RWDSU v. Dolphin Delivery Ltd.,  2 S.C.R. 573, is the seminal Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms decision that states that the Charter applies to governmental action, and to the common law except where matters are solely between private parties. Nevertheless, judges should interpret the common law in the light of the Charter.
The BC Labour Board declined to hear an application since the dispute was governed under the Canada Labour Code, as Purolator was an interprovincial company.
Dolphin obtained an injunction against secondary picketing on their premises on the basis that the common law does not permit secondary picketing.
McIntyre, writing for the court, looked at section 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, which stated that any law inconsistent with the Charter is of no force or effect. The court stated that this should be interpreted broadly and thus must include both statute law and common law. However, this interpretation needed to be reconciled with section 32 which states that the Charter should apply only to Parliament and legislatures. The Court gave preference to section 32 and stated that the Charter will apply only to common law where the government is involved.
The issue of whether the courts were included within the meaning of government was considered. The Court found that orders from the court did not constitute government action, rather the courts must be the neutral arbiters and cannot be included without unduly widening the scope of the Charter. The legislative, executive, and administrative branches, however, fall within the purview of government.
The final judgement of the court succinctly stated by McIntyre J.(at paras. 1 & 2):
To the same effect, see Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto, (1995) 2 S.C.R. 1130, R. v. Salituro, (1991) 3 S.C.R. 654, Dagenais v. Canadian Broadcasting Corp., (1994) 3 S.C.R. 835, and R. v. Park, (1995) 2 S.C.R. 836, per L'Heureux-Dubé J.