October 30, 2000

“The Direction of Labour Policy in B.C. Under the NDP vs. Under the Liberals”

Hon. Joy MacPhail, Minister of Labour and Deputy Premier
Kevin Kreuger, Liberal MLA for Kamloops – North Thompson

Labour policy is usually an important topic in B.C. provincial politics, and 2000-2001 promises to be no exception.

With an election due in the next few months, BCIRA members will have a unique opportunity to hear both the current Minister of Labour, the Honourable Joy MacPhail, and the Labour Critic for the Official Opposition, Kevin Krueger, debate the direction of future labour policy in the province. What would a new Liberal government do in this area? What initiatives would a new NDP government make?

Ms. MacPhail, a former BCIRA member and union staff officer, was appointed Minister of Labour and Deputy Premier February 2000. She has served in many ministerial positions since she was first elected as an MLA in 1991.

Mr. Krueger, Liberal MLA for Kamloops – North Thompson, was first elected in 1996. Prior to entering politics, he was regional public affairs and road safety manager at ICBC and previously was a union steward.

April 27, 2000

“The ‘Adverse or Direct Effects’ of the Meiorin Decision”

Ken Curry, Staff Counsel, BCGEU
Peter Gall, Partner, Heenan Blaikie

In two recent decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada has established new rules for the duty to accommodate in the workplace and the concept of a bona fide occupational requirement in the human rights concept. The distinction between “adverse” and “direct” effects of discrimination was eliminated. Employers (and unions) now must reconsider their procedures for establishing occupational requirements as well as their contents.

Two speakers will address the impact of these cases on labour relations community in B.C. Both participated in this litigation and will speak from the labour and employer perspectives.

Ken Curry is staff counsel for the BCGEU, one of the parties in the Meiorin case.

Peter Gall is a partner at Heenan Blaikie with extensive experience in labour law.