This case is about the right to collective bargaining in the context of a law applying to feminized sectors of Ontario’s economy, including health care, social services, and education.
LEAF is intervening before the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
In 2019, the Ontario government enacted the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 (also known as “Bill 124”). Bill 124 imposed restraints that limited wage/compensation increases to 1% during each of three one-year moderation periods. The law particularly affected women, and especially racialized women, who make up a large majority of workers in health care, social services, and education.
LEAF’s arguments will focus on how s. 28 of the Charter requires courts to meaningfully consider gender when applying other rights under the Charter. For freedom of association under s. 2(d) of the Charter, this means thinking about how collective bargaining helps to address gendered labour matters like fair wages, compensation, staffing, retention, and precarious employment. Laws like Bill 124 have a particularly severe affect in feminized sectors of the economy, because of how gendered labour is devalued.
The Court of Appeal will hear arguments in this case in June 2023.
Download LEAF’s factum here.
LEAF is grateful to Christine Davies, Kat Owens, and Danielle Sandhu, counsel for LEAF in this case.