Alberta Federation of Labour.

“Given Smith’s earlier decision to abolish the Labour Ministry altogether, I’m afraid it’s the latter, rather than the former. This should set off alarm bells for all Albertans. I’m afraid that the UCP under Danielle Smith is in the process of declaring war on workers.”

McGowan says he will send a letter to Smith today requesting an urgent meeting and asking her to clarify which minister will be responsible for the two overlooked pieces of workplace legislation.

NOTE: McGowan will be in Medicine Hat today. He will be available to talk to Medicine Hat media in person this afternoon. All other media can contact him by phone.


Gil McGowan
President, AFL
(780) 218-9888