Recognizing the right to strike

Important questions when Supreme Court ignores importance of precedent
By Norm Keith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/02/2015

The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized, for the first time in Canadian legal history, a constitutional right to strike under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 


This startling decision, in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, expands the protections offered under section 2(d) of the charter: “freedom of association.” The case, however, does more than deal with a new constitutional right to strike. It deals with two other critical issues: the fundamental place of precedent or stare decisis in Canadian law and the fundamental, constitutional issue of whether unelected judges should override and replace the decisions of democratically elected legislature on key questions of labour public policy in Canada.