Latest in the Great Canadian Debates series takes place Tuesday night at the War Museum featuring professor Tom Flanagan and economist Jim Stanford

OTTAWA, NOVEMBER 25, 2013 - On the evening of Nov. 26 at the Canadian War Museum, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute will host the latest in its series of Great Canadian Debates on the resolution: "The right to strike has no place in the public sector".

Given the large percentage of people in Ottawa who work for the federal government, the issue is certainly one of great importance for this city. Some argue that Prime Minister Lester Pearson was wrong to give federal workers the right to strike after an illegal postal union wildcat strike in 1965. Given that the mandate of the public service is so different from the private sector, and conditions for negotiating wages and benefits are not comparable, it's a legitimate question. Others will say that fairness requires the right to withdraw services as part of negotiations, and strong protections against politically motivated attacks on unions.

Did we make a mistake in Canada to pass the Public Service Staff Relations Act under the Pearson government? Or are we protecting worker rights in government? Professor and political commentator Tom Flanagan will argue in favour of the resolution, and Jim Stanford, an economist with Unifor, will argue against. The debate will be moderated by former House Speaker Peter Milliken.

With the current federal government proposing major changes to public service collective bargaining rights in its latest budget implementation bill, these issues couldn't be more timely. For more information on the debate or to register click here.

# # #

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is the only non-partisan, independent national public policy think tank in Ottawa focusing on the full range of issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

For more information, please contact David Watson, managing editor and communications director, at 613-482-8327 x. 103 or email at On Twitter @MLInstitute

MLI would not exist without the support of its donors. Please consider making a small contribution today.

Donate Now Through!