(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

[ Go to the Table of Contents for this report. ]

[ Go to the next section in this report. ]

[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]




Persons who go on strike voluntarily are not eligible for social assistance. Persons who are unemployed as a result of strike action by others may be issued assistance in accordance with the Social Assistance Regulations. Policy 131.08

Prince Edward Island

Where an applicant has voluntarily absented himself from employment by reason of participation in or support of a strike, the applicant is ineligible for assistance for any need that existed, either during or after the strike, by reason of his so absenting himself. Following a return to work, benefits will not be paid for any needs arising as a consequence of the strike, e.g., rent arrears, utility arrears. Refusal to cross a picket line is considered supporting the strikers. Persons receiving a welfare assistance supplement to earnings may continue to receive the supplement when on or in support of a strike. Regulation 7(2); Policy 7(13-3-8)

Nova Scotia - Provincial

Persons involved in labour disputes must apply for municipal assistance.

Nova Scotia - Municipal

Each municipality in Nova Scotia is responsible for determining eligibility of strikers applying for short-term assistance. In Halifax, union members taking part in an organized strike or remaining off work in sympathy are not eligible for municipal assistance; persons participating in "wild cat" strikes are also disqualified. A person who is ill and who could not work even if the strike were settled may be given special consideration; any other exception to this policy must be approved by the social assistance administrator. Policy; A person who is "locked out" during a management-labour dispute may be eligible for emergency municipal assistance provided he/she is actively seeking other employment.

New Brunswick

The provision of social assistance in labour disputes is based on an assessment of the action of the employees to determine whether the loss of earned income is caused by the voluntary legal or illegal cessation of work by some or all employees. No assistance shall be provided to any employee or family member whose income is affected by the voluntary or involuntary cessation of work, nor in cases of lockout caused by the voluntary action of some or all employees, nor where layoffs or terminations are intended to render employees technically eligible for social assistance. Policy Statement No. 21


Until such time as they may be declared eligible for benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act, an independent adult or the adult members of a family who have lost their employment by reason of an interruption of work due to a labour dispute and who, for that reason, could not be declared eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, will have their benefit level decreased by an amount equal to the work income which they would otherwise have earned in the preceding month. Act 8(c), 13(c)

Ontario - Provincial

Persons involved in labour disputes must apply for municipal (GWA) assistance.

Ontario - Municipal

An applicant or recipient whose normal income is reduced because he or she is engaged in a labour dispute shall be deemed to be in receipt of a monthly income from employment equal to the amount he or she received from that source in the month before his or her income was first affected by the dispute; this provision does not apply where the applicant or recipient has resigned or been dismissed from employment. Regulation 4(2.2, 2.3) No assistance shall be granted to persons on strike (because participation in a labour dispute is a voluntary collective action and these persons are not available for work) or to persons locked out of work by their employer (since they are not available for work during the lock-out), except where the striker or locked-out applicant terminates his or her employment, is available for work and is making reasonable efforts to secure employment. Policy 0303-05 A maximum of two weeks emergency assistance may be granted to a person in dire need, but this is not generally applicable to groups of strikers.

Manitoba - Provincial

Persons involved in labour disputes must apply for municipal assistance.

Manitoba - Municipal

In Winnipeg, municipal social assistance may be granted to persons involved in strike action in accordance with the following: i) the customary earnings exemption (see section 3.2) will be allowed on strike pay; ii) applicants and recipients involved in strike action are expected to obtain casual or part-time employment to minimize their dependence on public assistance. Editorial Comment


Strikers may apply for assistance with the expectation that eligibility will be determined in the same manner as an employable person, including job search. (see section 2.6) Policy 2-1-7


Any employed person who becomes unemployed as a result of strike action by a group of which he is not a member may apply for social allowance. Such persons are expected to seek and accept employment in the same manner as an employable client. Policy 02-03-03 Employed persons who go on strike are not eligible for social allowance on behalf of themselves or their dependants, except in the case of: a) a person who was receiving a social allowance supplement to his earnings (he may continue to receive the supplement while on strike); b) a person on strike who is unable to provide for his or her dependent children (temporary assistance may be granted for food only , and is issued only in emergency situations as an alternative to Child Protection Services). Food is provided on a week-by-week basis only. Persons who are locked out by their employer will be considered persons on strike. A person who refuses to cross another groups picket line is treated the same as a person on strike. Policy 02-03-03 .

British Columbia

A person is not eligible for income assistance as an individual or as a member of a class of individuals if he is on strike or locked out. Hardship assistance (See section 5.2.10 "l") to cover only the minimal costs to remove an immediate threat to life, health and/or safety may be issued. Regulation 3(6) (Effective 07/84); Policy p. 3.20.2


In labour disputes, social assistance may be granted only where a situation has taken on an emergency nature, where all credit, income and liquid assets have been exhausted and where the client signs an agreement to repay any assistance granted. This policy applies to union and non-union personnel who are participating in or affected by a strike or lock-out, whether legal or illegal. In such cases, only minimal assistance is granted for food and medical services, based on extreme hardship. Policy 8/5/5

Northwest Territories

No specific provision made.

[ Go to the Table of Contents for this report. ]

[ Go to the next section in this report. ]

[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]



To search the complete
Canadian Social Research Links website ,
use the text box below:

To search ONLY the page you are now reading,
use Ctrl + F to open a search window.


Sign up to receive this free weekly newsletter by e-mail or read it online
(including archives back to January 2005).
Each issue includes all links added to this site during the previous week.
(2800+ subscribers in August 2015)

Site created and maintained by:
Gilles Séguin (This link takes you to my personal page)