Vive Le Canada

BC to bring back child labour
Date: Wednesday, December 31 2003

B.C. is going to bring back child labour. If you're in the province, I'd write to your reps and raise a stink about this one.--Ed.

excerpt from the Georgia Straight:

In a Brave New B.C., Even Kids Will Work for the Man

By Bill Tieleman

In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice. -- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Believe it or not, Premier Gordon Campbell and the B.C. Liberals are about to bring child labour back to British Columbia after it had been banned by the province since the Depression years of the 1930s.

In early December, the Liberals will put in place regulations filling in the details of Bill 37, legislation passed in October that amends the Employment Standards Act to allow children as young as 12 years to work full-time. These regulations are, appropriately, being implemented as our thoughts turn back to the time of Charles Dickens, who not only penned A Christmas Carol but also wrote about the terrible conditions of child labour in the time of the Industrial
Revolution in England.

The child labour that the B.C. Liberals intend to permit isn't the innocent sort, like a paper route or a little help for the family business. A child as young as 12 years old will be allowed to work full-time at any occupation under provincial jurisdiction, no matter how dangerous, with only the consent of one parent. That includes farm labour, and working in a paint plant, gas station, restaurant, or door-to-door sales.

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