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Publication date : 2018-03-12


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Strike of Quebec lawyers, notaries leaves provincial lawmakers in the lurch

24-10-2016

Quebec government lawyers and notaries form a picket line at the courthouse Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 in Montreal. The group, which has been working without a contract for over a year began a general unlimited strike to push contract negotiations. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

 

Lawyers and notaries who work for the Quebec government began a general strike today, grinding the drafting of provincial bills to a halt.

 

The 1,100 members of the union Les avocats et notaires de l'État québécois (LANEQ) have been without a collective agreement for a year and half.

 

François Desroches-Lapointe, who is on the union's executive board, thinks the province will try to resolve the dispute quickly. Bills must be written before the National Assembly's Nov. 4 deadline or they can't be passed this legislative session.

 

"Of course there is a strategic decision behind the timing," Desroches-Lapointe said.

 

The union says the strike leaves lawmakers paralyzed at a time when dozens of measures are waiting to be pushed ahead — such as the provincial rules on dangerous dogs, promised since the summer. 

 

"The government has many law projects it wants to present in this session. If they're not ready, they're going to have to wait. It could freeze the National Assembly's work," Desroches-Lapointe said.

 

Crown prosecutors are not among those going on strike.

 

Ready for long-term strike

 

During the strike, legal advice and representation for the province will be suspended.

 

Desroches-Lapointe says the union wants to change the way it negotiates with the province.

 

It wants an independent third-party committee appointed by both parties to decide on disagreements.

 

"As we are the government's lawyers and notaries, we don't want to be in conflict with the government every three years, when we have to negotiate our work condition," Desroches-Lapointe said.

 

Union members marched and held rallies Monday at courthouses across the province.

 

Desroches-Lapointe says the union is ready for a long-term strike, if necessary.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/lawyers-strike-quebec-1.3818279