On Thursday, November 10, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a decision from the bench only 20 minutes after final arguments in the long standing dispute between the BC government and the BCTF. Here is my contribution to Vaughn Palmer’s first article on the teachers’ victory:
Can you imagine if a new BC government unilaterally ripped up a long term communications contract with Telus, arguing that it could get a better deal with Bell and so it shouldn’t have to honour a contract signed by the previous government? There would be howls of outrage from Howe Street and Bay Street, and instantaneous court cases. And quite rightly, too: total chaos would ensue if a new government could arbitrarily end its contractual commitments.
But here we have seen BC’s government unilaterally ripping apart another contract, this time with a union, and the corporate elite and their supporters are, well, not too interested in the rule of law. The hypocrisy is incredible.
Thankfully, Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada has reinforced the rule of law and delivered a stunning indictment of both the BC Court of Appeal and the BC Liberals. The SCC has recognized the constitutional rights of unions in many recent court cases, but the conservative (and stacked) BC Court of Appeals apparently didn’t get the memo. The BC Liberals, in turn, are now learning that massive financial giveaways to corporations – reckless tax cuts that never did improve productivity or employment – should never have been paid for by BC’s children and the people who educate them.
The Liberals were quiet in the aftermath but I’m sure they’ll get their communications strategy figured out soon. Seriously, they have so many corporate media types working for them that it shouldn’t take too long. I look forward to the spin they provide on this debacle.
- The Tyee: Christy Clark Just Got Laughed Out of the Supreme Court of Canada (2016)
- Corporate Media Embarrassment: B.C.’s Teachers’ Federation would do well to raise the white flag (2015)
- What structural deficit? An economic primer on the early days of Gordon Campbell’s Liberals (2005)