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Public Interest Litigation

From its early days, Goldblatt Partners has been committed to working with unions and other social justice organizations on a wide range of public interest issues and campaigns. This has involved working closely with clients in an attempt to maintain and enhance public services and expand the framework of law and policy for progressive social, economic, environmental and cultural purposes.

We have been particularly involved in efforts to resist the privatization of public services and resources. We represented two unions who successfully challenged the privatization of Hydro One in 2002. We have also headed off schemes to privatize municipal water and sanitation services, and are engaged in fighting to preserve the integrity of Medicare, which is under increasing pressure from for-profit private clinics and public-private partnership hospitals.

In McEwing v. Canada (Attorney General), we represented voters in several ridings across Canada who challenged the 2011 General Election results on the basis of widespread voter suppression “robocalls” that the Federal Court found were likely connected to a database maintained by the Conservative Party.

We also successfully fought the expansion of the Toronto Island airport, and represented a coalition of unions and public interest organizations in seeking to hold the federal Minister of Health accountable for enforcement of the Canada Health Act. In addition, we represented an ad hoc coalition of Canadian and international groups working to preserve biodiversity in a case before the Supreme Court of Canada, Schmeiser v. Monsanto, which involved the privatization of life itself.

On other fronts, we filed the first complaint with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal on behalf of a trade union seeking to safeguard the jobs of garment workers from imports from countries that have no regard for basic labour rights. We also represented the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the Council of Canadians in successfully defending the delivery of public postal services from a NAFTA-based challenge by United Parcel Service.

Our firm was also involved in drafting an international treaty on cultural diversity, as well as a federal bill to establish a pan-Canadian child care program.