St. Catharines Standard (ON)Local, Friday, March 16, 2007, p. A3
Pickets prepare for Dion's Niagara visit
Federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion will be in St. Catharines this weekend, but he won't be making any public appearances in the Garden City.
Dion will attend a Liberal fundraiser at Club Roma Saturday at 12:45 p.m. Only those with a ticket will be allowed to attend.
Elizabeth Whiting, a spokeswoman in Dion's Ottawa office, said the leader of the opposition will not be making any policy announcements during his talk.
The fundraiser will be Dion's second Niagara stop on Saturday.
At 11 a.m., he will give a speech in French, open to the public, at Club Social in Welland.
Though the Club Roma appearance is a closed-door affair, members of the St. Catharines and District Labour Council will be outside protesting the Liberals' plan to withdraw support for proposed anti-scab legislation in Bill C-257.
"In B.C. and Quebec, where anti-scab legislation exists, the length of labour disputes is reduced, as are the incidents of violence on picket lines," said Larry Savage, a professor of labour relations and political science at Brock University.
Savage, who is helping the council organize Saturday's picket, said the Liberals supported the bill during its second reading in October, but have recently decided to back away from the bill over concerns it does not exclude essential services.
"Essential services are already protected in the Canada Labour Code," Savage said. "So that is a red herring. Anti-scab legislation is about restoring fairness and balance to labour relations in Canada."
Dion's weekend stops in Niagara are part of his Canada-wide tour.