May 25, 2012

A copy of correspondence forwarded to Premier Charest re: Bill 78

     Bill 78 - Quebec

     Loi 78 - Quebec

May 10, 2012

I take this opportunity to provide a quick update regarding CALL's involvement with Bill C-377.  We have received a number of emails from members inquiring as to what action CALL is taking in relation to the Bill.

As you are aware, the Bill is a Private Member's Bill that is portrayed as an amendment to The Income Tax Act.  Upon reading the Bill it is quite obvious this has nothing or little to do with income taxation but has everything to do with union busting.  We know a number of organizations will be filing briefs in relation to the Bill and seeking status to appear at the hearings.  At present, I believe the Bill has received second reading and has been referred to committee (which in this case is the Standing Committee on Finance).  To my knowledge no dates have yet been set for the Committee to hear representations, but the same could occur as early as May.

The Bill contains a great number of provisions aimed at weakening unions and making information available to employers and others who may seek to take advantage of what ought to be confidential information, including disbursements on labour relations, political, lobbying, organizing, collective bargaining, education and training activities   Most importantly to CALL, the Bill also demands disclosure of statement of disbursement on legal activities. This of course strikes to the heart of solicitor client privilege and confidentiality.  The length of submissions allowed is limited, I believe we will be primarily making our submission aimed at the issues of breach of the right to privacy and solicitor client privilege / confidentiality. 

We have spoken with both the CLC and Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights and intend to collaborate with them in their representations concerning the Bill.  Further, we intend to petition support from the Canadian Federation of Law Societies and the Canadian Bar Association, who I believe should share the same concerns we have with the Bill.

At present, we have an ad hoc committee comprised of Sheila Greene and myself.  We hope to add a couple of more members to ensure appropriate regional representation.  We intend to keep the committee small, so that we are able to react as quickly as necessary.

We hope to be filing our materials with the committee shortly.  We will keep you up to date as matters proceed.

Drew S. Plaxton



May 10, 2012

Fay Faraday, Judy Fudge and Eric Tucker have accumulated a fine collection of essays and other materials concerning the plight of the agricultural worker.  The book has been published by Irwin Law Inc. and is entitled Constitutional Labour Rights in Canada – Farm Workers and the Fraser Case.  It can be ordered from Irwin Law at (found under "Featured Titles").  This book is both important and contemporary.  Royalties from sales are devoted to the trust set up for the families of the migrant workers killed in the horrendous traffic accident near Hampstead Ontario in February 2012


February 11, 2012

The CALL budget approved at the Conference in Vancouver provides for CALL to make donations of $20,000 to general causes and $5,000 to educational causes this fiscal year (which ends on April 30). 

The actual donations to be made are recommended by the Donations Committee and approved by the Executive.

The Donations Committee is in the process of developing its recommendations for this year, and wishes to invite any member with a proposal for a donation to submit that proposal for consideration. 

Please include some background information about the group or cause you would propose the donation be made to, and some rationale as to why you feel this would be a worthwhile donation in accordance with the aims and purposes of CALL (as set out in the Constitution available on the CALL website). 

Please submit your proposals to David Wright at before March 9.

February 11, 2012

All CALL/ACAMS members are invited to the upcoming Koskie Minsky Lecture and Heenan Blaikie Conference at the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Law, on 2 & 3 March 2012.

Please find attached the conference brochure.

The full conference website can be found at:

The theme of the 2012 lecture/conference will be Faultlines and Borderlines in Labo(u)r Law: The Future of the Wagner Act in Canada and the United States.  This is a joint project of the UWO Faculty of Law, Koskie Minsky, Heenan Blaikie, and the Canada-US Institute at Western.

On Friday, 2 March 2012, Ms. Wilma Liebman, the former Chair of the National Labor Relations Board, will be delivering the seventh Koskie Minsky University Lecture in Labour Law. She was appointed Chair of the NLRB by President Obama as one of his first acts after assuming office in January 2009. The title of her Lecture will be: Labor Law, Economic Justice and Political Rhetoric: Reflections on the Wagner Act.

And the following day, Heenan Blaikie LLP and the Faculty of Law at the University of Western  Ontario will be hosting the full-day conference. There will be four panels, on the themes of human rights in the workplace, the role of trade and investment in shaping labour law, the crisis in public sector collective bargaining, and the future of the Wagner Act, with distinguished speakers from both sides of the 49th parallel on each panel. With unionization at 29% in Canada, and 12% in the United States, this conference will assess the viability of the Wagner Act and its ability to continue to promote industrial fairness.