Constitutional Challenge to Bill C-59

June 29, 2015


Bill C-59 received royal assent, last week, and with it, all of its nefarious purposes became law. Overnight, Treasury Board received the power to unilaterally impose whatever sick leave and short-term disability plans it chooses, bypassing fair and free collective bargaining.

Under these conditions, any negotiations will be meaningless. Unions will be bargaining with a gun against their heads: accept this offer now or face having something worse imposed through legislation.

We believe this to be unconstitutional; it violates the constitutionally protected process of collective bargaining and our right to strike. CAPE, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada as well 10 other federally regulated bargaining agents have joined forces to challenge this legislation before the courts. The notice of application setting out the grounds for this constitutional challenge can be viewed on our website. The Public Service Alliance of Canada also launched its own court action against Bill C-59, which argues many of the same points.

While we wait for the courts to rule on the constitutionality of this law, we have formally requested that Treasury Board confirm it won’t use its newly acquired powers.