Is There a Constitutional Right to Strike in Canada?

December 5th, 2009 

Faculty of Law
University of Toronto

By invitation - space limited

The Supreme Court of Canada will soon face the critical issue it left open in its groundbreaking 2007 decision in BC Health Services. In that decision the Court famously overruled its prior decisions on point and held that the Charter's guarantee of freedom of association did comprehend a constitutional right to collective bargaining. But the Court left open the question "is there a constitutional right to strike?" The purpose of this symposium is to produce focused academic papers which will help inform the debate surrounding that question and to do so in an academic setting. The symposium will cover the sources of law relied upon in BC Health - international law, charter values, legal history, and also comparative perspectives from other relevant jurisdictions. The papers will be, in the main, shorter and aimed at providing clear and critical insight into these sources of law as well as deal with other critical legal and conceptual issues. These papers will be made available immediately in electronic form and will be published quickly in a special edition of the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal.  In addition, the symposium will close with a roundtable of litigators involved in these cases. The symposium has the support of the Canadian government and of a leading employer, and a leading employee, side labour firm.

Host: Brian Langille ( (416-978-4907)

Sponsors: Labour-Travail Canada, Cavalluzzo Hayes, Heenan Blaikie.

Location: The Solarium, Falconer Hall, 84 Queens Park, Toronto. (map)

Speaker Hotel Accommodation:  Intercontinental Hotel, Bloor St West, Toronto. (map, website)


Friday, December 4
Dinner for Speakers. Faculty Lounge, main floor Flavelle House, 78 Queens Park. 7pm.

Saturday, December 5
Symposium. 9am - 5:15pm in the Solarium, 84 Queens Park (coffee available at 8:30am. Reception to follow the Symposium).