Article

“You Can’t Solve Precarity With Precarity.” The New Alberta Workers Program: An Interview With Jared Matsunaga-Turnbull, Executive Director of the Alberta Workers’ Health Centre

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Abstract

In January 2013, SSEC Canada Ltd. pled guilty to three charges under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after two of its temporary foreign workers died and two more were seriously injured on the worksite. A fine of $1,225,000—the largest ever ordered in Alberta—was paid to the Alberta Law Foundation, which administered the funds to the Alberta Workers’ Health Centre to develop and provide the “New Alberta Workers program.” In this interview, Jared Matsunaga-Turnbull reflects on the program’s peer-to-peer Occupational Health and Safety workshops for new-to-Alberta workers to illustrate how “creative sentencing” related to serious Occupational Health and Safety violation convictions can play out. He discusses what the team learned about the particular work and life context and related needs of new-to-Alberta workers that created challenges and prompted program changes throughout the three-year workshop period. Finally, Jared considers what is needed to meaningfully support new-to-Alberta workers going forward.

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Convictions under the OHS Legislation
  • Alberta Government
New Alberta Workers final report brief
  • L Shortreed
  • J Matsunaga-Turnbull