(506) 857-2125

This week marks the 42nd anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a cornerstone of Canada’s commitment to freedom, democracy and the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion. However, as we reflect on this milestone, there is little cause for celebration within our unions, as austerity measures and government actions have eroded the rights and freedoms of workers across Canada.

Daniel Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL), highlights the challenges faced by workers in exercising their fundamental Charter rights. Several pieces of legislation directly impact workers such as Bill 17 – Pension Plan Sustainability and Transfer Act adopted in 2023, as well as Bill 23 – An Act to Amend the Public Service Labour Relations Act adopted in 2022. These pieces of legislation underscore the troubling trend where the government is infringing upon the rights of workers, and disregarding the principles enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms should provide workers with the protection of their fundamental rights to unionize, bargain freely and to strike,” says Daniel Legere, President of the NBFL. “Yet we see government circumventing these rights, instead choosing to adopt legislation against the spirit of the Charter rather than to uphold it.”

Legere calls for a renewed commitment from government leaders to uphold the rights and dignity of workers. He urges the enactment of anti-scab legislation and to stop adopting legislation that undermines the collective bargaining rights guaranteed by the Charter. It is imperative that individuals, especially workers choosing to join a union, are treated with the respect and fairness that they rightfully deserve.

As we commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Legere highlights the need for real protection of workers’ rights and a commitment to fostering a fair and equitable labour environment for all. The time has come for our government leaders to honour the principles enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to safeguard the rights and fundamental freedoms that form the bedrock of our democratic society.

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For information, please contact:

Daniel Legere
President, NBFL
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969