Friday, August 10, 2007

Job protection for Reservists

John Turley-Ewart: Canada's shameful treatment of its soldiers

Federally regulated industries offer no formal job protection for reservists who volunteer to serve overseas. And most provinces allow employers under their jurisdiction to dismiss employees who need a leave of absence to serve in the military. Only three of Canada’s provinces have passed legislation making such action illegal — Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made a special effort to raise this issue with provincial governments, most recently asking P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz to pass legislation in his province.

The Prime Minister should not have to ask. There is no reason why the smalll number of reservists who serve Canada abroad (in Afghanistan there are roughly 300 reservists) should have to come home to the unemployment line.

Why they do is a question Parliament and the premiers of Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, B.C., and New Brunswick should be made to answer the next time they declare how much they appreciate the sacrifice our soldiers make on behalf of all of us.

With an election pending in Ontario, a Federal election liable to be triggered at any time and Newfoundland and Alberta running out the clock on their respective governments, there's an opportunity to knock three more Provinces and the Feds off the list. It's becoming fairly obvious that the voluntary approach just isn't working.

We have job protection for Family Leaves, Maternity Leaves, Jury Duty, running for Political Office, but when it comes to serving your country in a combat zone? You're just plain S.O.L!

Our Reservists deserve better.

PS - here's hoping Chrysler and GM vehicle sales experience an upsurge in Stephenville over the next year or so.

Cross posted from The Torch