Unions have made positive contributions to Canada’s social, political, and economic life since before Confederation. A union only ever exists where the majority of workers have chosen by democratic means to have one.
Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, recognized the importance of unions. In 1872, his Conservative government passed the Trade Union Act. Since then, all Canadian jurisdictions have adopted laws which include union security provisions to ensure that unions can operate effectively in the best interests of Canadian workers.