MP Sheehan Testifies before Committee on Precarious Work

Terry and Adam Vaughn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, at HUMA committee testimony April 9, 2019.

This week, MP Terry Sheehan testified before the parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, regarding his Private Members Motion M-194, about Precarious Employment in Canada.

Sheehan expressed appreciation from all witnesses (listed below) who delivered their expert testimony on the issue of Precarious Work in Canada.  The information shared with the committee was balanced in presenting differing opinions and has resulted in considerable amount of quality information for the committee members to consider.

During his testimony Sheehan laid out his reasoning for putting forth his Private Members Motion on Precarious Employment, saying he believes Canada must be able to define precarious employment in a structured, cohesive manner so Canadians and policy makers can recognize potential indicators and vulnerabilities which are uniformly identifiable across the country.  The goal is to develop policy to target those who need it most.

“What current research shows us is that no one is immune to the effects of precarious work and the nature of work is changing.  We need to understand how it impacts our workers so that we can better protect Canadians.” said Terry Sheehan, M.P.

While the International Labour Organization describes precarious work as “generally refers to a lack or inadequacy of rights and protection at work”, Sheehan was concerned when he discovered Canada does not have an agreed upon definition, which leaves a hole in policy development that he intends to remedy.  “We must define precarious employment in order to understand and address the barriers that people face in their pursuit of stable employment.” said Sheehan

The panel of witnesses heard from before the committee, confirmed the lack of definition is a key issue in being able to assist those negatively impacted by precarious employment.

Further, the committee received a number of written submissions from both the riding of Sault Ste. Marie and across Canada.  Sheehan thanks everyone who wrote in and supported his work.

A report from the committee is expected to be tabled in late May.


Witnesses appearing to speak on M-194:

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Francis Fong, Chief Economist

Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy, Andrew Cardozo, President

Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Monique Moreau, Vice-President, National Affairs

Allyson Schmidt, of Sault Ste. Marie

Katherine Lippel, Professor Civil Law Section, University of Ottawa

Institute for Research on Public Policy, Colin Busby, Research Director

Canadian Labour Congress, Chris Roberts, National Director, Social and Economic Policy Department

Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Leah Nord, Director, Skills and Immigration Policy

C.D. Howe Institute, Parisa Mahboubi, Senior Policy Analyst, Toronto Office

Basic Income Canada Network, Sheila Regehr, Chairperson

Department of Employment and Social Development

• Andrew Brown, Director General, Employment Insurance Policy, Skills and Employment

• Barbara Moran, Director General, Strategic Policy, Analysis and Workplace Information, Labour Program

• Éric Michaud, Director, Economic Analysis Division, Economic Policy Directorate

Statistics Canada

• Josée Bégin, Director, Labour Statistics Division

• Vincent Dale, Assistant Director, Labour Statistics Division