Liberals promise new Celebrating inclusive gun control laws employment
October declared Disability Employment Awareness Month
The federal government says it will introduce new gun control legislation before the end of the year as it works to fulfil a suite of promises made on the campaign trail more than two years ago.
Despite promising more than two years ago to make it harder for “criminals to get, and use, handguns and assault weapons,” the Liberal Party has been slow to enact its promised reforms.
This spring the Saskatoon StarPhoenix learned that the government had deferred the introduction of a controversial firearm marking scheme by 18 months despite promising to introduce the long-delayed rules “immediately.”
It is not yet clear what the new legislation will contain, but Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, said in an email that it will be “consistent with the measures laid out in our election platform.”
“The government believes in effective firearms measures that prioritize public safety while ensuring fair treatment for law-abiding firearms owners … To be clear, we have said all along that we will not recreate a federal long-gun registry, and we won’t.”
The government said in its 2015 platform that changes made by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative
● government have “steadily weakened our gun laws in ways that make Canadians more vulnerable and communities more dangerous.”
Since taking power, the Liberals have changed rules regarding decisions about weapon classification and overhauled the Canadian Firearms Advisory committee to include “a broad range of interests because decisions about firearms affect all Canadians.”
The government has not, however, fulfilled most of the gun control promises in its platform.
Those include enhanced background checks for anyone seeking to buy a handgun or a restricted firearm — a classification that includes not just pistols and revolvers, but some semi-automatic rifles — and requiring vendors to keep inventory and sales records.
In May, the Liberal government quietly deferred plans to introduce the firearms marking regulations, which would require every new gun made or imported into the country be engraved with the year and either “Canada” or “CA.”
The marking rules have been delayed eight times by four successive governments.
Gun advocates have said the rules will substantially increase the price of every gun in the country, including airguns and paintball markers. Goodale said this spring that the decade-old rules need “substantial re-writing.”
The Government of Saskatchewan has officially proclaimed October to be Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM).
The proclamation provides the opportunity to share the benefits of an inclusive labour market, a press release from the government said.
DEAM also provides awareness for the strategies, services and resources available to employers, educators and job seekers.
“All of us want to make sure people can reach their potential to succeed, whether it is in training or employment opportunities,” Economy Minister Steven Bonk was quoted as saying.
“We all benefit when the labour market is more inclusive as it helps reduce barriers to employment while at the same time, helps grow Saskatchewan’s economy.”
SARC executive director Amy McNeil spoke about why the month is important.
“People experiencing disabilities can offer valuable skills to the workplace,” she said.
“Many Saskatchewan businesses are realizing the economic advantage that employees experiencing disabilities provide, such as increasing retention rates and enhancing corporate cultures. This ... month we are creating awareness by celebrating inclusive employers across Saskatchewan who impact their communities through inclusive hiring.”
In Prince Albert, the Community Service Centre is doing its part to support those with disabilities looking for work in the city.
“For the Prince Albert and District Community Service Centre, it means doing what it can to raise the profile of the Prince Albert Support Employment program,” the organization said in a press release.
“Diversity in the workplace is becoming more common as employers deal with the outmigration of youth and retirement of ‘boomer’ aged workers,” said CEO Bill Powalinsky.
He provided some examples of how it can benefit employers.
“It allows employers to address labour needs, there are measurable improvements in sales and customer loyalty, there can be an increase in employee morale and by making their business accessible to employees with barriers, employers make their businesses accessible to customers with barriers.”
Michelle Kristiansen, also of the centre, said people with employment barriers are “generally credited with good safety ratings, good attendance and longer retention rates.”
The centre will be acknowledging present and past inclusive employers this month. They will also be contacting new employers to offer support services such as work assessments, job coaching and assistance with job carving and employee recruitment.