Bill 148 Update

On July 8, 2021 the Supreme Court of Canada choose not to hear our appeal of a lower court decision which had denied the unions the ability to bring evidence in the constitutional reference case regarding Bill 148.

To be clear, the Supreme Court of Canada decision has nothing to do with the validity or constitutionality of Bill 148. The decision is solely in reference to the Unions’ request to file evidence such as affidavits from the union negotiators about the impact of Bill 148 on collective bargaining, expert evidence on the effect that taking wages and important monetary benefits off the table has on a union’s bargaining power, expert evidence on the protection of collective bargaining in international law, expert evidence on the Province’s finances during the relevant time, and the Cabinet documents that show that the Province had a legislative plan in place before bargaining began.

It is important to note that the Supreme Court of Canada only grants permission to appeal in a small number of cases involving matters of national and public importance. The Unions believed that the decision of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal was a matter of national and public importance, given that it means that the constitutionality of legislation that interferes with collective bargaining can be determined in a reference without receiving any evidence from the affected unions or their members.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision on this request is obviously very disappointing, however it is simply a small part of the overall process.

The NSGEU will continue working hard alongside seven other unions who represent unionized workers to try and have this unjust legislation ultimately overturned by the courts.

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