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Says Cavanagh, “In a decisive vote of 5-2, the SCC has agreed with the Saskatchewan court that this law is unconstitutional. But they even go further and disagree with other recent decisions which have weakened the right to strike.

“This decision should send a clear message to Premier McNeil that you can’t simply trample all over workers’ constitutional rights. The highest court in the land has now made it crystal clear that unionized workers’ right to strike – and their right to freedom of association – are protected under Section 2 of the Charter,” says Cavanagh.

The decision says that workers must have a ‘dispute resolution mechanism” in their dealings with their employers, and the right to strike is at the core of this.

Cavanagh says, “The provincial government in Nova Scotia needs to take a long, hard look at this decision. The four health care unions, through the Nova Scotia
Federation of Labour, have launched their own legal challenge on Bill 37.

“Today’s court ruling has strengthened our hand considerably,” he says.