Evidence shows government turned down kinder alternatives in move to gut contracts

Unions continue to outline legal basis for declaring Bill 29 unconstitutional in day two of suit

Joseph Arvay QC, legal counsel for the unions, continued to present our case throughout day two of health care unions’ legal efforts to have the Campbell government’s contract breaking law, Bill 29, struck down.

Arvay finished explaining to Madame Justice Nicole Garson how Bill 29 harms our members, showing that the government had targeted health care workers and their unions. He presented evidence from the government’s own witness, confirming that the government rejected less objectionable alternatives to gutting our contract.

He then began his legal argument about the violation of our Charter right of freedom of association, quoting extensively from leading Supreme Court of Canada judgments about the central importance of work to our identity, dignity and place in Canadian society, and the key importance of unions as the way for working people to advance their shared interests. 

Members of HEU, BCNU and BCGEU were present in the courtroom throughout the day.  People should feel free to drop in at Courtroom 33 at the Courthouse (800 Smithe Street in Vancouver) starting at 10 a.m. Legal arguments continue today and tomorrow—April 16 and 17—and then resume next week, April 22 to 25.