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The CCLA is intervening before the Supreme Court of Canada in a case that will consider the scope of the Charter’s protection of freedom of association. In Société des casinos du Québec the Supreme Court is asked to examine a provision of Québec’s Labour Code that excludes managers from the definition of “employee” and decide whether this exclusion violates the protection of freedom of association in the Québec and Canadian Charters.

The CCLA has intervened to make legal submissions on how freedom of association can be meaningfully protected and takes the position that the Court should consider the purpose and effect of the relevant legislation. The CCLA’s submissions point out that the courts have long recognized the inherent vulnerability of employees which prevents them from negotiating with their employers on equal footing and impacts almost all aspects of the employment relationship. While the employers’ arguments in the case suggest that managers are seeking some sort of positive right or state support to exercise their freedom of association, this ignores the state’s own role in engineering the conditions that interfere with the meaningful exercise of this freedom. The CCLA maintains that the focus should be on what therights and duties in the employment relationship must be in order to respect the minimum guarantees set out in section 2(d) of the Charter, protecting freedom of association.

The hearing in this matter will take place before the Supreme Court on April 20, 2023. The CCLA is grateful to Danielle Glatt and Catherine Fan of Paliare Roland for their excellent pro bono representation in this case.

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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