February 4, 2015 8:01 pm
Updated: February 5, 2015 8:12 am

Wall open to overriding SCOC labour decision

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SASKATOON – A drastic measure is on the table that would override a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Saskatchewan’s right-to-strike laws.

Premier Brad Wall said Wednesday the government will work to amend the Saskatchewan Employment Act, but he suggested an alternative could be the controversial “notwithstanding clause” that allows governments to veto aspects of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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It’s based on the high court’s decision last week that the old essential services law was unconstitutional – a major victory for labour groups in Saskatchewan and across the country.

“We’d simply say to the Supreme Court that we want to put public safety and welfare at the (forefront).”

Wall told reporters at the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Convention (SUMA) he still wants protection in sectors like health care in the event of a strike.

“If we can do that, we’ll make a few changes to the legislation and proceed,” Wall said. “If it looks like we cannot do that, then the only option we’d have is to use the notwithstanding cause.”

“We’d simply say to the Supreme Court that we want to put public safety and welfare at the (forefront).”

The clause, or Section 33 of the Charter, is rarely used by provincial governments and has not been invoked by the federal government.

With files from Global’s Wendy Winiewski

© 2015 Shaw Media

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