Canadian Labor Laws and the Treaty

By Bryce M. Stewart | Go to book overview

PREFACE

IT may be said that when Canada became a member of the International Labor Organization, Canadian labor legislation entered upon a new phase. The promotion of laws for the protection of the workers against the evils of industrialism, which before had been mainly the concern of the trade unions, became a matter of international obligation. This function at once assumed new dignity and importance. Labor legislation is now receiving attention in. Canada as never before, and fortunately so, for it rests with Canadians at large whether their country will rank among the nations as a leader or a laggard in this field. If this outline of the growth of a considerable body of the labor law of Canada affords some background for the prevailing discussion, its main purpose will have been achieved.

The study traces to the end of 1925 the development of the legislation of Canada, Dominion and provincial, within the scope of the nine methods and principles of the Labor Section of the Treaty of Versailles, and endeavors to show in what degree it conforms to this new industrial jus gentium. To some readers the chapters on the nine principles of the Labor Section will appear unduly meticulous in their narration of changes in the statutes, but in this they may serve to emphasize the slow process by which competent legislation is attained. They show abundantly that an effective statute is not to be had " all complete like Minerva springing fully armed from the brain of Jupiter," as the Canadian Manufacturer said when a Dominion factories act was being considered in 1882. It is hoped, too, that this detailed treatment will relieve students of the subject from the necessity of consulting some hundreds of volumes of statutes.

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