Another year down, and it was quite a year of developments in employment and human rights law, and the Conservative/Liberal party attacks on collective bargaining rights must have made for a great year for many Charter law litigators. It’s time to sign off for another term and spend some time with the family. Thanks to everyone who came along for the ride this year on this little blog, which is about to begin its 5th year!
Next year promises to be an eventful one, especially on the Charter front. Charter challenges likely to make it to the appellant courts in 2013 raise
questions about whether there is a Constitutional right to strike or to access some form of neutral interest arbitration process. Other issues that will be litigated include legislated wages freezes and other restrictions on free collective bargaining imposed by the Feds, the Ontario Liberals, and the Saskatchewan Party, as well as the Feds law requiring unions to publish loads of useless information at a cost of tens of millions of my taxpayer dollars. That latter legislation (Bill C-377) raises interesting questions about “division of powers” [can both the Feds and the provinces impose overlapping disclosure obligations on the same unions?), as well as Charter issues:
Can a government target for oppressive and expensive reporting obligations only one type of association (unions) that it doesn’t like, while leaving all other analogous associations (professional dues collecting associations) and charities that receive taxpayer benefits untouched? If so, then freedom of association really does become more and more an empty vessel.
And watch for the Feds to introduce Canada’s first ever “right to free ride” legislation early in the new year, something the Ontario Conservative Party has also promised if elected. That type of legislation requires unions to provide all of their professional services and benefits for free to employees who decide they don’t want to contribute their fair share to the costs of providing those services. The Tories, like their far right Republican brethren in the U.S., hope that workers will therefore stop providing unions with the funds they need to hire lawyers, economists, and negotiators. This is part of the Conservative party push to Americanize Canada’s public policy, a move destined to push our income inequality up to the record American levels. Will be interesting to see if the Canadian public see this as a good idea, and whether the Courts will have anything to say about it.
So 2013 will be another fascinating year in labour and employment law.
To bid adieu to 2012, here are the Top 10 most read blog posts from this past year. There were 180,000 hits in 2012, and to date there have been approximately 1200 comments submitted by readers.
Most Read Blog Posts 2012
1. Teachers Boycott Volunteer Work: The Legal Issues
2. Does Bill 115 Void Itself?
3. Are Unpaid Interns Illegal in Canada?
4. Moxies: Where ‘Uglies’ Need Not Apply?
5. Bad Employers
6. Here is Bill C-33: The Latest Air Canada Keep-On-Working Bill
7. Jones v. Tsige: New Tort of ‘Intrusion Upon Seclusion” Recognized by Court of Appeal
8. Bill C-377: The Conservatives’ Private Members Bill on Union Transparency
9. Can an Employer Ask a Job Applicant for their Facebook Password?
10. Can the Government Legislatively Freeze Its Employees’ Wages?
Thanks for visiting, and have a great holiday period!