Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Supreme Court Bashing?

In light of the Supreme Court's decision to confirm a lower court ruling that Walmart was entitled to close a store because employees had voted a union in, I was ready for another round of Supreme Court bashing by Quebec militants.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this time, it was not the case. Perhaps the union that appealed the decision knew that their chances to reverse the decision were slim to none and that it was likely that the appeal was more an act of faith in support of laid off workers. The principle that they were arguing,  that a company can't close a business just because workers voted a union in, was pretty much a lost cause from the beginning.
The only shocking outcome in the affair is that three of the Supreme Court judges sided with the union.

The union's maturity in taking the defeat in stride contrasted sharply with the behaviour of the Quebec government in response to the unfavourable decision made by the Supremos in rejecting  the appeal in the Bill 104 case. In that file, the Quebec government wanted to overturn a decision made by the highest court in Quebec that ruled illegal the law (Bill 104) designed to close a perceived loophole that allowed immigrant children to attend public English schools by going to a private English school for a short time.
The rhetoric from the government ministers in bashing the decision led to a public uproar by militants who complained that the Supreme Court was subverting the will of the Quebec National Assembly.

What was lost in all this or ignored by militants as well as the quebec government was the fact that the case was already adjudicated by the highest court in Quebec, with the decision going against the government as well.

If the government felt that the Supreme Court was biased, they could have let sleeping dogs lie and just accept the decision of it's very own highest court.
Knowing full well that the decision would be upheld by the Supreme Court, they cynically sought to pass the buck and paint the 'Anglo" Supreme court as the villain. Of course the militants swallowed the bait and railed on and on about the will of the Quebec nation being subverted by Ottawa.

It was a case of cynical manipulation. Perhaps they took a lesson from the famous South Park movie-"BLAME CANADA"

While bashing the Supreme Court seems par for the course in Quebec, it doesn't seem to stop governments and unions from appealing the 'foreign' body when they deem it in their interest to do so.
Just this week the city of Saguenay (in the most sovereignist of region of Quebec) sought to appeal an unfavourable decision to that august body.

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