Employment Changes Coming
The January 1st implementation deadline for the majority of the changes to Alberta's Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code is fast approaching! If you employ anyone, these changes will affect you. Make sure you are educating yourself on what to expect, what your new obligations will be, and what you need to do to be prepared and compliant with the law. Check out the resources below to stay informed and up-to-date. If you have questions or need a referral to a lawyer or accountant to help you prepare, give your Chamber of Commerce a call and we can connect you.

Changes to the Employment Standards Code

Changes to the Labour Relations Code
Senate Weighs in on Tax Changes
It's been a dramatic day in Ottawa as the Liberal Government released amendments to their proposed tax changes regarding income sprinkling so that the changes would more narrowly target those using the tax mechanism to avoid paying higher rates. These changes came shortly after the release of a statement from the Senate Finance Committee tasked with reviewing the governments proposed tax changes which urges them to abandon their proposals in favor of a full review of the Income Tax Act. There is so far no indication that the government is willing to accept the Senate Committee's recommendation or withdraw the ever more complicated changes that are on the table. If the Government's proposals go ahead, they will come into force on January 1st, 2018.

City Close on City Manager Search Plan
During Monday's City Council meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee responsible for delivering a plan for the hiring of the next City Manager delivered their recommendations, and they align closely with the Chamber's recommendations on the issue. Here's a brief summary of what the plan is compared to the Chamber's recommendations.
Chamber of Commerce Recommendations

  • Hire an executive search firm to conduct an extensive nation-wide search for the most qualified candidate.

  • Engage stakeholders in identifying the required competencies and stakeholder expectations of the ideal candidate, challenges in the position, opportunities for making changes, and expectations in the short and long term.

  • Have ad hoc committee recommendations on the recruitment strategy and on the city bylaw review available to the public at least 1 week prior to a City Council vote on them.

  • Include a human resources professional with specific expertise in recruitment and selection to sit as an advisory only member of the selection committee.
City Recruitment Plan

  • Hybrid Model: Hire an executive search firm to assist CAO search committee with the following: Search Strategy, managing applicant relations, assist with gathering stakeholder input. However, developing the candidate profile and the selecting, interviewing, and evaluating candidates will be up to the search committee.

  • Council will solicit stakeholder input through an open mic CIC meeting on January 15th, will issue a call for written submissions due by January 8th, and will work with the executive search firm to issue surveys to interest groups, city staff, and individual citizens.

  • Recommendation has not been adopted by the City to date.

  • The selection committee will seek advice from their internal human resource professionals and from the executive search firm.

From the Chamber's perspective, the CAO Recruitment Strategy is not ideal, yet it strikes close enough to our recommendations on best practices to make us feel confident that the City is pursuing the spirit of our recommendations to conduct an open, transparent, and thorough search process for the best candidate possible. We continue to maintain that the executive search firm should play a more forward role in the recruitment process to negate the impact of existing biases so that the eventual choice is as objective as possible. We also maintain that proposed resolutions on this issue should be made available to the public in advance of votes on them with sufficient time for citizens and interest groups to discuss the proposals with the councilors who represent them.

We Want to Hear from You
What do you think about the changes to the Employment Standards and Labour Relations codes? What changes are you making in your business because of them?

What about the Tax Changes? How do they affect you? What changes will you need to make?

How do you feel about the progress Council is making towards hiring a new City Manager?

Email your feedback to policy@lethbridgechamber.com

You can also communicate with your Council, your local MLA's or our MP about how these changes will affect you.
Contact City Council - council@lethbridge.ca
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