BC’s human rights commissioner says pay transparency legislation introduced this week won’t make a significant difference in closing the gender pay gap in the province. Commissioner Kasari Govender says BC has one of the highest pay gaps in the country, where women, gender diverse, and people with disabilities continue to be paid less than men for comparable work. She says B-C also lacks so-called pay equity laws requiring employers to act to close pay gaps, which she says should be “complementary” to pay transparency legislation. Govender says the legislation doesn’t include fines or penalties for failing to comply and lacks a central database to assess and eventually close discriminatory pay gaps.
The Transportation Safety Board is to release a report today into the deadly sinking of a tugboat two years ago. The board is holding a news conference in Vancouver where board chair Kathy Fox will reveal details of the investigation into the sinking of the tug Ingenika in February 2021. The tug sank while towing a barge in the Gardner Canal south of Kitimat, killing captain Troy Pearson and crew member Charley Cragg. The tug’s owner, Wainwright Marine Services, faces charges under the Workers Compensation Act laid last month for alleged violations of BC’s occupational health and safety regulations.
The Correctional Service of Canada says convicted killer Gary Donald Johnston has died in prison. It says Johnston died Sunday at the medium-security Mountain Institution in Agassiz but didn’t provide details on the cause of death. Johnston was sentenced to life in 2011 for the murder of Vic Fraser in 1998 after confessing to the crime in a controversial “Mr. Big” sting operation. The correctional service has notified police and the coroner’s service and says it will review the circumstances of Johnston’s in custody death.
The Yukon Government says it’s extending inflation relief payments on commercial and residential electricity bills for another three months. Yukon’s John Streicker, the minister in charge of the Yukon Development Corporation, says customers will see 50 dollar credits applied to their bills in March, April, and May regardless of how much they use. The government says this is the third extension of its inflation relief rebate first introduced last March. Streicker says the rebate was extended as residents and businesses continue to see costs of essential goods rise as the government explores “long-term solutions” to inflation.
British Columbia’s human rights commissioner says the province should have been able to anticipate a spike in hate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kasari Govender released a report that makes a dozen recommendations, including for the government to have plans to deal with hate speech and violence as part of its overall emergency preparedness. The report says government emergency planning must include increased support for women, young people and gender-diverse people such as more shelter spaces and transitional housing. And it says low-barrier mental health supports should be available for people dealing with the anxiety associated with an emergency.
Yukon’s premier says it won’t be a stat holiday in the territory on May 6th to mark the coronation of King Charles. Ranj Pillai says his government made the decision after the Canadian Federation of Independent Business urged against it. The federation’s Yukon branch says coronation day is an important event but small businesses could not afford costs or productivity losses if it was made a holiday.