The Advance Cutting and Coring Ltd. case in 2001 took a look at Quebec's forced-unionization scheme, where every construction worker ultimately must join one of five unions or you don't pound nails or do construction work. The Supreme Court then took at look at the specific Quebec scheme to see if it violated the charter. They said it violated the charter, five to four, because they said, eight to one, there is a freedom under Canada's Charter of Rights to not be forced into membership. In the end, one judge switched sides and they decided under section 1 of the charter to justify the charter violation of forcing people into the unions “given the history of union violence in Quebec”.
So it began at Expo '67, and it continued at James Bay in the 1970s. A former prime minister, then a labour lawyer, Mr. Mulroney, was part of the Cliche commission, which ultimately upheld and cemented this scheme that is intended to try to stop violence in Quebec. Now, in the news recently in Quebec is a union guy named Rambo from the FTQ who has been threatening people and is going through labour board proceedings, criminal proceedings. Frankly, it's not funny at all, because people were beat up at Expo '67 and James Bay. I talked to Quebec union people who work in this sector who still say if you work in the wrong part of the province, even from the wrong part of one of the unions where you sign cards, your tires are slashed, or some guy jumps into your truck at the job site and rides back with you to the hotel to make sure you know they're there.
Do you know what our Supreme Court said? It said that violence works. They abrogated our charter rights with a decision written by Mr. LeBel from Quebec, reviewing the history of union violence in Quebec. Violence on construction sites associated with building-trade unions, whether it's what goes on with the labourers in Toronto and Hamilton or what goes on in Quebec, is a problem. I think it's also one of the reasons we don't have the productivity and the excellence....
It is all a part of this forced-membership, closed-tendering club. It needs to end.