6 priorities for the new Minister of Labour and Parliamentary Secretary

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Anthony Housefather, MP, in the Hall of Honour, in the Parliament of Canada

As Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather sets out to represent his constituents in his new capacity of Parliamentary Secretary you may be wondering what his priorities will be.

In addition to the usual goals of proudly serving those within the 338 ridings across Canada, Parliamentary Secretaries are appointed within each ministry to help further the priorities assigned to each department by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. These goals are set out in the letters of mandate sent to each and every new minister.

Reviewing the Prime Minister’s letter to the new Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, spells out the priorities for this department and will also help to guide our MP, Anthony Housefather.

The Prime Minister wrote, “As Minister of Labour, you will help implement the Government’s ambitious plan to create a stronger framework for economic growth and help working Canadians get ahead by making this country an even better place to work. This includes new protections and enhancements through the Canada Labour Code, as well as working directly with industry and organized labour to grow the middle class. You are also responsible for advancing the positive economic outcomes that come from fair and collaborative collective bargaining processes.”

The six main priorities set out for the Labour minister are as follows:

  • Introduce legislation to create a new federal Family Day holiday.
  • Improve labour protections in the Canada Labour Code. As part of this work, you will:
    • Increase the federal minimum wage to at least $15 per hour;
    • Include mental health as a specific element of occupational health and safety;
    • Require federally regulated employers to take preventative steps to address workplace stress and injury;
    • Develop greater labour protections for people who work through digital platforms, whose status is not clearly covered by provincial or federal laws; and
    • Co-develop new provisions with employers and labour groups that give federally regulated workers the “right to disconnect.”
  • Work with the provinces and territories on the ratification of the International Labour Organization Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019.
  • Work with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion to support the Minister of Natural Resources and partners to advance legislation to support the future and livelihood of workers and their communities in the transition to a low-carbon global economy.
  • Lead the implementation of the recently passed Pay Equity Act.
  • Support the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion to make progress on eliminating interprovincial trade barriers by harmonizing rules and regulatory requirements to better facilitate the mobility of labour across Canada.
Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather in the House of Commons, Dec. 12, 2019 (Source: Huffington Post)

These priorities will be a handful for the new minister and her Parliamentary Secretary. The very first priority is quite interesting as many Canadians, such as us in Quebec, do not have an official Family Day holiday. And while its eventual implementation may only affect federal workers and may not be adopted in our province for the entire workforce it gets the wheels rolling in a valuable discussion. Do you support a federal Family Day holiday for all Canadians?

Anthony Housefather appointed parliamentary secretary to the minister of Labour

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Mount Royal riding residents are learning of the appointment of Anthony Housefather as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour.

The appointment was made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

I could not be more proud of Anthony for his incredible accomplishments nor happier for him in this tremendous nomination. We are so very lucky to have Anthony as our MP.

“I am pleased to inform you that I have been appointed by the Prime Minister to be the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour,” Housefather wrote to his supporters.

“In addition to my role as Member of Parliament,  I will now also assist Labour Minister Filomena Tassi with her Parliamentary duties, including serving as an integral link between the Minister and Members of Parliament and Parliamentary Committees.”

“I am looking forward to working with the Minister, a diverse set of stakeholders, and all Members of Parliament to move forward on policies that help both employees and employers,” the Mount Royal MP added.

Here is more about Housefather’s role and responsibility as a parliamentary secretary.

Congratulatory messages and comments from across the riding have been appearing on social media.

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said, “Well deserved. Canada is lucky to have Anthony’s experience in labour relations both in the private and public sectors. His advice and guidance shall benefit all Canadians.”

“Well deserved. Nobody negotiated better collective agreements than former Mayor Housefather,” said CSL Councillor Mike Cohen.

“You continue to inspire all of your faithful constituents,” said Orna Hilberger, D’Arcy McGee provincial riding Liberal president.

Former TMR City Councillor and CSL senior leader Sidney Margles added, ” Our pride in our M.P. runneth over. Many Mount Royal constituents know of his dedication to public service and this latest appointment underscores the Prime Minster’s recognition of what we all know.”

Also, during Thursday’s Question Period in the House of Commons, MP Anthony Housefather continued a yearly tradition, delivering a political version of “T’was the night before Christmas.” Anthony is a brilliant legislator, a straight arrow politician and a witty orator. I know he’ll continue to make us proud.