Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
- My child has a severe nut allergy. Are your products safe for them?
Now that we have introduced Almond Milk onto our menu, we now have a nut based product as a base in four (4) of our smoothies. We do receive some ingredients from manufacturing plants that handle other products that contain nuts. Because of this, there are warning labels on our sorbets indicating that they are manufactured in a facility that handles nuts. Therefore, we cannot guarantee throughout the production process, that contamination did not occur before the product reached our stores. We would recommend any of our customers with severe nut allergies to alert our staff prior to ordering. Customers with nut allergies can order non-almond milk based smoothies, smoothies from our Hardcore category (Spinach Is In It, I C Carrots, Tropi-Kale, UnBEETable and Coco Crush), or smoothies with no sorbet and no Booster. We would also recommend enjoying one of our freshly squeezed juices.
- Why did we make the change from Soy Milk to Almond Milk?
We made the change from Soy milk to Almond milk as many of our customers were asking for almond milk as a non-dairy alternative. Both products are also a vegan substitute for people who cannot tolerate dairy. Almond milk overall is less starchy which means it contains less calories per serving than Soy milk. Almond milk has become a more popular and better choice for consumers as it contains just as many nutritional benefits as Soy milk.
- How do we prevent cross contamination/contact?
At Booster Juice we understand that your health is our #1 priority. Allergens are a serious issue so at Booster Juice we take the following steps to ensure that no cross-contact occurs between our products. A full wash, rinse and sanitize cycle is done for all utensils and blender jars after each use. We also have 2 different colour blender jars in our stores used to blend smoothies. Our clear jars are used for the majority of our smoothies, while our purple tinted jars are used specifically for almond milk smoothies. By separating the jars that are used to make our smoothies, we can ensure that customers who may have a nut allergy can be confident that their smoothie was made in a nut free blender jar.
- Does your crunchy whole grain granola contain nuts?
Our granola does not have nuts in the listed ingredients, but IS produced in a facility that uses nuts. Therefore we cannot guarantee that trace amounts of nuts could be in the product. The ingredients listed in our granola are; Rolled Oats, Wheat Flakes, Cane Sugar, Canola Oil, Brown Rice Flour, Barley Malt Flour, Honey, Molasses, Natural Flavour, Sea Salt, (May contain tree nuts, soya and sesame.)
- How many calories are in the Boosters?
Boosters can be thought of like Vitamins. They have less than two or three calories in each serving. The only exception to this is:
- 7g protein
- 30 calories
- 0g fat
- How many calories are in the Whey Protein?
The Booster Juice Whey Protein has in one serving:
- 20g protein
- 98 calories
- 1.5g Fat
- Which one of our smoothies is good for customers who have diabetes?
There is no one answer for this question, as there are so many differences in diabetic needs. The best thing to do is review our Booster Juice nutritional pamphlet (or review the nutritional information under MENU on this website) that has the detailed information on each and every smoothie and drink that we serve. This also contains information on the glycemic index of our products. You can then find a drink that suits your needs. A few suggestions to help you with your decision may be made:
- Try a snack size smoothie – especially a vegetable based one from the Hardcore category.
- Try a fresh juice. The veggie juices will be lower in sugar than the fruit ones.
- I need to avoid gluten in foods. Which Booster Juice products contain gluten?
Gluten is a product found in wheat. People who are diagnosed with Celiac Disease cannot tolerate it. All of our Booster Juice Smoothies and Juices are gluten free. However, the and Wilderness Booster have gluten products in them and should be avoided. All of our Paninis and wraps contain gluten in them therefore people who are allergic will need to avoid them.
- I am eliminating caffeine from my diet. What do I need to know about Booster Juice and caffeine?
The Booster Juice products that contain caffeine are:
- Thunder Açaí
- High Impact Açaí
- Açaí NRG Shaker
- Açaí Na Tigela
- Açaí Bottles
- Matcha Monsoon
- Mind Over Matcha
- Matcha Shaker
- Mean Mocha
- Do your Booster Juice smoothies have added sugar in them?
Sugar occurs naturally in all fruits and juices. All of our Booster Juice ingredients are made with pure juice, frozen fruit and yogurt are made without any added sugar and preservatives. The only smoothie ingredient that does have sugar added to it is our sorbets. You can refer to the Nutritional Guide in the stores (or here online) to compare the levels of sugars in our products. If a customer wishes to reduce their intake of added sugar they may want to try our vegetable based smoothies under the Hardcore category that do not contain any sorbet.
- Are your Boosters safe for pregnant women?
All the Boosters are safe for pregnant women. Some may be more appropriate, though, than others. Just as some pregnant women avoid Tylenol or other over the counter medications, some herbals are not recommended to be taken on a consistent basis when pregnant. Ginseng and Gingko Biloba are not generally recommended while pregnant and these are found in our Energy Booster and our Boggle Booster. However, if these products were taken before a woman knew that she was pregnant, there would be no harm done. It is consistent, high dosage use of particular herbals that are cautioned against. This would necessitate the use of herbal supplements from a health food store, rather than the addition of a Booster to a smoothie.
There are a few Boosters that are perfect for pregnant women. The Go Girl Booster is an excellent source of calcium with 225 mg in each serving. The Fibre Booster is excellent for overall health and has cholesterol lowering benefits as well as being a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Potassium, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Copper.
- I’m avoiding dairy products. What can I have to drink in Booster Juice that is appropriate for me?
Our current non-dairy smoothies are located on our HARDCORE section of our menu. Non-dairy smoothies include; Spinach Is In It, UnBEETable, I C Carrots,Tropi-Kale, Sonic Boom, and Coco Crush. Any smoothie containing frozen vanilla yogurt must be avoided. Additionally, any Super Food, Hardcore and Classics can be made without the yogurt, leaving it dairy free. Our High Protein, High Protein Super Food smoothies contain a Whey Protein, which is a dairy derivative. This may or may not be acceptable depending on the specifics of the dairy intolerance. If you are vegan and are avoiding all dairy products then you would avoid High Protein, High Protein Superfood and Spirit smoothies all together.
- How many servings of fruit and/or vegetables are in each smoothie? Which smoothies contain the most fruit?
Canada’s Food Guide to healthy eating provides Canadians with a guideline to nutritious daily choices. It states that adults and children should eat four to ten servings of fruit and vegetables every day. An adult serving size of fruit is defined as one medium size fresh fruit, half a cup of fruit juice or half a cup of frozen fruit. Almost all Booster Juice smoothies contain over four servings of fruit. That’s your whole day’s intake of fruit in one delicious smoothie! Our Hardcore smoothies (Spinach Is In It, I C Carrot and UnBEETable) contains 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in a regular size smoothie.
- Most Booster Juice 710 ml Smoothies have between 300 and 400 calories. I know that most are virtually fat free, but this still seems like a lot of calories for a smoothie.
Booster Juice is very proud of the nutritional make-up of our smoothies. We have designed the recipes and the ingredients that make up our smoothies to be the very best, the very freshest, and the most wholesome that they could be. Let’s see how smoothies fit into one’s daily food intake:
First off, smoothies provide nutritious calories. Calories provide energy for the body and are necessary. Some drinks or foods provide only ‘empty calories’, usually with extremely high sugar and fat contents. Pop, candies, slurpies, chips and cheezies are a few examples of these. These foods don’t provide the nutritious building blocks for healthy activity and daily living. They don’t fill you up and often leave you craving more high sugar or fat snacks. Smoothies provide both your body and mind with the well-being of good nutrition. Let’s compare a few popular snacks with our smoothies, just to gain a little perspective.
- Double Chocolate Cookie, 210 cals, 10 grams fat
- Jelly Donut, one, 290 cals, 12 grams fat
- Slurpee, 20 oz, 330 cals, 0 grams fat
Secondly, let’s look at the ‘big picture’. An active adult male may need as many as 3000 calories per day. An active adult female may need 1800 calories per day. (Generally, calories per day for a Moderate Activity level, which is 30 to 60 minutes of exercise 3 to 4 times a week, is 16-18 calories per pound of body weight – so a 140 lb moderately active woman may need 2240 calories daily.) It’s quite easy to fit in a 350 calorie smoothie just about anywhere. It can be part of a breakfast or a lunch replacement, maybe a post-workout smoothie or even a nutritious snack to hold you and the kids over till dinner when you’re rushing out to soccer practice.
- Is there added sugar in Açaí?
Açaí has some naturally occurring sugar in the berry and we add a pinch of Organic Cane Sugar to bring out the flavour. Açaí has 25% less sugar than Apple Juice and is very Nutrient Dense. The Glycemic Index is Low because of Zola’s balanced nutrition profile including proteins, good for you fats, and carbohydrates.
- Does Açaí contain caffeine?
Zola Açaí Bottle has 24mg of naturally occurring caffeine from the Guarana (a seed that grows in the Amazon). The caffeine is equivalent to Iced Tea. In comparison: Snapple Iced Tea (48mg), Soda (30-60mg), Coffee (60-120mg) 8oz Green Tea (30mg).
- Why does Açaí contain fat?
The Açaí berry contains Omega 3, 6, & 9 Fatty Acids – the good for you fats. These are the same fats that are found in Salmon, Cod Liver Oil, Olive Oil and Nuts.
- Doesn't production of Açaí deteriorate the rainforest?
No! Açaí grows on the Açaí Palm Tree…the same tree they cut down for “Heart of Palm.” Locals make more money harvesting the Açaí fruit year after year rather than cutting down their trees for “Heart of Palm” which puts more money in their pocket and helps save their Rainforest. Only cash to the locals will help save the trees.
- Is Açaí organic?
Zola Acai is “Certified Organic” by Quality Assurance International. It is also“Certified Organic” in the United States by the USDA.
- Why hasn't Açaí been readily available in Canada until now?
The fruit is very delicate and is difficult to process. Zola Açaí figured out a way to make an Açaí concentrate to allow shipments of Açaí to reach Canada. Açaí has become very popular in California and the US and is just now coming to Canada. Booster Juice was the first company in Canada to carry Açaí!!!
- Where can I find out more information about Açaí?
To find out more about Açaí, please visit http://zolaacai.com/why-zola/zola-story/.
- What is Matcha Green Tea?
Matcha is the oldest variety of shade-grown Japanese green tea, traditionally used in Zen Buddhist ceremonies for over 800 years. Ground into a fine, jade-green powder using granite grinding wheels, Matcha is whisked with water to create a unique, beautiful and richly flavorful drink.
- Where does Matcha Green Tea come from?
Matcha Green Tea is grown in the Nishio Region in Japan.
- Where does Matcha Green Tea come from?
Regular Green Tea is steeped and when you steep tea you lose 80-90% of the nutrients in it. That’s because most of the vitamins in tea are not water soluble. But with Matcha Green Tea the tea leaves are ground into a fine powder and consumed as a whole. Therefore you get all of the nutritional benefits.
- How much better is Matcha Green Tea compared to Regular Green Tea?
1 cup of Matcha Green Tea has 10-15 times the nutrients of Regular Green Tea.
- Is Matcha Green Tea Organic?
Matcha Green Tea is organic and certified by CFIA, USDA and European Union.
- Does Matcha Green Tea contain caffeine?
Yes, Matcha Green Tea contains (30mg) roughly ½ the caffeine of a cup of coffee (60mg). But the caffeine is Matcha Grean Tea is different. Matcha Green Tea contains L-Theanine amino acids. L-Theanine promotes the slow absorption of caffeine into the blood and therefore Matcha provides you with a 3-6 hour energy burst without the crash.
- What other benefits does Matcha Green Tea have?
Matcha Green Tea contains the highest antioxidant (ORAC) count compared to all known fruits and vegetables. On a per gram basis Matcha Green Tea is the most powerful antioxidant in the world!
- How many calories are in 1 serving of Matcha?
There is only 4 calories in each serving of Matcha Green Tea.
1 Gram = 1 Serving
- Is the Matcha we use to make the Matcha Monsoon and Mind Over Matcha the same Matcha we sell in the tins?
Yes the Matcha is the same. This is our proprietary blend of Matcha Green Tea.
- What is Goji?
Goji is a red-orange berry grown in the Himalayan region. Eaten by Tibetans for almost 2 milliennia.
- What does Goji taste like?
Most people claim that is has a mix of cherry and grape flavours.
- Why should I consume Goji?
Because it is an antioxidant powerhouse, similar to that of Acai which can help prevent signs of aging. It’s also rich in Vitamin C and minerals including zinc, calcium and phopshorus.
- Is Goji organic?
Goji can be organic, the Goji we carry is of high quality but it isn’t certified organic by Health Canada.
- What is Caja?
Caja is a Braziian superfruit that looks like a small mango with a orange colour. It is grown in the Amazon rainforest like its Acai counterpart.
- What does Caja taste like?
Caja has a citrus fruit taste that is a mix between a mango and an orange.
- Why should I consume Caja?
Caja is rich in Vitamin C. This super fruit is used in Brazil to help fight the common cold and help build immune systems. It’s also rich in iron, calcium and phosphorus.
- Is Caja organic?
Caja is “Certified Organic” by Quality Assurance International. It is also “Certified Organic” in the United States by the USDA.
- What’s so great about Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass was first introduced by Ann Wigmore over 40 years ago. By pressing and squeezing the tender young blades of the wheat plant, a dark green juice is extracted which is a great source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and chlorophyll. During the germination and sprouting phase of the young wheatgrass the stored food in the wheat berry is converted into predigested living food.
- What Vitamins and Minerals does Wheatgrass have to offer?
In theory, to get the most benefit from vitamins and minerals, a person’s total intake should come in a form that is as close to a natural state as possible. Wheatgrass is a living food at the time of juicing and for a period of 10 to 15 minutes after harvest. Wheatgrass juice is high in vitamin C, A, B, and E. The green juice has over 90 minerals which are needed to maintain good metabolism. The presence of these alkaline minerals is found in wheatgrass which contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron, a mineral essential for transporting oxygen to the lungs. Organic sodium is also found aiding in digestion and regulation of the amount of fluids in the body.
- What are Enzymes and how do they relate to Wheatgrass?
Enzymes are an important active ingredient in wheatgrass juice. They are the life source of our foods and are needed to carry out many important biological and chemical functions. In processed foods, enzymes are destroyed by excessive heat. Fresh wheatgrass juice contains the following enzymes to name just a few:
- Protease - assists in protein digestion
- Cytrochrome Oxidase - an anti-oxidant used for proper cell restoration
- Amylase - facilitates starch digestion
- Lipase - a fat splitting enzyme
- Transhydrogenase - helps keep muscle tissue of the heart toned
- SOD - (superoxidedismutase) found in all body cells and is known for its ability to lessen the effect of radiation and slow cellular aging.
- What are amino acids and how do they relate to Wheatgrass?
Protein in grass is in the form of polypeptides, a simpler shorter chain of amino acids that enable fast, more efficient assimilation into the bloodstream and tissues. Wheatgrass includes 20 amino acids both essential and non essential. In addition to the essential aminos, wheatgrass juice contains alanione, a blood builder; asparatic acid, converts food to energy, glutamic acid, improves mental balance, arginine, stimulates brain and nerve functions.
- Is the soy milk Booster Juice uses made from non-genetically modified soybeans?
Yes! Our soy milk provider is So Good and their product is made from non-genetically modified soy protein by Identity Preservation. What this means is that a monitoring system has been put in place which controls each step of the manufacturing process—from seed selection to planting and harvesting, transportation and processing—to ensure no genetically modified soybeans enter the supply stream at any time.
- Why does adding whey make a smoothie sweeter?
Adding just whey to a smoothie doesn’t necessarily increase the sweetness. Whey, in fact, may increase pleasant notes such as a creamier perception that may give the consumer a “sweeter experience”. If you add Booster Juice Branded Whey Protein to a smoothie it will in fact increase the sweetness that produces a greater experience when combined with other fruit or flavour systems. This is due to the Natural Sweetener Stevia combined with the dynamic natural flavours selected for the Booster Juice Whey Protein.
- Will Whey affect the taste and texture of the smoothie?
Yes, adding whey protein unflavoured or flavoured will in fact change the taste of a smoothie. This occurs due to pH or the acid/base level of the smoothie. If the Smoothie is tart then the taste will be affected and somewhat smooth or soften the tartness.
Texture is unaffected; the texture is influenced by pectin and natural stabilizers (like carrageenan and xanthan) that make the smoothie smooth.
- When should I take whey protein?
Protein is ideal as a side kick with any meal either as the main protein contribution or as an extra “Booster” to achieve your minimum protein requirement for that one sitting. Ideally .87 grams per kilogram of protein is required per day to maintain positive nitrogen balance for regular everyday people. Protein can be taken in between meals as a snack that provides a healthy dose of protein and at the same time prevents unwanted cravings while stimulating metabolism.
Regular Exercise, Active Lifestyles thru to Intense Fitness can approach supplementing with protein a little differently than the normal every day method. Modern and popular science supports the “pre-exercise and post-exercise” method of consuming protein as well as supplementing in between meals to maximize available nitrogen for elevated metabolic states. This will help the body repair working muscles, decrease recovery time, and prevent “cannibalism” where the body utilizes muscle tissue for energy while supporting an elevated metabolic state. This technique also enhances a physiological phenomenon called “DOMS” (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) that occurs post exercise 2-3 days later. DOMS is caused by the body sending negative signals to the brain due to microscopic muscle tears and in turn the brain sends out signals to the body to produce inflammatory chemicals that cause delayed soreness. Science suggests ingesting a minimum of 1.3 g of protein per kilogram of body weight up to 2.0 g of protein per kilogram of body weight.
- Are all whey proteins the same?
Whey proteins are not created equal; there are many grades available in the market place that influence finished product Nutritional Value. Booster Juice has the highest quality of proteins available in North America, which consist of Whey Protein Isolate 93% and Whey Protein Concentrate 82%. We encourage our customers to educate yourself and compare brands.
- What amino acids are in the Booster Juice Whey and how much of each?
BOOSTER JUICE BRANDED WHEY AMINO ACID PROFILE
AMINO ACIDS IN GRAMS PER 100G OF PROTEIN
L-ALANYL L- GLUTAMINE PEP-EAA 1.6
ASPARTIC ACID+ASPARAGINE 7.37
GLUTAMIC ACID+GLUTAMINE 12.53
HISTIDINE EAA 1.22
ISOLEUCINE BCAA-EAA 3.98
LEUCINE BCAA-EAA 7.28
LYCINE EAA 6.14
METHIONINE EAA 2.64
PHENLALANINE EAA 2.19
THREONINE EAA 4.27
TRYPTOPHAN EAA 1.16
VALINE BCAA-EAA 4.14
*ALL VALUES ARE INDICATIVE AND ARE NOT GUARANTEED ON A BATCH TO BATCH BASIS. BCAA=BRANCH CHAIN AMINOS. EAA=ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS PEP=PEPTIDE [NOT FROM VEGETABLE SOURCE]
- Is Booster Juice Whey safe for diabetics?
Good news for diabetics, recent studies show consuming whey protein with meals and subsidizing whey protein throughout the day does in fact help diabetics.
The American Society of Clinical Nutrition has studies supporting the insulinotropic effect whey protein has on post meal glycemia. Whey seems to stimulate insulin release managing post meal elevated blood glucose levels.
**Please discuss the decision to incorporate Booster Juice Whey Protein with your physician**
- What type(s) of sweetener(s) is used in our Whey?
Only one sweetener that is 100% natural derived from the leaves of the Stevia Plant is used. The active components creating the sweetness are called Steviol Glycosides. We found combining specially selected natural flavour compounds that work synergistically with the Stevia extract resulting in a smoother, sweeter and more balanced finish with no after taste.
- Is Whey safe for pregnant women or nursing mothers to use?
Yes. Booster Juice Branded Whey Protein is safe for use by pregnant or nursing mothers. Booster Juice Whey is 100% natural.
**Please discuss the decision to incorporate Booster Juice Whey with your physician**
- Does Booster Juice Whey contain casein?
Yes. Booster Juice Branded Whey Protein contains a highly digestible and nutrient rich form of casein called Micells. The Micellar form of casein when combined with gastric juices forms into bioactive peptides ready for absorption.
- For Booster Juice's Whey are there any wheat, nut, egg or soy products used in the manufacturing process? Or is it manufactured in a facility that makes other products with these ingredients?
Booster Juice Branded Whey Protein does not contain any Wheat, Nut Meats, Egg or Soy products in any of their protein formulas. However, it is produced in a facility that processes dairy powders and proteins (skim milk powder, whey proteins, caseins, and extracts). As well as vegetable sources of protein (soy, rice, hemp and barley).
- Is the Booster Juice Whey gluten-free?
Booster Juice Branded Whey is 100% Gluten Free.
- Is Booster Juice Whey a complete protein?
The proteins contained in Booster Juice Branded Whey Protein are complete proteins with adequate amounts of all 9 essential amino acids. Whey proteins (both WPI and WPC) are regarded as having a high nutritional value above that of egg protein. The amino acid profile of WPI/WPC has higher essential amino acid content than most proteins and is easily digested. Both WPI and WPC have an efficient rate of absorbability and assimilation creating a high metabolic value.
Protein Quality Rankings:
Protein Type Biological Factors Protein Efficiency Ratio Net Protein Utilization PDCAAS* Whey 104 3.2 92 1.00 Egg 100 3.9 94 1.00 Milk 91 2.5 82 1.00 Beef 80 2.9 73. 0.92 Casein 77 2.5 76 1.00 Soy 74 2.2 61 1.00 Wheat Gluten 64 0.8 67 0.25 Peanuts - 1.8 - 0.52 Black Beans - 0.0 0 0.75
- How should the Booster Juice Whey be stored?
Generally speaking your Booster Juice Protein bag can be stored anywhere in the house. Keep the zipper zipped and you can store it on the counter, in the cupboard, in the fridge, etc. Just keep it away from high temperatures.
- How many grams of protein are in each serving of Booster Juice Whey?
Booster Juice Branded Whey has a whopping 25 grams or 80.60% protein per serving as a blended product.
- How many servings are there in each container of Booster Juice Whey?
There are 36.5 servings per 2.5 pound re-sealable zipper bag of Booster Juice Branded Whey Protein.
(Most companies are selling 2 pound containers that have 7 less servings, less Protein, higher Fat and higher Carbohydrates at a higher price.)
- Does it matter what liquid I use to mix my Booster Juice whey protein with?
Absolutely not. This would be a preference on the part of the consumer. There are a lot of different tastes out there as people try different combinations of liquid and protein powders. There aren’t any adverse effects when mixed with any liquids.
- I’m lactose intolerant; can I still use Booster Juice's whey protein supplement? If so, what are the lactose levels?
If an individual is lactose intolerant they may have sensitivity to the Booster Juice Branded Whey Protein depending on the degree of their sensitivity. Booster Juice Branded Whey Protein does have 1 gram of lactose, a component of whey protein concentrate contained in the formulation.
(There is 1 gram per serving in our whey protein compared to a glass of milk that has 12-13 grams per serving).
**Please discuss the decision to incorporate Booster Juice Whey Protein with your physician**
- What is the difference between whey protein isolate (WPI) and whey protein concentrate (WPC)?
WPI has a greater concentration at 92-97% protein on a “dry basis”, where WPC has a concentration of 80-83% on a “dry basis”. Also, despite the composition differences of the macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat) that compose WPI to WPC they are very much a complimentary unit when formulating a functional high protein supplement. WPI allows you to maximize protein yield and WPC contributes bio nutrient sub-fractions and a complete amino acid profile.
6 Major BioActive Sub-fractions of Whey Protein
Active Component Function Immunoglobins (Ig) 3 major classes, they carry the biological function of antibodies supporting the immune system. Alpha Lactalbumin (αLa) Rich source of essential amino acids. High in Tryptophan and Cystein producing Seritonin and Glutathione. Beta Lactoglobulin (βLg) Is the major source of protein in bovine milk containing many bioactive peptides expressing many physiological functions. Lactoferin (LF) A Glycoprotein with many physiological functions and immune building properties. Lactoperoxidase (LP) Represents the most abundant enzyme in bovine milk with powerful immune support. Glycomacropeptides (GMP) Highly nutritional and functional, rich in Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA). Supports recovery, energy production, and satiety blocking cravings.
- How old should you be, to work in a Booster Juice Store?
Minimum Age Laws in Canada
The Government of Canada has not yet ratified the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 138 on Minimum Age.
Canada has an obligation to ratify this Convention based on its membership in the ILO and its adoption of the ILO “Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.” Today, Canada remains one of only 27 countries which have not ratified Convention 138, along with the likes of India, Iran, Mexico, and Myanmar.
Federal Legislation that does not comply with Convention 138
The Federal Government allows for the employment of children under the age of 17 with the provision that work be “unlikely” to endanger health or safety. Children are not permitted to work between the hours of 11:00 pm to 6:00 am. The vast majority of legislation over employment standards rests with the provinces. Federal employment standards cover approximately ten percent of employees, including children. Employment of children in federally-regulated industries would require permission from a federal Labour Standards Officer.
Back to TopProvincial Legislation that does not comply with Convention 138
Back to TopAlberta
Alberta Employment Standards Code permits the employment of 12 to 14 year olds with the written consent of one parent or guardian. The employment of children under 12 is prohibited. Child employees must complete a safety checklist and regulations protect hours of work allowed. For older children between the ages of 15-17 years of age, general restrictions exist on the times of day that may be worked and supervision by an adult is required. Children 12 to 14 years of age may be employed outside of school hours (two hours on a school day and eight hours on a non-school day).
Children may not be employed between the hours of 9:00 pm to 6:00 am. Employment is restricted to four occupations – delivery of small wares for a retail store, clerk or messenger in an office, clerk in a retail store and to the delivery of newspapers, flyers and handbills. Employers are to meet basic safety requirements. Enforcement of employment standards in Alberta is complaint driven. Upon a complaint, an investigation is made by an Employment Standards Officer (ESO). The onus is on the child worker (or through parent and/or guardian) to raise a complaint about working conditions.
How does this Violate Convention 138?
The employment of 12 to 14 year olds in Alberta violates Convention 138. Under Convention 138, the minimum age under Article 2 (3) states the minimum age of employment “shall not be less than 15 years.” This is modified in Article 2 (4) that allows the basic minimum age of 14 years of age for member countries whose “economy and educational facilities are insufficiently developed….” Again in Article 7, the age limit may be reduced further permitting persons 13 to 15 years to engage in “light work”. This work is not to harm the health or development of children or to be prejudicial to school attendance or vocational programs. Under Article 9, all “necessary measures, including the provision of appropriate penalties” are to be taken to ensure effective enforcement of the Convention.
Although Alberta explicitly prohibits the employment of children under the age of 12 years of age, the employment of 12 year olds cannot be justified under the Convention. The Convention permits the employment of 12 to 14 year olds only where the member country has an insufficiently developed economy and educational facilities. This does not apply to Alberta. The employment of 13 to 15 year old children in developed countries is restricted to “light work.” Although light work is not defined, Alberta’s policy of restricting work to the four occupations stated above would appear to meet Article 7 (1).
British Columbia employment regulations permit the employment of 12 to 14 year olds (Section 45.1.) There is also no reference in Part 7.1 as to whether parental permission is a condition of employment. Children under the age of 12 may be employed with the permission of the Director of Employment Standards. The Director may set conditions of employment. The regulations permit a child between 12 to 14 years of age to work up to thirty-five (35) hours a week during a non-school week (Section 45.3 [d]) and up to twenty (20) hours a week during a school week (Section 45.3 ).
Under the Act, an employer of a child is not to “require or allow the child to work on a school day at a time when the child is scheduled to attend.” (Section 45.3 ) However, the Act does permit employers of the child to employ a child labourer for up to four (4) hours a day on a school day or up to seven (7) hours a day on a non-school day (Section 45.3 [a] and ). A limit of twenty (20) hours a week of work is set for a five (5) day school week. (Section 45.3 [d]) This means that in school districts where there is a four (4) day school week, employers in British Columbia may legally employ children for up to thirty-five (35) hours a week.
How does this Violate Convention 138?
The British Columbia Employment Standards Regulation violates the age and working hours requirements of Convention 138. Article 2 (3) set the minimum age at “not less than the age of completion of compulsory school and, in any case, shall not be less than 15 years.” An exception is made in Article 2 (4) for members “whose economy and education facilities are insufficiently developed” to set a minimum age of 14 years.
British Columbia’s regulations that permit employment of 12 to 14 year olds and with permission (of the Director of Employment Standards) children under the age of 12 clearly violates Article 2. The Act fails to restrict the type of work for younger children to “light” work, as prescribed under Article 7. Although light work is not clearly defined in Convention 138, Article 7 states the work is not to harm health of development of children or prejudice attendance at school (Article 7 (1) [a] and ).
Employment protections are insufficient to ensure younger workers engage in “light” work. There are no explicit protections in the Employment Standards Act regulations for young workers expect for the provision that children are to be supervised by a person 19 years or older.
Manitoba has the most restrictive child labour laws of any Canadian province. Children in Manitoba under the age of 16 may not be employed without a permit obtained from the Director of Employment Standards. The permit must be signed by a parent or guardian of the child. The Employment Standards Code sets out conditions of employment for children under 16 years of age and children under 18 years of age in Division 14 and Division 15 of the Code respectively. Hours of work are restricted to no more than twenty (20) hours during a week of school and no employment between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am for children under 16.
Babysitting is not covered by employment standards in Manitoba. Employers may employ children less than 18 years of age between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am as long as they are not working alone. Children under 18 years of age are prohibited from working in a “prescribed industry or occupation”. In addition, penalties exist in Manitoba for talent agencies who fail to obtain a Child Performer Permit from the Employment Standards Branch to employ child performers under the age of 17. The offence is subject to fines of up to $50,000.00.
How does this Violate Convention 138?
Permitting children to work up to twenty (20) hours a week during a school week would appear to be incompatible with Article 7 of Convention 138. Under the Manitoba legislation, employers may employ children anytime outside of the hours of 6:00 am to 11:00 pm. This permits employers to employ children during the daytime hours, including during school hours. Under Article 7 (1) (b) regulations that permit the employment or work of persons 13 to 15 years of age, are not to “prejudice their attendance at school” and to “not be harmful to their health or development” (Article 7 (1) [a]). By this standard, allowing children to work up to twenty (20) hours a week on top of a thirty-five (35) hour school week violates Article 7 (1) [a] and ). The twenty (20) hour a week regulation fails to take into account homework assigned to students. Not covering babysitting under Manitoba’s employment standards – a major source of employment income for adolescents – means this category of child workers have no legislative protection in Manitoba.
Children under the age of 14 cannot be employed in New Brunswick without a permit obtained by the Director of Employment Standards. Children under 16 years of age may be employed for no longer than six hours in any day and are not to engage in work that is “harmful.” Children under 16 years of age may not be employed during the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. New Brunswick’s legislation (under Section 39 of New Brunswick’s Employment Standards Act) effectively permits employers to employ a child between the ages of 14 to 16 years of age for up to 42 hours a week—a non-school week. During a school week, children between 14 to 16 years of age may be under Section 39 (b) employed for three hours a day or up to 21 hours a week. Section 39 (d) contradicts the proceeding two sections by restricting a total day of employment and school to a total of eight hours a day.
The Act permits children less than 14 years of age to be employed but excluded them from certain categories of work. Children under 14 are excluded from working in an industrial undertaking, forestry, and the construction industry, in a garage, in a hotel or restaurant or as an elevator operator. (It is notable that the list does not include working in the fishery industry or in agriculture— occupations that may entail machine operation or heavy lifting.) Despite these narrow exclusions, children under 14 may still work in these excluded industries if an employer obtains a permit from the Director of Employment Standards. The Director is required to seek the approval of the child’s parent or guardian and the employment activity must not violate the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Children between the ages of 14 to 16 are not excluded from working in the restricted work categories listed above but are not to be employed in work that is unwholesome or harmful to physical, mental or moral health.
How does this violate C138?
New Brunswick’s legislation permits the employment of children under the age of 14 which potentially violates Article 7—which mandates children 13 to 15 years of age are only to engage in “light work.” The legislation excludes certain categories of “heavy work” but is not comprehensive. Farming and fishery work that involve lifting and machinery operation are not in the excluded categories. Excluding some forms of “heavy work” while not specifying types of “light work” for children between the ages of 13 and 15 fails to meet the standard required under Article 7.
Section 39 permits children under the age of 14 years of age to be employed for six hours a day on a non-school week. This means a child may be employed for up to 42 hours a week during the summer vacation period. This would appear to be contrary to Article 7 (1) that permits children to engage in “light work” that is “not likely to be harmful to their health or development.”
Children under 14 years of age may be employed in Newfoundland and Labrador but are restricted in the type of work they may perform. The type of work allowed is mandated by local regulation. For instance, allowable work may vary by region and consists of “light work” such as newspaper vending or shoe shining. Children under 16 years of age may not be employed without the written consent of the child’s parent or guardian.
Employers may employ children less than 16 years of age for up to eight hours a day on a non-school day or for up to three hours a day on a school day (this may be increased if a school certificate is provided.) Children are not permitted to work between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and there must be a rest period of at least 12 hours between working shifts. The type of employment may not be unwholesome, prejudice the child’s attendance at school or “the child’s capacity to benefit from instruction given at school.”
How does this violate C138?
The employment of children under the age of 14 is prohibited under the Convention except under Article 2(4) where a member has an insufficiently developed economy and educational facilities. Article 7 allows the employment of children 13 years of age in “light work” activities. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the type of work permissible is determined by the regulations of the municipality in which the child lives. It is not possible to assess the regulations of each municipality in Newfoundland and Labrador, however some municipalities may be in violation of the “light work” provision. Permitting children below the age of 14 to work up to three hours a day on top of a regular school day may contravene the Convention. At risk of violation are Articles 1 and 7 of the Convention which emphasizes work consistent with the full mental and physical development of children and stresses work must not prejudice school attendance.
Northwest Territories and Nunavut
The jurisdictions of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut permits children aged 17 or under to be employed in any occupation with some exceptions. Employment may not be detrimental to the health, education or moral character of the children. Children are not permitted to work between 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. without the approval of a Labour Standards Officer. Employment of children in the construction industry is permitted with the written approval of a Labour Standards Officer. Children in a senior secondary education program may be excused from work for a full school term upon approval of a school principal. Children aged 16 to 18 years of age may work in the kitchen of a licensed establishment. In Nunavut, children may work as bus persons or servers in licensed dining rooms but are not permitted to serve alcohol.
How does this violate C138?
Allowing children to miss school in order to work violates Article 7 (1) (b) that states employment is “not to prejudice attendance at school.” Although Article 7 pertains to children between 13 to 15 years of age, the term children in a “senior secondary education program” may capture some children in this age group. Permitting children in Nunavut to work in licensed dining rooms could violate Article 7 by being “potentially harmful to their health or development.” Allowing children to work in the construction industry even in a limited capacity and with the approval (non-parental) may also violate Article 7.
Nova Scotia permits the employment of children under the age of 14 as long as this work does not interfere with normal, healthy development or schooling. Work hours are limited to not more than eight hours a day on non-school days and no more than three hours a day on school days. Children under 14 years of age cannot work between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Older children under the age of 16 years of age cannot work in the following work sectors—forestry, garages, car repair, hotels and restaurants, theatres, bowling alleys and pool halls or shooting galleries unless working for a family member.
How does this violate C138?
Employing children less than 14 years of age violates Article 2 (4) of the Convention. The employment of older children under the age of 16 years may also be in violation of the Convention. Under the Convention, children under the age of 15 years are to only be employed in “light work” activities. Children who are 14 and 15 years of age under Nova Scotia’s employment regime may work in jobs that are not “light work” as long as they are working for a family member. These jobs include forestry, garages, car repair, hotels and restaurants, theatres, bowling alleys and pool halls or shooting galleries.
Under Ontario employment regulations, children under 14 may be employed in most occupations except for an industrial undertaking of any kind. Children under 15 are unable to work in a factory while children under 16 cannot work in a logging operation, in a mine or in construction. Children under the age of 16 may be employed during school hours upon the approval of the Provincial School Attendance Counsellor.
How does this Violate Convention 138?
Allowing the approval of a child less than 16 years of age to be employed during school hours violates Article 2 (3) that states the minimum age “shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling…” The age of compulsory schooling in Ontario is 16 years of age. Ontario also does not specify that 14 to 15 year olds are to engage in “light work” they are only prohibited from engaging in certain types of work. This violates Article 7 of the Convention.
Prince Edward Island
The Youth Employment Act of Prince Edward Island permits the employment of children 16 years and under for age appropriate tasks, with adequate training and adult supervision. Children cannot work in employment that is harmful to their health, safety or moral or physical development. Work is prohibited between 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Children may work up to 40 hours in any week although the number of work hours is restricted to three hours on a school day and eight hours on a non-school day. Children may also be permitted to work more than 40 hours a week upon approval of the inspector of labour standards. Employment is also permitted in plants processing fish, agricultural or forestry products where there are no toxic substances or equipment or machinery that is potentially dangerous to children.
How does this violate C138?
Prince Edward Island’s legislation fails to give adequate protection to children in the number of hours permitted or the type of work children are permitted to engage in. Allowing children under the age of 16 to work forty hours a week or more (conditional on approval of the Inspector of labour standards) violates Article 1 of the Convention. This article states work must be “consistent with the fullest physical and mental development of young persons.”
Prince Edward Island also permits the employment of children in plans processing fish, agricultural or forestry products in the absence of foreseeable dangers such as toxic substances, equipment or machinery. No reference is made to whether the permissible work is “light work” as enumerated under the Convention. This potentially violates Article 7 that permits children between 13 to 15 years to engage on in “light work.”
The jurisdiction of Quebec permits the employment of children less than 14 years of age with the written consent of one parent. Unlike other provinces, Quebec does not require Ministry approval for the employment of children under 14. Regulations for children fewer than 18 years prohibit work that is disproportionate to a child’s capacity or would be detrimental to that child’s education, health or physical or moral development.
Children may be employed in any occupation with the exception of certain construction work, work conducted under water, at an open pit site at the controls of hoisting or moving equipment, or in excavations or trenches. Except for newspaper delivery work, no employer is to employ a child between the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
How does this violate C138?
The employment regulations for children in the province of Quebec provide inadequate protections on the type of work they are able to perform. Article 7 stresses that children between the ages of 13 to 15 are to only perform “light work”—the prohibiting of work that would be dangerous does not necessarily exclude “heavy” work or work that would not be regarded as “light work.”
Under Saskatchewan’s employment regime the age of 16 was set as the general minimum age of employment. An “absolute” minimum age of 14 has also been established provided those 14 and 15 year old workers fulfil certain requirements. These include: completing a “Young Worker Readiness” Certificate Course (YWRCC) obtaining a Certificate of Completion, providing proof of age, and a written consent from a parent or guardian.
Additional requirements set out that they may not work more than 16 hours during a school week; and work no later than 10:00 p.m. on any day prior to a school day or before school starts on any day. Exemptions include: family business employing only immediate family, the self employed, traditional farming operations, babysitters, and newspaper carriers. If an employer wishes to hire someone under the age of 14 they must request a “special permit” under the Director of Labour Standards. Unlike Quebec, children are expressly prohibited from working on a construction site. Other prohibited work locations are pulp mills, saw mills, wood working establishments, smelters, foundries, refineries or metal processing or fabricating operations among other locations. There are no restrictions on working in the agricultural sector except where the child may be exposed to a chemical or biological substance.
How does this violate C138?
Saskatchewan’s lack of specific protections regarding “light work,” farming, self employment, and family-owned businesses puts the jurisdiction in potential violation of Article 7 (1) of the Convention. The Article permits the employment of persons 13 to 15 in “light work” only if it does not harm their health and development, and not prejudice their attendance at school or other vocational orientation or training programmes. Saskatchewan giving the ability for employers to request a “special permit” under the Director of Labour Standards to hire an employee under the age of 14 directly violates C138.
Children under 16 years of age may not engage in paid work unless excused by the Director or Superintendent of their school. Children under 17 years of age cannot be employed in occupations that are contrary to the legislation. Children aged 16 years and above may be employed at a surface mine, except for at the working face. Other prohibitions for children 18 years and below include employment involving the use of a motor vehicle transporting explosive materials or as an x-ray worker.
How does this violate C138?
Yukon’s legislation allowing children under the age of 16 to work if excused by the Director or Superintendent of their school directly contravenes Article 7 (1) of the Convention which only allows persons 13 to 15 to engage in “light work.”