Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly newsletters:
Another tentative agreement reached between the BCMEA and ILWU after union recommends settlement deal to members, will now go to a member vote
In a development that may end the port strike, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) said Friday that it will recommend members accept a deal with the employer.
“On Tuesday, July 25, 2023, there will be a Stop Work meeting for the 0800 shift to recommend the Terms of Settlement to the membership,” ILWU Canada said in a statement on Friday.
“The tentative agreement presented is the result of months of negotiations and mediation; we are hopeful that the voting membership, like the ILWU Caucus Leadership and Bargaining Committee, will support the fair and equitable deal as recommended by the senior federal mediator,” the BCMEA said in a statement.
This week, Premier Danielle Smith has released five new mandate letters: Children and Family Services, Indigenous Relations, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Infrastructure, and Education.
In Children and Family Services, Smith has tasked new minister Searle Turton with following through on several election commitments such as increasing funding for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres, implementing the federal $10/day childcare program by 2026, and expanding access to youth mental health centres in collaboration with the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. Turton has also been asked to increase licensed childcare spaces, fix inefficiencies in the foster care system, support victims of domestic violence, and conduct a review of the Child, Youth, and Family Enhancement Act. None of Turton’s mandate items represent a significant deviation from previous goals in the children’s services portfolio, although the decision to amalgamate children’s services and domestic violence programs (previously handled under Community and Social Services) may indicate a desire for Smith to reorient the priorities of the Community Services portfolio.Atlantic Canada
A provincewide state of emergency was declared in Nova Scotia on Saturday after intense rain led to flash flooding. Four people, including two children, are still missing and hundreds have been forced out of their homes. Thousands of residents are still without power, and there is significant damage to roads, bridges, dams, and other critical infrastructure in East and West Hants, Halifax Regional Municipality, Lunenburg, and Queens counties. Public Works Minister Kim Masland says a full assessment of the damage won’t be possible until floodwaters recede and that it will take time to reopen roads and make repairs.
New Tentative Deal Reached in Port Strike
After a tumultuous month of back-and-forth labour relations, with tentative deals falling apart at the last minute, the labour union representing BC port workers has reached another potential deal. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada and the B.C. Maritime Employers Association issued a joint statement late Sunday saying a negotiated deal has been reached with help from the Canada Industrial Relations Board, which had been tasked by Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan to end the dispute after the last deal fell apart on Friday.
The statement offers no details on the new deal but says both sides are encouraging members to ratify the agreement. Union officials are more confident this deal will stick with members because the key difference this time is that the new proposal is the result of negotiations instead of recommendations drafted by a mediator. If the deal sticks, it would be a significant development and end speculation of the Liberal government recalling Parliament to force back-to-work legislation, which could have impacted the minority agreement with the federal NDP.
Provincial parties begin nominating candidates for the Kitchener–Centre by-election.
Following MPP Laura Mae Lindo’s resignation from the Ontario legislature earlier in July, Kitchener City Councillor Debbie Chapman has been nominated to run as the Ontario NDP candidate. The riding, which has been held by the Ontario NDP since 2018, will be contested by Kelly Steiss for the Ontario Liberals and Aislinn Clancy for the Greens. The Progressive Conservatives have yet to announce their candidate for the riding. The date for the by-election has not yet been announced.
Breakthrough in B.C. port dispute as new tentative deal is reached – July 31, 2023
A late-night breakthrough could herald an end to British Columbia’s long-running port dispute, with the longshore workers’ union and the employers’ association announcing a new tentative agreement. Details of the deal haven’t been released, but both sides say in a joint statement issued Sunday night that they are recommending their members to ratify it. The new tentative deal was reached with the assistance of the Canada Industrial Relations Board. Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan announced Saturday he was directing the industrial relations board to determine if a negotiated end to the dispute was still possible, and if not, to impose an agreement or final binding arbitration.
Crombie uses ‘strong mayor’ powers in Mississauga for first time – July 28, 2023
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie made her first two moves under the expanded powers granted to mayors in Mississauga and 25 other municipalities by the province on July 1, partially delegating her new authority to hire and fire city department heads to chief administrative officer (CAO) Shari Lichterman. Before the new rules, the process of hiring new commissioners was led by Mississauga’s CAO, also called the city manager, and sometimes involved discussions or candidate interviews with all of council.