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Charter of Rights & Freedoms

Supreme Court of Canada rules that freedom of association protection in Charter applies to collective bargaining

Sector: - Health Care

In Health Services and Support - Facilities Subsector Bargaining Assn. v.British Columbia, 2007 SCC 27, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned previous case law and ruled that a "limited right" of collective bargaining is protected by section 2(d) (freedom of association) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is a landmark decision.

Law firm Heenan Blaikie has published this case summary: "Supreme Court of Canada rules that collective bargaining is protected by freedom of association in Charter" (June 8, 2007).

Postscript: This is a case summary by law firm Emond Harnden: "Supreme Court of Canada extends Charter protection to collective bargaining" (July 2007).

"Video Surveillance and the Employment Relationship"

British Columbia labour arbitrator Robert B. Blasina prepared a paper entitled, "Video Surveillance and the Employment Relationship" for the Personal Information Protection Act Conference 2006 held in Calgary on April 26-27, 2006.

The paper addresses decisions of labour arbitrators and privacy commissioners in BC, Alberta and the federal sector.

"Severance Pay and Valuing Disabled Employees Past Contributions and Investments: O.N.A. v. Mount Sinai Hospital"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Health Care

Elizabeth J. McIntyre and Archana Mathew from Toronto law firm Cavaluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish LLP have prepared a paper entitled, "Severance Pay and Valuing Disabled Employees Past Contributions and Investments: O.N.A. v. Mount Sinai Hospital" (June 2005).

The paper summarizes the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision in Ontario Nurses' Association v. Mount Sinai Hospital, 2005 CanLII 14437 (ON C.A.), in which the court  ruled that the denial of severance pay under the Ontario Employment Standards Act to disabled employees/employees whose employment contract was frustrated was discriminatory and unconstitutional. 

Charter compels disclosure of accuser's medical records in case where care attendant fired for patient abuse

Jurisdiction: - Prince Edward Island
Sector: - Health Care

Prince Edward Island Union of Public Sector Employees v. Provincial Health Services Authority, [2005] P.E.I.L.A.A. No. 1 (QL), [2005] P.E.I.L.A.A. No. 3 (QL)

Are political protests by employees illegal labour strikes?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education - Health Care

Published in CBA National Labour and Employment Law Section Newsletter (September 2004)

Are "political protests" strikes in which employees do not attend work and/or impede others from attending work materially different from a labour strike? If so, are they permitted while a collective agreement is in force?

In two recent decisions issued within a month of each other -- Health Employers' Assoc. of B.C., BCLRB No. B64/2004 ("HEABC") and B.C. Teachers Federation, BCLRB No. B92/2004 ("BCTF") the B.C. Labour Relations Board arrived at different conclusions. In the HEABC case, vice-chair O'Brien, after conducting a Charter of Rights and Freedoms analysis, stated that in certain cases political protest strikes are acceptable.

In contrast, in the BCTF case, vice-chair Saunders, after also conducting a Charter analysis, concluded that in no circumstances are such political strikes permissible. Given that these two decisions are impossible to reconcile, reconsideration hearings can be expected in one or both.