NDP concerned about elimination of labour rights for athletes with no consultation, debate

July 6, 2016

HALIFAX – The Liberal government have eliminated the right to minimum wage, vacation and holiday pay, and defined work hours for employees who are athletes. The change, announced Monday and effective immediately, was made without any public consultation or debate.

“Nova Scotia has been home to the QMJHL for 20 years, and to various professional sports teams for decades, so I’m concerned about why the Liberals suddenly made these changes, with no prior warning,” said NDP Labour Critic Dave Wilson. “It is troubling that the government would exclude a group of people from basic labour rights without any public consultation or debate.”

The changes to the General Labour Standards Code Regulations and the Minimum Wage Order were made by an Order in Council on Monday, based on a recommendation from the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education that was made on June 16, 2016.

“Who approached the Minister about changing these rules? Was a current legal challenge over a similar law in B.C. considered? How many athletes will be affected? What analysis was conducted by the Department of Labour and will the Minister agree to make it public? And perhaps most importantly, who was consulted? Was it just sports team owners or did the government speak to athletes and their families?” said Wilson. “Nova Scotia athletes, their families and sports fans deserve more answers about why the McNeil government made these changes.”

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For more information, please contact Kaley Kennedy at the NSNDP Caucus at (902) 830-8748.