In March, in preparation for the July 2018 national legalization of cannabis, the city of Canmore in Alberta will be voting on whether or not it will include drug testing in its drugs and alcohol policy revisions for civic employees.
“We’ve covered it currently in our health and safety policy and we just want to make sure employees are clear on expectations and fitness for duty and safety in the workplace,” says human resources manager Therese Rogers.
The proposed policy, which was presented to the council last month, states that “workers must report fit for duty and remain fit for duty throughout the work day,” and that drug testing will be allowed if “an employee exhibits behaviour consistent with alcohol or other drug use and is suspected to be unfit for duty.”
Canmore Mayor John Borrowman supports the proposed policy, but says it is important to proceed with caution so that any suspicion of drug use is not “used and abused.” He also clarified that employees will only be subject to testing if there is reason to suspect impairment, and that the council will review the policy in the future if problems arise.
“It makes good sense to have a drug and alcohol policy,” he said. “You have to start thinking about having policies for things that in the past you never needed to have a policy for.” It seems that many employers are starting to realize that they will need to have these policies set up prior to the legalization of cannabis rolls out, the city of Canmore included.
The union that represents civic workers in Canmore has yet to weigh in on the proposed policy.