Labour Ministers Address Mental Health
Prince George, B.C. – Mental health in the workplace was a major component of today’s federal-provincial-territorial ministers of labour meeting in Prince George.
B.C. Labour Minister Shirley Bond said today’s discussion not only touched on the “changing face of the workplace in Canada,” but also “how we grapple with issues in terms of safety and also well-being.”
She said this province has made significant progress when it comes to bullying and harassment in the workplace and also the trauma first responders must deal with but says B.C. can “always learn more.”
“Today there were some very poignant stories about the importance of looking at mental health broadly in our country, making sure that there are proper supports in place,” said Bond.
“There was also some emphasis additionally placed on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the impact on first responders. So I think all of us want to learn from each other.”
Federal Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated to her and her colleagues that his government plans to finally address the issue of mental health in the workplace.
“And so I work collaboratively with Minister Ralph Goodale (Public Safety) and Minister Jane Philpot (Health) and obviously the members around the table today indicated their keen desire to work with the federal government.”
She described one example where uniformity in federal policy is needed.
“We have to remember that when we have federal employees, and we do right across the country, they are subject to the rules and regulations of each individual province,” said Mihychuk.
“So a worker that may be in border security in one jurisdiction may have coverage while in another jurisdiction he may not.”
She called it a very important issue and was pleased it was raised today.
“It’s refreshing to see that we’ve opened the door of silence and are talking about mental health and how it impacts each and every one of us.”
Moving forward, Mihychuk says she will take today’s discussion and participate in a collaborative working group led by Minister Goodale and ultimately consult with Canadians regarding the matter.