Vol. 149, No. 3 — February 11, 2015
SI/2015-6 February 11, 2015
ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN 2014 ACT, NO. 1
Order Fixing the Day on which this Order is published as the Day on which Sections 139 to 145 of the Act Come into Force
P.C. 2015-35 January 29, 2015
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Labour, pursuant to section 162 of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1, chapter 20 of the Statutes of Canada, 2014, fixes the day on which this Order is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, as the day on which sections 139 to 145 of that Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order fixes the day on which this Order is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, as the day on which sections 139 to 145 of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 come into force.
This Order will bring into force the legislative amendments necessary to fulfill the commitment made by the Prime Minister of Canada in 2011 to implement the Globally Harmonized System of Labelling and Classification of Chemicals (GHS) in Canada.
The Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) was announced in February 2011 by the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States. One of its key objectives is the facilitation of trade between the two countries. In December 2011, one of 29 initiatives announced as part of the RCC Joint Action Plan was the coordinated implementation of the GHS for workplace hazardous chemicals. Specifically, Canada and the United States agreed to “align and synchronize implementation of common classification and labelling requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals within the mandate of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Health Canada (HC)” by implementing the GHS in Canada.
Legislative and regulatory amendments are required in order to implement the GHS in Canada. Legislative amendments were included in the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1, and received royal assent in June 2014. These amendments
- Align the wording and language of the Canada Labour Code (the Code), as necessary, with the revised Hazardous Products Act and the revised Hazardous Materials Information Review Act; and
- Provide the Governor in Council with authority to prescribe exceptions and/or additional requirements in the regulations under the Code.
Applying the GHS to Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and doing so in alignment with the approach being taken by the United States, Canada’s major trading partner, not only reduces costs for industry and facilitates trade, but also keeps Canada on pace with the global standard for such systems. The benefits include
- The adoption of the GHS for workplace chemicals in Canada will lead to health and safety benefits in the form of injury reductions;
- This is expected to result in health and safety benefits for Canadian workers, including fewer personal injuries, fewer acute and chronic illnesses, and fewer fatalities; and
- The federal and provincial/territorial governments will be recognized as good global trading partners.
As part of the larger GHS initiative, HC consulted widely with key partners and stakeholders, who have expressed support for the implementation of the GHS in Canada. Industry is particularly supportive of this work, and has been encouraging timely action along these lines. Because the United States is closer to full implementation, suppliers have asked Canada to implement the GHS as soon as possible in order to minimize the amount of time needed for two separate classification and hazard communication systems to be in place.
The Labour Program has also consulted with workplace parties on the specific federal amendments to the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in June 2014. Employer and employee stakeholders have also participated in approximately 13 working group meetings to discuss WHMIS Model Occupational Health and Safety.
For more information, please refer to the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement in support of the Hazardous Products Regulations under the Department of HC in the Canada Gazette, Part II.
Senior Policy Analyst
Occupational Health and Safety Policy Unit
Program Development and Guidance Directorate
Employment and Social Development Canada
165 De l’Hôtel-de-Ville Street
Place du Portage, Phase II, 10th Floor