May 25, 2016 – Ottawa – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

The Government of Canada is committed to restoring fair and balanced labour laws that recognize the important roles of unions in Canada.

Today, the Government of Canada announced its intention to repeal portions of Bill C-4 (Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2, Division 17), dealing with essential services, collective bargaining and processes for grievances and dispute resolution. Legislation will be tabled in the fall to repeal these provisions.

The Government remains committed to negotiating in good faith with bargaining agents to reach agreements that are fair and reasonable for federal employees and for all Canadian taxpayers.

Quick facts

  • Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Saskatchewan’s essential services legislation, which included similar provisions to the federal legislation adopted in 2013.
  • In January 2016, the Government of Canada wrote to all federal public service unions and committed to consult with public sector partners to revisit Bill C-4.
  • The Government has engaged in ongoing discussions with bargaining agents in the context of collective bargaining and ongoing litigation around the 2013 legislation.
  • The Government is acting in response to concerns from public sector partners about the lack of consultation prior to the introduction of the 2013 legislation and its impact on collective bargaining.


“By restoring fair and balanced labour laws, the Government is recognizing that labour unions play an important role protecting workers’ rights and strengthening the middle class. As another important step in rebuilding the relationship with Canada’s public service, we are moving to repeal changes to the public service labour relations regime brought into law by the previous government.”

The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board