On October 31, 2022, the Ontario government announced it intends to use the notwithstanding clause to impose a contract on education workers and avert a strike set to start on Friday, November 4, 2022.
The notwithstanding clause — or Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — allows the provincial legislature to override certain portions of the charter, in this case, the right to peaceful assembly, for a five-year term by passing a law.
At a time of economic hardships for thousands across the province, many education workers may feel the pressures of rising gas, food and housing costs. It is unconscionable that the government would not only curtail their ability to advocate for living wages but impose fines of up to $4,000.00 for their participation.
Battick Legal stands in solidarity with education workers and the diverse groups of professionals who ensure students across this province have safe spaces to reach their potential.
We proudly offer our pro bono support to any education worker who receives a fine for participation.
UPDATE: On November 14, 2022, the Ontario government tabled and passed Bill 35, Keeping Students in Class Repeal Act, 2022, which repeals Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act, 2022 and deems it never to have been in force.
Bill 35 states that the collective agreements that were deemed to be in operation under subsection 5(1) (New Collective Agreements) of Bill 28 are deemed for all purposes never to have come into operation.