Message from Mitch Birken

As many of you aware, today, Oct. 17, 2018, marks a significant change in Canada’s legal landscape with Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, coming into effect and with it, the legalization of the consumption of recreational cannabis.

While the cannabis landscape is complex and will likely continue to evolve over time, our shared responsibilities to provide a safe, healthy and productive workplace for all those who work and receive care in our network remain unchanged. Anyone who is either employed by or engaged with our network is expected to report to work fit for duty and free from impairment by any substance, including cannabis.

As there continues to be scientific and medical debate regarding the timing and duration of cannabis impairment, we are strongly encouraging anyone who elects to use cannabis to carefully consider how the use or after-effects of cannabis may impact the fundamental obligation to be free from impairment in the workplace.

With the legislative changes, we have taken the opportunity to create a harmonized Substance Use policy across our network which confirms the roles, responsibilities and expectations of all persons employed or engaged with the network as it relates to substance use and the impacts of substance use in the workplace. This policy is accessible across our network at each respective site by visiting the following links:

Please take time to review this important policy document. As leaders in the organization, you are required to take immediate action to ensure the safety of the work environment and to investigate any reports of potential impairment. A Supervisory procedure is also included in the policy to assist you in managing suspected impairment, in partnership with Human Resources and Occupational Health and Safety.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Human Resources team. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to ensuring a safe and healthy workplace, and in the delivery of quality care and service to the patients, clients, residents and families we serve in our communities.

Mitch Birken
Interim vice-president
Human Resources and Legal Services