Why would a government knowingly produce unconstitutional legislation a second time after the Supreme Court found a similar previous legislation to be unconstitutional? I’m referring here to to Bill 22, which was voted into law in 2012 by Christy Clark’s government the year after Bill 28, which contained identical legislation, was found to be unconstitutional.
The answer is that the government wanted the teachers to strike. The BC Teachers Federation was able to prove in court through email evidence that the government was indeed engaged in an organized plot to goad the teachers into a strike, thereby saving money and mobilizing public anger against the teachers. This is despicable behaviour. Such a stunt shows utter contempt for the right to collective bargaining, which has been a proud testament to Canadian democracy, universally lauded as a means of achieving human rights and human dignity in the workplace.
The government seems to view public sector negotiation as some kind of a Machiavellian game. I would expect as much out of a sleazy private corporation, but this is the government! The government’s sole purpose is to ensure that people have access to human rights – not the opposite.
Whatever you may think of teachers or unions in general, you should be concerned about this. A government who would do this to its own people can’t be trusted. Such a government is willing to trounce on the rights of anyone who stands in the way of its agenda. Today it’s the teachers union; tomorrow it could be you.
Christy Clark should be forced to resign. To have legislation overturned on a constitutional challenge could be argued to be ignorance of the constitution (or advice from incompetent lawyers) – an ignorance that is forgivable even if it is not electable.To knowingly create unconstitutional legislation is contempt – only a breath away from being a crime.