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ACA Sends Letter of Concern Over Gypsum Decision

ACA has sent a letter to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal expressing our concern around the increase of tariff to gypsum being imported from the USA.

Our concerns are as follows:

  1. The cost increases may hurt our suppliers and our industry in general if they are varying dramatically across our industry.
  1. If we have a shortage, this will create basic supply problems for the industry and schedule and cost overruns for current projects.
  1. The cost increases would have to be passed on to the customer in succeeding contracts which may significantly impact government funded infrastructure projects.

ACA also explained that we hope that these changes will be kept from causing undo pain for our industry in a time where we are struggling to keep our businesses and employees in their jobs.

To read letter click here.

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Significant SCC Decision Increases All Risk Insurance Coverage

The Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC”) issued a decision dealing with coverage under a builders’ risk insurance policy that has important implications for owners, contractors and insurance companies. At issue was the interpretation of the exclusion of coverage for “the cost of making good faulty workmanship,” which appears in many commercial risks policies.

Following installation of windows at a high rise commercial tower, the window cleaning company hired by the owner to remove paint from the windows scratched and damaged the surfaces by using improper tools and methods. The owner submitted a claim for the costs to replace the damaged windows. The insurance company denied coverage relying on an exclusion in the policy precluding coverage for the “costs of making good faulty workmanship”. There was an exception to this exclusion that the owner relied upon. This exception provided that coverage would still be available for physical damage resulting from the faulty workmanship.

Read the full article here

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What New Marijuana Laws Might Mean for Employers

During the 2015 Federal Election the Liberal party announced they would legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Federal legislation is currently under preparation for 2017 to legalize use. Among the various legal ramifications there is concern among employers around how to protect their employees in these new legal circumstances.

A landmark case is about to go before the Supreme Court in December, Stewart vs Elk Valley Coal, which will determine the liability for companies in dealing with impaired and addicted employees. To date the Alberta Court of Appeal has established the crucial threshold issue is whether the employer’s policy is properly applied to the individuals before the Court or arbitrator, especially when there is no elevated safety risk for applying the policy to those individuals.

Legalization in places like the Netherlands has maintained standards similar to alcohol consumption. Smoking marijuana in the workplace is not allowed. Like in Canada use of marijuana or alcohol at the workplace is considered a case for dismissal of an employee.

Testing and tools for managing employees before they become a danger to themselves and others is something employers will need to continue to stay informed about. ACA’s Safety WCB Committee is already looking into the research around this question and what it means for employers, to determine an appropriate advocacy strategy on behalf of members.

For more information on the Canadian taskforce see link below.

Marijuana legalization taskforce