What They Said

A round-up of remarks on the Bill 5 ruling

The Jan. 30 Supreme Court ruling on Bill 5 is huge and game-changing — a rilly big deal, in other words. Here’s what some of the key players said. /Gregory Beatty

“The right to strike is an essential part of a meaningful collective bargaining process in our system of labour relations. Where good faith negotiations break down, the ability to engage in the collective withdrawal of services is a necessary component of the process through which workers can continue to participate meaningfully in the pursuit of their collective workplace goals. This crucial role… is why the right to strike is constitutionally protected.” —Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella, writing for the majority

“Certainly, our original legislation could have been done far better than it was. The costs were awarded against the province. Those are not going to be cheap as litigation is not something that is inexpensive.” —Saskatchewan labour minister Don Morgan, via conference call from Ft. Lauderdale

“We find ourselves here today because of Mr. Wall’s rush to put ideology ahead of common sense and fairness. While we think this is an historic ruling by the Supreme Court we are extremely disappointed about the costs incurred to defend a bad law when we knew for quite awhile that it was a bad law.” —David Forbes, NDP labour critic

“As Canadians we value the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. So this decision today is not just a win for working people, it is also a victory for the values of fairness we all share. It is my hope that the Saskatchewan Party government will recognize its mistake, and pledge to never again let ideology get in the way of good public policy.” —Larry Hubich, SFL president

“We are encouraged that the Supreme Court decision reinforces respect for our democratic values and promotes workers’ rights to freedom of association. We are hopeful this decision will motivate the Saskatchewan government to understand the need to respect workers’ rights and workers’ voices in building our common future.” —Barb Cape, president of SEIU-West

“The Supreme Court has provided helpful guidance to the government on how to draft essential services legislation which does not violate the basic rights of Canadians, and has given the government a year to put appropriate laws in place. [We] are committed to working with the government to draft and implement essential services legislation which is both effective and legal.” —Tracy Zambory, SUN president

“Saskatchewan boasts a very proud, strong history of taking care of its workers. There is a lot of repairing to do in what has generally been a wounded conversation between our provincial government and the labour community.” —Bob Bymoen, SGEU president

2015-02-05