Canadian Freedom of Association Award

The Canadian Freedom of Association Award

On June 2, 2016, the Canadian Industrial Relations Association announced the generous donation by professor Roy J. Adams of funds to support an annual award to a person or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to promoting understanding of and compliance with international standards regarding the right to organize and bargain collectively as those standards apply to Canada.

The inaugural award was just presented to Larry Kowalchuk and Craig Bavis for their efforts (alongside many others that contributed) in bringing the case of Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v Saskatchewan 2015 SCC 4 from pleadings, to the ILO, to trial, and then to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The case established that the freedom of association in s.2(d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right of workers to strike. Justice Abella eloquently declared for the Court: “The right to strike is not merely derivative of collective bargaining, it is an indispensable component of that right. It seems to me to be the time to give this conclusion constitutional benediction.”

Thank you to the workers of Saskatchewan for allowing me the privilege of representing you.