Changes proposed to late night gas station laws
The B.C. government is proposing changes to one of the regulations brought in to protect overnight staff working at gas stations and retail stores from thieves and violence, commonly known as Grant's Law.
The proposed changes to the WorkSafeBC regulations would loosen regulations that now require late-night workers to either be physically separated from the public with a locked door or to work in pairs.
Under the proposal, employers would have a third option — to put in place a violence prevention program involving time lock safes for cash, surveillance systems, personal emergency transmitters and regular security audits.
Labour Minister Stephanie Cadieux says WorkSafeBC will consult the public about the changes.
"The employers and workers and the public have asked us to take another look at it," said Cadieux.
But the B.C. Federation of Labour accuses the B.C. government of watering down protection for retail staff. President Jim Sinclair says the pressure is coming from a small lobby of retailers, particularly liquor store owners.
"I think it's scandalous," said Sinclair.
NDP labour critic Raj Chouhan said it's shameful this has come to light on the eve of the Day of Mourning for workers killed on the job.
Grant's Law passed after gas station death
The regulation was part of a package of changes passed by the government to protect overnight retail workers following the death of Grant De Patie, a young Maple Ridge gas station attendant who was killed trying to prevent a robbery in 2005.
De Patie died after being dragged seven kilometres underneath a car after he was run over by a driver who stole $12 worth of gas.
After his son's death, Doug De Patie spent the next three years lobbying anyone who would listen for the new regulations, which were eventually passed into law and came into effect in 2008.
A key part of that package known as Grant's Law required customers at gas stations to pay for their fuel before filling up their cars. Cadieux says the government has no plans to change that prepayment law.