July 29, 2023 – The federal government is seeking relief under the Canada Labour Code to resolve an impasse after union members at B.C. ports rejected a mediated tentative agreement. Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan asked the Canada Industrial Relations Board to intervene on Saturday, hours after the union announced that its eligible voting members turned down the proposed pact that their leadership agreed to accept last week.

He said he asked the board to determine whether the rejection of the recommended collective agreement means that the possibility of a negotiated settlement has been eliminated.

“If the board determines that to be the case, I have directed them to either impose a new collective agreement on the parties or impose final binding arbitration to resolve outstanding terms of the collective agreement,” Mr. O’Regan said in a statement on Saturday. “Our economy cannot face further disruption from this dispute.”