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International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union ‑‑ Canada Area Local 500  v. Canada, [1994] 1 S.C.R. 150

 

International Longshoremen's and

Warehousemen's Union ‑‑ Canada Area

Locals 500, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506,

508, 515 and 519; every person

ordinarily employed in longshoring or

related operations at a port on the

west coast of Canada and who is subject

to the provisions of the Maintenance

of Ports Operations Act, 1986                                                           Appellants

 

v.

 

Her Majesty The Queen                                                                   Respondent

 

and

 

The Attorney General of Quebec                                                     Intervener

 

Indexed as:  International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union ‑‑ Canada Area Local 500  v. Canada

 

File No.:  23306.

 

1994:  January 31.

 


Present:  Lamer C.J. and La Forest, L'Heureux‑Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major JJ.

 

on appeal from the federal court of appeal

 

                   Constitutional law ‑‑ Charter of Rights  ‑‑ Freedom of association ‑‑ Right to strike ‑‑ Back‑to‑work legislation not violating s. 2 (d) of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms  ‑‑ Maintenance of Ports Operations Act, 1986, S.C. 1986, c. 46 .

 

                   Constitutional law ‑‑ Charter of Rights  ‑‑ Life, liberty and security of the person ‑‑ Right to strike ‑‑ Back‑to‑work legislation not violating s. 7  of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms  ‑‑ Maintenance of Ports Operations Act, 1986, S.C. 1986, c. 46 .

 

Statutes and Regulations Cited

 

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ss. 2 (d), 7 .

 

                   APPEAL from a judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal, [1992] 3 F.C. 758, 96 D.L.R. (4th) 513, 148 N.R. 106, 14 C.R.R. (2d) 362, 92 CLLC ¶14, 054, dismissing the appeal and allowing the cross‑appeal from a judgment of Rouleau J., [1990] 2 F.C. 449, 69 D.L.R. (4th) 85, 33 F.T.R. 161, 2 C.R.R. (2d) 347, 90 CLLC ¶14, 014.  Appeal dismissed.

 

                   P. Nicholas Glass and Mari A. Worfolk, for the appellants.

 

                   Eric A. Bowie, Q.C., and Meg Kinnear, for the respondent.

 

                   No one appeared for the intervener.

 

                   The judgment of the Court was delivered orally by

 

                   La Forest J. ‑‑ We are all of the view that the thrust of the reasoning applicable to s. 2 (d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms  adopted in earlier decisions of this Court to determine the scope of freedom of association as it related to the right of union members to strike applies as well to the determination of the right to liberty under s. 7  for the same purpose.  This approach completely defeats the general argument of the appellants for holding the Act as a whole invalid under s. 7 .

 

                   So far as the specific argument that the penalty attached to the refusal to return to work is concerned, that prohibition is intended to enforce the regulatory scheme, and must be read in that context.  It is not an absolute offence, but a strict liability offence.  The appeal is, therefore, dismissed with costs throughout.

 

                   Judgment accordingly.

 

                   Solicitors for the appellants:  P. Nicholas Glass, Vancouver; Swinton & Company, Vancouver.

 

                   Solicitor for the respondent:  The Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa.

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