Petition to the Minister for CMHC

Due to the auspices of the honorable member from Barrie , Tyrone Wheeler, I have in my possession a members list of all the Canadian NACHI people. If anyone is interested in participating in a letter writing campaign to get the word out I will make the list, or any portion thereof, available to you. The list runs to 17 1/2 pages and it can be split up. Unfortunnately it is not in any particular order so you will get a mish mosh of contacts to get in touch with. If you are interested let me know via the message board and I will fax out a portion of the list to you. Many hands make lite work.

Is it possible to get the list of the members in Alberta?
I am the chapter president and could use the list for chapter business.

I will forward them to you, just e-mail me

Larry or Tyrone, can either of you e-mail the list as well please.

I am organizing a group of men that will help in this strategy. When that is completed, we will each have a copy of the applicable information.

Larry, I will be more than happy to help out!

For those inclined there is some pretty good reading in this case from the Supreme Court. Its quite lengthy.


    *Labour law -- Quebec construction industry -- Contractors charged with hiring employees who did not have competency certificates and workers charged with working without competency certificates as required under Quebec construction legislation -- Whether requirement that workers become members of one of listed union groups in order to obtain competency certificates unconstitutional -- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. **2(d)*](* -- Act Respecting Labour Relations, Vocational Training and Manpower Management in the Construction Industry, **R.S.Q., c. R-20, ss. 28-40, 85.5, 85.6, 119.1, 120**.
  •        *Constitutional law -- Charter of Rights -- Freedom of association -- Contractors charged with hiring employees who did not have competency certificates and workers charged with working without competency certificates as required under Quebec construction legislation -- Whether requirement that workers become members of one of listed union groups in order to obtain competency certificates unconstitutional -- Whether guarantee of freedom of association includes right not to associate -- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. **2(d)*](* -- Act Respecting Labour Relations, Vocational Training and Manpower Management in the Construction Industry, **R.S.Q., c. R-20, ss. 28-40, 85.5, 85.6, 119.1, 120**.

281IACOBUCCI J. – I have read the lucid reasons of my colleagues in this appeal and I find myself in an unusual situation. Like Bastarache and LeBel JJ., I disagree with L’Heureux-Dubé J. that the freedom of association guaranteed by s. 2(d) of the * Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms* does not encompass a negative right to be free from compelled association. Such a negative right was found by a majority of the Court in Lavigne v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 1991 CanLII 68 (S.C.C.), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 211. I am also of the view that this right is infringed by the legislation at issue in the present appeal. Although Bastarache J. shares this opinion, I would adopt an approach that differs from the one that he relies on to find a s. 2(d) violation. Furthermore, in contrast to Bastarache J., I find that this constitutional breach can be justified under s. 1 of the Charter. Therefore, for the reasons that follow, I would concur with the disposition reached by L’Heureux-Dubé and LeBel JJ., and I would therefore dismiss this appeal.

282 According to both Bastarache and LeBel JJ., the proper test for determining whether there has been a violation of the right to be free from compelled association is whether the legislation at issue imposes a form of “ideological conformity”. Accordingly, where the requirement of membership in a group forces the members to associate involuntarily with certain ideas or principles, the negative freedom not to associate within s. 2(d) has been breached. However, while Bastarache and LeBel JJ. generally agree on the applicable analytical framework, their views differ in respect to its application in the present appeal. LeBel J. recognizes that the Act Respecting Labour Relations, Vocational Training and Manpower Management in the Construction Industry, R.S.Q., c. R-20 (the “Construction Act”) requires construction workers to join union groups, but qualifies this as a very limited obligation, stating that it “boils down to the obligation to designate a collective bargaining representative, to belong to it for a given period of time, and to pay union dues” (para. 218). Further, LeBel J. stresses that there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate that the union groups involved in the present appeal impose specific ideological tenets or values on their members. This is the critical factor which leads to his determination that the provisions of the * Construction Act *do not infringe the freedom from compelled association under s. 2(d) (see para. 220).

283 In contrast, Bastarache J. finds that this legislation does involve ideological coercion. His view in this regard is premised on an analysis which demonstrates how Quebec’s major union groups have historically adopted particular political positions. As a result, these groups have moved beyond the mandate of protecting employees within the workplace to the larger political sphere, where they have associated themselves with and promoted specific social and economic views. Bastarache J. thus maintains that compulsory membership in such politicized union groups is a form of ideological coercion, which gives rise to a violation of s. 2(d) (see paras. 27-29).

284 Unlike my colleagues Bastarache and LeBel JJ., I have serious reservations about basing the analysis of the negative right within s. 2(d) on an inquiry principally into whether the state has obliged the adoption of a certain ideology. While such an approach was employed by McLachlin J. (as she then was) in Lavigne, it has never been adopted by a majority of this Court. As such, I find the basis for relying on the “ideological conformity” criterion in assessing an alleged violation of the s. 2(d) right not to associate somewhat unclear. Further, because this test is so elusive and abstract, it will be difficult to apply in a consistent, clear and meaningful way. In what types of activities must an association engage for there to be “ideological conformity”? Is it enough for the group to donate funds to a particular cause or effort on one occasion or more; if the latter, how many? What if its leaders support a political party or personality, or take a clear stance on an issue that is at the heart of social controversy? These questions will rarely, if ever, generate a unanimous or unequivocal response, given the subjectivity embedded in the “ideological conformity” test, and the varying degrees to which one might perceive that certain morals or beliefs are being imposed.

285 In preference to the “ideological conformity” test, I would adopt an analysis that construes the negative freedom within s. 2(d) more broadly. That is, I would endorse the analytical framework set out by La Forest J. in Lavigne. According to La Forest J., where the state obliges an association of individuals whose affiliation is already “compelled by the facts of life” (such as in the workplace), and the association serves the common good or “further[s] the collective social welfare”, s. 2(d) will not be violated unless the forced association imposes a danger to a specific liberty interest. Although the imposition of “ideological conformity” was one of the threats to liberty that La Forest J. identified, he also recognized other potential dangers. In particular, he noted the possible impairment of an individual’s freedom to join or associate with causes of his or her choice, the likelihood that a member would be identified with causes the association supports, and the potential for governmental establishment of, or support for, particular political parties or causes (Lavigne, at pp. 328-29).

286 According to this view, it seems to me that where legislation compels the association of professional or skilled organizations, in which membership must be acquired to carry on one’s profession or trade, such state action generally will be constitutionally valid. This is primarily because membership in the association is integral to, and serves as a reflection of, the member’s work capabilities and/or professional status. Further, this structure created by the legislation will serve the public interest. Thus, unless it can be shown that the compelled association seriously undermines an individual’s liberty interests, the guarantees afforded by s. 2(d) will have been respected in such circumstances.

287 The legislation at issue in the present case, however, is quite different and is unique in Canada insofar as its compelled union membership is concerned. Most notably, within the terms of the legislation, it fails to provide any justification for the compelled union association that it envisages for Quebec’s construction industry. Membership in union groups is not contingent upon any competency requirements and thus, there is no public assurance that workers within these groups will have the necessary skills and abilities to carry out their trade. As a result, I am of the view that the state-imposed association established by the Construction Act does not promote the common good, or “further the collective social welfare” within the context of s. 2(d) of the Charter.

288 Furthermore, I believe that the provisions of this legislation impair the appellants’ liberty interests. The present appeal involves construction workers in Quebec who have no choice but to unionize in order to carry out their work. Their liberty is further restricted by the fact that they must become members of one of five union groups that have been specifically accepted by the state. In my view, these factors provide a clear indication that the legislative scheme established by the * Construction Act* results in a serious impairment of individual liberty interests. In particular, it requires that even those morally opposed to union membership belong to such an association, and it limits the individual’s freedom to join the association of his or her choice.

289 For these reasons, I am of the view that the Construction Act does not pass constitutional muster when assessed through the lens of s. 2(d), as interpreted by La Forest J. in Lavigne. This being the case, it becomes necessary to examine whether this constitutional infringement can be saved under s. 1 of the Charter.
290 Although LeBel J. found that the Construction Act did not violate the right to be free from compelled association under s. 2(d), he proceeded to consider the application of s. 1 of the Charter. He concluded that even if the legislation restricted the appellants’ constitutional guarantees, it was justified under s. 1. I agree with this part of LeBel J.'s analysis. In particular, I share his view that the Construction Act was adopted within a unique and complex historical context, and served to promote distinct social and economic objectives that were, and remain, pressing and substantial. Further, based on the reasoning of LeBel J., I am of the view that the legislation is rationally connected to these objectives, it minimally impairs the freedoms guaranteed under s. 2(d), and its benefits outweigh its deleterious effects.

291 For all of the foregoing reasons, I believe that the Construction Act may remain in force, and I would dismiss the appeal. Accordingly, I would answer the constitutional questions as follows:

1 Do ss. 28-40, 85.5, 85.6, 119.1 and 120 of an Act Respecting Labour Relations, Vocational Training and Manpower Management in the Construction Industry and s. 23 of the Regulation respecting the election of a representative association by the employees of the construction industry restrict the guarantees of freedom of association under s. 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?


2 If so, is the restriction justified under s. 1 of the Charter?
Appeal dismissed*, MCLACHLIN C.J. *and *MAJOR, BASTARACHE and BINNIE JJ. dissenting.


[Cite as: Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of Canada, Local 1 ***
*** v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 625, 2002 NSCA 56
In our view, it is unfair and unreasonable to characterize the Complainants as disloyal to the Union, merely because they were required to join the GWU as a condition of employment under the Micron/GWU collective agreement, particularly given that they joined at a time when there was widespread unemployment and no work was available to them through the Union hiring hall. While they have breached section 42(L) of the Union’s laws, we find that section to be overbroad insofar as it contemplates membership expulsion for joining a “rival” union per se, as a means of ensuring loyalty within Union ranks. …

To establish disloyalty, a union must point to evidence of a member’s conduct which actually harms the union’s institutional interests. ...
In the circumstances of this case, we find the Union’s threat to revoke membership and the actual revocations under section 42(L) to be a violation of s. 4(3) of the Act.  The Union’s threat of membership revocation, and the actual revocations, were intended to coerce the Complainants into abandoning their GWU membership.  Applying the *Johnston* balancing-of-interests test to assess the Union’s conduct within the scheme of the Act as a whole, the Union’s actions were not attempts to preserve its own existence by taking defensive actions to resist aggressive conduct by the Complainants.  The Union was the aggressor with Ollesch and Campagnolo the victims in an attack against the GWU.  Thus the Union’s conduct comes squarely within the s. 4(3) prohibition against “use of coercion ... to compel or induce a person ... to cease to be a member of ... another trade union”.
(emphasis added)