Future Poilievre government would maintain support for 'anti-scab' law, office says

  • Canadian Press

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. A future Conservative government would continue supporting legislation banning the use of replacement workers at federally regulated workplaces during a strike, Poilievre's office said Tuesday.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

OTTAWA -- A future Conservative government would continue to support a ban on the use of replacement workers at federally regulated workplaces during a strike, leader Pierre Poilievre's office said Tuesday.

The legislation, which is on its way to becoming law after passing in the Senate late on Monday, was a key element of the Liberals' political pact with the New Democrats.

It earned unanimous support in the House of Commons after Poilievre's Conservatives decided to back it.

Poilievre has been pitching his party as the one for the working class, despite leaders of organized labour taking aim at his record in Parliament.

They point out that he supported back-to-work legislation the last time the Conservatives were in power and at one point advocated for employees to be allowed to opt out of unions.

"Common sense Conservatives supported Bill C-58, we continue to support it, and a future Conservative government will support it," spokesman Sebastian Skamski said Tuesday.

"Pierre Poilievre is the only one listening and speaking to Canadian workers on shop floors and in union halls from coast to coast to coast and Conservatives are the only party that will bring home more powerful paycheques for workers."

The bill -- known as "anti-scab" legislation -- has been lauded by union leaders as a win for workers' protections and bargaining power and sets a fine of up to $100,000 a day for employers who have replaced striking workers.

But the Canadian Chamber of Commerce warns small businesses and families that rely on essential services provided by federally regulated sectors could suffer as a result.

The new rules will come into effect one year after the bill receives royal assent.

Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan has explained the delay by saying that labour negotiators need time to prepare for the law to be implemented.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2024.

-- With files from Laura Osman