Decision On Northern OT Exemption Expected Soon

Monday, April 24, 2006 at 14:29



It remains to be seen if a trip by northern mayors to Regina last week will help persuade the province to drop its contentious northern overtime exemption.


Representatives of New North had a chance to discuss that issue and others with the premier and about 10 provincial cabinet ministers on Thursday.


The mayors want the legislation changed, because they feel it discriminates against Aboriginal workers in the North.


It’s been noted the overtime exemption doesn’t apply in La Ronge, Creighton and Uranium City — northern communities that happen to have a larger percentage of non-Aboriginal residents.


Labour Minister David Forbes says the law wasn’t intended to be discriminatory when it was created several decades ago, but he admits he isn’t sure if it is appropriate now.


Forbes expects some sort of government action on this issue within the next month or two.


Forbes says the government has been taking another look at this law since the fall, and is now prepared to start consultation.


He notes his department has to listen to all points of view, including the opinions of employers in the region.