Shame on Those Who Undermine our Judiciary

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith has made dangerous comments in the media and on social media after the union (AUPE) received a decision in the Government of Alberta’s appeal of the injunction against Bill 9 (which defers binding arbitration between AUPE and the Government).

In the statement, Smith is quoted as saying that the courts can’t be relied on to protect AUPE’s members against this government. 

A screenshot of the offending quote from the AUPE Media Release at:

What this decision shows is merely that the argument your lawyers made in court did not meet the standard for which this panel of jurists needed for the injunction to stay in place. No more, and no less. 

Canada has a strong, independent judiciary that is the model for many democracies around the world. 

Political actors of varying ideologies who have not made their cases according to the law and who attempt to undermine this key part of our liberal democracy should be ashamed of themselves.

It’s not the court’s fault that the legal process didn’t give you the outcome you wanted. 

An appropriate response (which is included in the media release) is to continue to pursue appeals of this decision until such time as you have a final ruling at the Supreme Court of Canada.

We need to truly understand the role the judiciary plays in protecting our democracy and our rights. This type of rhetoric serves only to undermine the confidence of the judicial branch and the work they do in that regard. 

Politicians and political stakeholders need to conduct themselves with a higher level of integrity, and I’m incredibly disappointed to see this type of rhetoric from Smith and the AUPE. 

This post contains a mostly opinion with a good dose of facts. 

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