The Alberta Personal Information Protection Act has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada.  The sweeping decision was prompted by union video surveillance of people crossing a picket line.  Because PIPA does not have any exemption to allow for a union to advance its interests in a labour dispute, it was held to be an unreasonable restriction on the union's freedom of expression guaranteed by the Charter of Rights.

Alberta will have 12 months to make changes to the law before the declaration of invalidity takes effect.  BC is effectively in the same boat since its Personal Information Protection Act is much the same as Alberta's.

Our colleagues in Calgary explain here.

What remains to be seen is what effect, if any, this decision will have as the Supreme Court of Canada considers whether the guarantee of freedom of association includes a constitutional right to strike.  (See the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour case which is going to the Supreme Court of Canada.)

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