Two years after they lost to the NDP in the 2009 Nova Scotia election the two opposition parties are misrepresenting CUPE’s election activities, and giving the public a completely false and misleading impression in the process.
HALIFAX – The country’s largest union says the two opposition parties in Nova Scotia are misconstruing CUPE’s election activities, and giving the public a completely false and misleading impression in the process.
CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “To suggest that communicating directly with our members during election campaigns is somehow in violation of the Elections Act is patently false. Even the [Nova Scotia] Chief Electoral Officer concluded in the 2009 provincial election that we were not in violation. We did nothing wrong.”
Says Cavanagh, “What CUPE has done since election financing changes were introduced is to concentrate on the one thing we can do under the Act, which is communicate with our members. Now the opposition parties – I would suggest because of sour grapes – want to try and stop us from even doing that.”
“I have news for the opposition: what CUPE has been doing is perfectly legal and is protected by the Freedom of Expression and the Freedom of Association sections in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We have the right to communicate with our members at any time,” says Cavanagh.
Cavanagh says the two parties are also ignoring a significant B.C. court ruling in March 2009 where the provincial Supreme Court justice struck down key portions of that province’s so-called ‘gag law’ restricting third-party advertising 60 days prior to a provincial election.
B.C. Justice Frank Cole found key portions of the Liberal government’s Bill 42 were unconstitutional. The Bill mainly targeted CUPE and other unions.
The judge said the bill violated fundamental Freedom of Expression rights protected by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
For more information:
CUPE N.S. President
(902) 957-0822 (Cell)
CUPE Communications Representative