COVID-Ridden Canada Post Facility Not Included In Ontario’s Inspections

Canada Post fleet vehicles in Toronto.

TORONTO — Ontario labour inspectors are homing in on warehouses and distribution centres, but the site of a major workplace COVID-19 outbreak isn’t included in the ongoing inspections: Canada Post.

More than 300 employees at the postal service’s Gateway facility in Mississauga, Ont., have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the year and one employee has died. Canada Post advised customers across the country to expect delivery delays as the outbreak impacted operations at the central mail delivery hub.

But because Canada Post is a federally regulated Crown corporation, its inspection falls outside provincial jurisdiction.

The president of the national union representing postal workers said consistent standards should be applied to all workplaces, noting that the outbreak has had an “enormous impact on all postal workers.”

“The virus doesn’t distinguish between provincial and federal workplaces and neither should inspections,” Jan Simpson, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said in a statement. “Workplaces and workers in the Peel Region have been hit hard by COVID-19. It’s in everyone’s best interest that all workplaces be inspected to ensure the health and safety of workers.”

Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said earlier this month that the ministry chose to focus on warehouses and distribution centres in Peel Region - the hard-hit region of the Greater Toronto Area - noting that such workplaces employ a high number of temporary and precarious workers.

“Every employer, I don’t care who they’re owned by, knows the rules that they need to follow,” McNaughton said in an interview when the warehouse and distribution blitz was announced on Feb. 10. “There’s no excuses anymore.”

Unclear if any enforcement took place 

In the first week of the inspection “blitz” in Peel Region, inspectors visited 59 warehouses and issued issued 10 tickets and one order. They found compliance was just over 64 per cent, according to the ministry.

However, McNaughton said the federal government has responsibility for the Canada Post workplace. He said all levels of government need to work together to make sure safety measures are in place.

“It’s all hands on deck, every level of government has to pull their weight,” he said. “I’m certainly ensuring that our ministry is doing everything possible to protect the health and safety of workers.”

Employment and Social Development Canada confirmed in a statement that the federal labour program “engaged” with the Gateway Canada Post facility “several” times between March 1, 2020 and Feb.12, including “to investigate refusals to work, to conduct an inspection into the (preventive) measures implemented, as well as to investigate the death of the employee.”

But it’s unclear what, if any, enforcement took place on those visits, or how many of them occurred and when. The department said information on specific findings including tickets issued couldn’t be shared publicly unless through an Access to Information request.

The virus doesn’t distinguish between provincial and federal workplaces and neither should inspections.Jan Simpson, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers

The department statement said it works with employers to help them fulfil legal obligations, but added that employers are “best positioned to determine the health and safety measures for their work environment in order to meet legislated requirements.”

“Therefore, the Labour Program does not prescribe specific measures to be taken in any federally regulated workplaces,” spokesperson Marie-Eve Sigouin-Campeau said in a statement.

Peel Public Health, which also supported Canada Post in managing the outbreak by ordering asymptomatic testing of all workers among other measures, also declined to share specific findings.

“As this is an ongoing, active investigation we are not in a position to disclose any further details,” Dr. Lawrence Loh, the region’s medical officer of health, said in a Feb. 17 statement. “Canada Post continues to co-operate with our investigation, and our joint priority remains protecting the health and safety of impacted employees and our broader community at this time.”

Tim Sly, an emeritus professor of epidemiology at Ryerson University, said the “tangle of power struggle” between levels of government is a recurring characteristic of public health crisis management in Canada that can erode the public’s trust.

“It confuses everybody,” he said. “The city says one thing, the province says something else, the feds say something else, and the public is going around in circles saying that nobody knows what they’re doing.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2021.

Read full article on:
Boeing 777 makes emergency landing in Moscow after engine problem: reports
The plane landed safely and no one was injured, the report said.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Soulpepper will take audiences ‘Around the World in 80 Plays,’ letting theatre lovers experience new lands and cultures without ever leaving their bubbles
Featuring plays and related content from countries like Nigeria and Argentina — and from the Cree, Saulteaux and Métis nations in Canada — Soulpepper hopes to broaden artistic horizons. ‘The truth is we don’t have a collective European ancestry in this city; we have a collective ancestry that is global,’ says artistic director Weyni Mengesha. | Toronto Star | Canada's...
HomeSense hullabaloo: York Region sheds light on viral Vaughan video
Anger over crowded store prompts calls for bigger fines. | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Manitoba releases first flood forecast, risk of major event low
The risk of a major high water event in Manitoba appears to be low at this time, provincial officials said in its first spring-thaw outlook.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Dominique Ducharme era dawns for Canadiens | HI/O Show
A culture shift looms for the Canadiens as Claude Julien is shown the door.
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
About Last Night: Even in defeat, the Canadiens aren't 'worried' about Carey Price
Habs star goalie believes he may be "overthinking" things
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
North Perth council updated on financial impacts to accounts receivable one year into pandemic | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Union asks why junior school mask rule wouldn't work in B.C. if it does elsewhere
B.C. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside announced an expansion of indoor mask-wearing rules for middle and high schools on Feb. 4, but elementary students were excluded.
Vancouver News, Top Stories, Breaking...
It’s all about confidence: Thriving in a COVID environment the theme of International Women’s Day event | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Head of Canada's largest pension plan resigns after receiving COVID-19 vaccine in Dubai: memo
The chief executive of the fund that manages Canada Pension Plan investments has resigned after it was revealed that he decided to travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
CTV News | Top Stories - Breaking News -...
CPP Investments CEO Mark Machin resigns after travelling to U.A.E. for COVID-19 vaccine
The chief executive of the fund that manages Canada Pension Plan investments has resigned after it was revealed that he decided to travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
CTV News | Top Stories - Breaking News -...
Colin White scores 2 goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames
Thursday night's win over the Calgary Flames was the Ottawa Senators' third straight as they improved to 5-2-0 in the last seven contests.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
CPPIB CEO Mark Machin Resigns After Traveling To Dubai For Vaccine
TORONTO ― The chief executive of the fund that manages Canada Pension Plan investments has resigned after it was revealed that he decided to travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.CPP Investments says Mark Machin tendered his resignation to the board Thursday night.Machin joined CPP Investments in 2012 and was appointed president and chief executive in June 2016.Watch: Covid-19 vaccine holiday packages spark controversy. Story continues below. Prior to joining the pension fund manager, he spent 20 years at investment bank Goldman Sachs.The Wall Street Journal first reported that Machin flew to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, where he received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and is awaiting the second dose.The CPP Investments board has appointed John Graham as the new CEO. Graham was previously its global head of credit investments.
1 h
Huffington Post Canada - Canadian News...
Cat saved from Willow Park house fire but home badly damaged
Multiple people called 911 just after 5 p.m. on Thursday to alert Calgary crews to a fire in the 300 block of Wainwright Road Southeast. 
1 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
City of Kawartha Lakes family dispute ends in assault, forcible confinement, weapons charges
Officers responded to a call for assistance after an altercation between two family members.
1 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Ontario Parks reports campsite reservations have doubled from 2020
The provincial government agency says that bookings made between Jan. 1 and Feb. 5 have increased almost 100 per cent.
1 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
What are the differences between Canada’s approved COVID-19 vaccines? Here’s what we know
Now that Canada has approved AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine, Canada has secured more than enough doses to inoculate the entire country — but they aren't all the same.
1 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...