The BC labour movement is praising the move by the Horgan government to repeal Bill 29—the controversial legislation brought in by the BC Liberals that was used to fire 10,000 health care workers more than a decade ago.
“Bill 29 was an abuse of power by the BC Liberals that was a targeted attack on the jobs and livelihoods of tens of thousands of mostly women health care workers,” says BC Federation of Labour President, Irene Lanzinger.
“Repealing the legislation is a positive step that will end rampant contract-flipping in health care, and make for more stable care—especially for seniors,” she says.
“Just as importantly it will provide a small measure of justice for the many women health care workers who were targeted by this vicious legislation.”
Bill 29 was rammed through the Legislature in 2002. It gave the BC Liberals sweeping powers to rip up signed collective agreements, fire 10,000 workers without cause, and cut wages for thousands of other caregivers. It also served as the blueprint for the wholesale privatization of important health care services.
In a later legal rebuke of the BC Liberal government, elements of Bill 29 were declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Health Minister Adrian Dix introduced legislation this morning in Victoria to repeal Bill 29 and a companion piece of legislation, Bill 94.