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Morneau Shepell submits recommendations on Bill 59

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Health & Productivity Solutions / Canada

Morneau Shepell submits recommendations on Bill 59

Report outlines interprovincial comparison and recommendations to Quebec’s Act to modernize the occupational health and safety

Morneau Shepell announced today that it has issued a report that contains an analysis and interprovincial comparison with respect to Bill 59, the Act to modernize the occupational health and safety regime.

The report was prepared by Sylvain Lebel, senior vice president, health and productivity solutions, Morneau Shepell, who worked closely with Bernard Cliche, lawyer emeritus and consulting partner, Morency Law Firm.

“After more than 35 years, the time has come to modernize Quebec’s occupational health and safety regime,” said Lebel. “Employers and employees need to work together to prevent occupational injury and disease, sustain the employment relationship, and offer fair and equitable compensation to workers. We must also ensure that our public plan is competitive with respect to the other Canadian provinces. We believe that Bill 59 is an excellent opportunity to modernize the occupational health and safety regime in terms of both the prevention and rehabilitation of occupational injury and disease.”

The report provides a full analysis of the main components of Bill 59 compared to the main provisions of other Canadian workers’ compensation plans (Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba), particularly with respect to the following:

  • CNESST performance compared to the other workers’ compensation boards
  • Safety obligations
  • Return-to-work process
  • Compensation level
  • Occupational disease
  • Assignment of cost transfers
  • Plan financing
  • Other aspects

The report states that the modernization should maintain the fundamental principles on which the regime has been based ever since it was first introduced.

The Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases is an insurance plan funded solely by the employer, with the employee being in some respects the insured. Compared to the other provinces, the Quebec scheme is the most generous of all the plans. Furthermore, the compensation fund for this insurance plan must be administered so as to ensure its future while remaining competitive in relation to the other Canadian provinces.

The Act respecting occupational health and safety is based on a joint approach, on the combined efforts of employers and workers to prevent occupational injuries and continue the employment relationship so vital to rehabilitation.

“In that regard, we must avoid, as other provinces have shown, the pitfalls of creating time-consuming and complex structures, particularly for our small businesses. We need to focus on results and on adapting our means to the realities of the situation,” said Cliche. “We conducted this study from an independent viewpoint, drawing on our extensive experience, in the hopes that it will be useful to our society.”

The report can be accessed through the following link: (available in French only)

About Morneau Shepell

Morneau Shepell is a leading provider of technology-enabled HR services that deliver an integrated approach to employee wellbeing through our cloud-based platform. Our focus is providing world-class solutions to our clients to support the mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing of their people. By improving lives, we improve business. Our approach spans services in employee and family assistance, health and wellness, recognition, pension and benefits administration, retirement consulting, actuarial and investment services. Morneau Shepell employs approximately 6,000 employees who work with some 24,000 client organizations that use our services in 162 countries. Morneau Shepell is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit

About Morency Law Firm

Morency is a team of lawyers and notaries dedicated entirely to the interests of its clients. Our firm, which has been in existence for more than 50 years, offers expertise that covers key areas of law, including labour relations and occupational health and safety. At Morency, there is no heavy hierarchical framework, all our professionals make it their duty to always remain accessible. Our offices are in Montreal and Quebec.


Heather MacDonald
Morneau Shepell

Source: Morneau Shepell