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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 3, January/February 2004

Is work working?

The Law Commission is launching its third annual Roderick A. Macdonald Contest on the theme "Is Work Working?" Youth are very vulnerable when it comes to employment in Canada. Many laws and policies dictate the age at which one can work, how much the pay will be, and what protections and benefits will be offered. Sometimes they don’t go far enough. Many youth remain unemployed. Young people are frequently injured or killed on the job. They face serious discrimination and harassment in job interviews and on the job.

Through the 2003–04 Roderick A. Macdonald Contest, the Law Commission of Canada is asking to hear the perspectives of young people regarding employment and the law. For example:

• Why is workplace injury and death so high among youth?

• What can be done to better protect youth from discrimination, harassment, accidents, and other dangers in the workplace?

• What is needed to help youth prepare for work?

• What are the causes of poor working conditions for youth?

• What have some employers done to help youth in their workplaces?

• What have some organizations done to help youth in the workplace?

• What could be done to assist youth who are working "under the table" or on the streets?

• In some provinces, minimum wage is different for adults and youth. What are your thoughts about this?

• What issues have arisen in your workplace that you think should be (better) addressed in Canada’s laws?

The contest is open to all students in their last two years of high school. Submissions may be made in either artistic or written categories. The prizes range from $500 for First Prize to $200 for Third Prize. The contest opens January 5, 2004, and the deadline for submission is April 30, 2004. The winners will be announced in June 2004.

See the web site for more contest details: www.lcc.gc.ca .

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