Nuclear workers to face random drug testing

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Security officers and other “safety-critical” employees at the Chalk River labs and other nuclear facilities will be required to take random drug tests.

A federal court judge has dismissed an appeal of the new regulations.

A collection of labour unions and individual employees – including the Power Workers’ Union, Society of United Professionals, Chalk River Nuclear Safety Officers Association, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – had gone to court to try to block new “fitness for duty” regulations adopted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

But in a ruling released in June, federal court Judge Alan Diner ruled that the new regulations “engage” but do not “infringe” the workers’ rights under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The nuclear industry is unique,” Justice Diner wrote in his decision.

“All parties concur that safety is the most important priority, and that public interest in nuclear safety is high.

“A nuclear incident can have devastating and long lasting impacts on the community and the environment.

“It is within this unique context of the highly regulated nuclear industry that I find the pre-placement and random testing provisions of the (CNSC regulations) are constitutional and do not breach (the Charter of Rights)”…

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