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Pre-retirement Leave Plan for Employees of Thorburn Mining Limited and Independent Coal Operators in Nova Scotia Regulations

made under Section 1 of the
An Act to Confer certain Powers upon the Lieutenant Governor in Council and to amend the Mines Act
S.N.S. 1918, c. 16
O.I.C. 91-1113 ((September 24, 1991), N.S. Reg. 210/91
as amended by O.I.C. 93-61 (January 19, 1993), N.S. Reg. 6/93

Objective
1 The Pre-retirement Leave Plan is designed to alleviate the hardships of employees who are forced to leave the coal mine work force due to closure or to lay-offs as a result of cut-backs in production. The plan was implemented with the recognition that most older miners experience difficulties in obtaining alternative employment.

2 In these regulations

(a) "Company" means the following companies which are or were involved in mining or reclamation of coal in the Province of Nova Scotia:

(i) Bras d'Or Coal Company Limited

(ii) Springhill Coal Mines Limited

(iii) Thorburn Mining Limited (McBean Colliery)

(iv) Thorburn Mining Limited (Coal Reclamation Project)

(v) River Hebert Coal Company Limited

(vi) Pioneer Coal Limited (Underground Mine, formerly Drummond Coal Company Limited, only)

(vii) Evans Coal Mines Limited;

(b) "dependent" shall have the same meaning as found in the Income Tax Act;

(c) "eligible employee" means an employee who has applied for participation in the Pre-retirement Leave Plan and who is not less than fifty-five years of age, or may mean an employee who has applied for participation in the Pre-retirement Leave Plan because of a medical disability and who is deemed not to be adequately provided for by some other program, but does not include an employee who is currently employed in a coal mine or an industry directly related thereto, or an employee who is sixty-five years of age or older, or an employee who is in receipt of benefits under the Old Age Security Act;

(d) "employee" means

(i) a person who was in the employ and on the active or inactive payroll of the company as of September 1, 1969, and whose name appears on the master list filed with the Department of Natural Resources, or

(ii) a person who has not less than ten years service with the company, subsequent to September 1, 1969,

but does not include officers, directors or shareholders of the company or their immediate families, truck or equipment owners or their employees engaged by the company on other than a full time basis;

(iii) in respect of Evans Coal Mines Limited, the following persons:

Name SIN Date of birth

Ernest MacDonald xxx-xxx-xxx May 24, 1936
James Timmons xxx-xxx-xxx Aug 20, 1930
George Deveaux xxx-xxx-xxx Mar 06, 1931
Donald MacDonnell xxx-xxx-xxx Nov 07, 1927
Allan Newton xxx-xxx-xxx Oct 07, 1933
Paul Poirier xxx-xxx-xxx Dec 05, 1924,

who are persons who meet the qualifications in (i) and (ii) above and who were fifty years of age or older as of March 31, 1987, and except for medical disability as hereinafter defined, these are the only persons in the employ of Evans Coal Mines who may become "eligible employees" as defined under (c) above;

(e) "income" shall have the same meaning as is found in the Income Tax Act, except that Family Allowance payments shall be excluded from income, but income shall include payments received under Workers' Compensation, disability income and unemployment insurance benefits;

(f) "medical disability" means a non-compensable disability occurring in the mine, as defined by the Mineral Resources Act, or sickness, which in the opinion of the Minister causes the employee to be unsuitable for employment in any capacity, not necessarily restricted to being unsuitable for employment in a mining operation;

(g) "Minister" means the Minister responsible for Mines and Energy [Natural Resources];

(h) "pensioner" means [an] eligible employee who has applied for participation in and is receiving benefits from the Pre-retirement Leave Plan;

(i) "Plan" means Pre-retirement Leave Plan, and

(j) "union" means any recognized bargaining agent for employees of the company.

3 An eligible employee may apply in the prescribed form to the Minister for benefits under the Plan.

4 No benefits shall be paid to an employee who

(a) has celebrated his sixty-fifth birthday;

(b) receives benefits under the Old Age Security Act, or

(c) quits his employment and draws his time, except where the company is planning technological change, or cut-backs, or closure is pending, and the employee, with the approval of the company, quits to accept alternative employment or retires.

5 Except as otherwise stated herein, benefits are paid only to an eligible employee who is laid off from work by company management due to lack of work, or reduction in the work force due to over production, or cut-backs due to the inability of the mine to provide a sufficient number of working places.

6 (1) Benefits shall be payable to a pensioner for the month immediately following the month in which he attains the age of fifty-five, or his application is received, whichever is later, except for medical disability, which may be payable for the month in which the application is received, or such later date as deemed appropriate, subject to prior approval by the Minister as herein provided.

(2) Benefits shall cease at the end of the month in which a pensioner attains age 65, or the month in which he dies, whichever first occurs.

7 The Minister may require that an employee applying for benefits due to medical disability obtain a medical examination from a physician of the employee's choice, and that the doctor's narrative report of examination findings be submitted in a form acceptable to the Minister, and the Minister may further require that the employee undergo a medical examination and tests as recommended by a qualified medical practitioner appointed by the Minister.

8 The Minister may appoint a board of three duly qualified medical practitioners and may refer to this board for its recommendation any application for participation in the Plan by an employee who claims that he cannot obtain employment because of a medical disability.

9 The Plan shall provide monthly benefits to eligible employees according to the following schedule:

Annual Income Before Pre-retirement Leave Benefits
LevelMinimumMaximum
1 0 5999
2 6000 7499
3 7500 8999
4 9000 10 499
5 10 500 11 999
6 12 000 13 499
7 13 500 14 999
8 15 000 16 499
9 16 500 17 999
1018 000 up

Monthly Pre-retirement Leave Benefits
LevelWith DependentsWithout Dependents
1 780 585
2 705 530
3 630 475
4 565 425
5 500 375
6 450 340
7 400 300
8 350 260
9 300 225
10 200 150

10 Notwithstanding the foregoing, where a cost of living indexing of other income changes an eligible employee's level of annual income, the Minister may rule that for purposes of benefits payable hereunder, the level of other income has remained unchanged.

11 Employees applying for and pensioners receiving benefits under the Plan shall report income, and such other relevant information as may be requested, to the Minister in a manner acceptable to him.

12 A pensioner who fails to report his income and such other relevant information as has been requested, or who reports a misrepresentation of the facts, may have all benefits which might otherwise accrue to him under the Plan cancelled, and, if such failure to report, or the reporting of incorrect information, has led to the payment of benefits in excess of those to which the pensioner was entitled, all benefits so received are, with or without demand, immediately repayable to the Province of Nova Scotia, together with interest at the long term Canadian borrowing rate of the Province of Nova Scotia in effect at the time.

13 A pensioner shall immediately, and without request, provide a written report to the Minister advising him of any changes in income that effect the level of pension benefits to which the pensioner is entitled.

14 There shall be deducted from payments made under the Plan amounts sufficient to comply with the laws of Canada respecting deductions under the Income Tax Act.

15 The Plan may be terminated at any time by the Minister with the approval of the Governor in Council providing the Minister is of the opinion that the Plan is no longer required to meet the needs for which it was established.

16 Entry to the Plan by eligible employees

(i) ceased for medical disability on March 31, 1990;

(ii) ceased on March 31, 1982 for former employees of Bras d'Or Coal Company Limited, Springhill Coal Mines Limited, Thorburn Mining Limited (McBean Colliery);

(iii) ceased on April 28, 1985 for former employees of River Hebert Coal Company Limited, being five years after April 28, 1980 closure - reference Department of Mines and Energy [Natural Resources] Annual Report December 31, 1980;

(iv) ceased on October 31, 1987 for former employees of Thorburn Mining Limited (Coal Wastedumps Reclamation Project), being five years after October 31, 1982 closure - reference Department of Mines and Energy [Natural Resources] Annual Report March 31, 1983;

(v) ceased on December 31, 1989 for former employees of Pioneer Coal Limited who were previously employees of Drummond Coal Company Limited, being five years after December 31, 1984 closure of the former Drummond Coal Company Limited underground coal mine operations;

(vi) ceases on March 31, 1992 for the former employees of Evans Coal Mines Limited, being five years after March 31, 1987, which is the date that technological change is deemed to be implemented.

17 This Plan applies to all eligible employees or pensioners presently receiving benefits pursuant to Order in Council 84-1044 as amended by Orders in Council 87-168, 87-428, 88-890, 88-1020, 89-1185 and 90-1457.

18 (1) Where a pensioner is eligible for and receives benefits from the Plan for only part of a calendar year, the Minister may accept other income, for the same portion of the year, as a corresponding percent of annual income for the purpose of determining a pensioner's benefit level.

(2) Where a pensioner has received lower benefits than those for which he is entitled based on his other actual income received during the period in respect of which he was entitled and received benefits under the Plan, he may be granted benefits which do not exceed the amount of the deficiency if a request duly signed by the pensioner is received by the Minister not later than thirty days after calendar year-end and if such request is supported by income details verifying the deficiency in a manner that is satisfactory to the Minister.

19 (1) Payments under the Plan shall be by cheques mailed to the last known addresses of pensioners no later that the last day of the month for which benefits apply.

(2) In the event of interruption of postal service, the Minister will make reasonable effort for alternative distribution of payments within Nova Scotia in advance of, or as soon after the normal mailing day as is practical.

20 Except as otherwise noted in these regulations, these regulations shall be effective on and from the 1st day of July, 1991.

21 Despite clause (i) of Section 16, Mr. Victor Paul Desveaux of Cheticamp, Nova Scotia, Date of Birth - March 15, 1925, S.I.N. xxx-xxx-xxx, shall be eligible for entry to the Plan on the basis of medical disability, as defined therein, as of the 15th day of March, 1992, being the date of his application for medical benefits.
Section 21 added: O.I.C. 93-61, N.S. Reg. 6/93.

22 Section 21 shall be effective on, from and after the 15th day of March, 1992.
Section 22 added: O.I.C. 93-61, N.S. Reg. 6/93.