Policy Commentary

Bill C-377: The Conservative Attack on the Freedom of Association

Liberal Senators met with seven union representatives from Quebec and one from the federal level to discuss Bill C-377. A Bill that, if passed, would burden unions with a flurry of administrative obligations under the pretext of better transparency, which does not yet apply to any other Canadian organization receiving tax benefits.

The politburo of 24 Sussex has decided to hit unions in this country with pure ideology at the expense of the economy, the right to privacy and respect for provincial jurisdiction, said Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette. C-377 is rooted in visceral hatred for labour organizations displayed by reformists and, in particular, Harper.

Amongst the many obligations this Bill imposes, unions would be required to publicize online the names and salaries of each union employee, as well as disclose the information of any individual who receives funds- if the cumulative value of the amount received exceeds $5,000 per year- from a labour organization. Failure to do so would result in a fine of $1,000 per day.

“The government does not seek transparency in the banking system, it does not seek to eliminate tax havens or to reduce tax evasion, nor does it seek to recuperate the monies lost from evaded taxes. This government, rather, prefers to create such a complex system that will undoubtedly spend millions on tracking and reviewing union statement,” continued Senator Hervieux-Payette, Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.

“Such a state intrusion into one’s private life poses the issue of non-conformity with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, not to mention it would also attack a workers right to organize, continued Senator Pierrette Ringuette, Senate spokeswoman for Bill C-377.”

The governments of Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec have publicly stated that in addition to being contrary to the economic interests of their province, Bill C-377 is an intrusion into provincial jurisdiction concerning employer and union relations.

“The serious concerns raised by Bill C-377 in terms of the protection of privacy, the amount of money the Government of Canada would have to spend, its potential impact on Canadian workers, and its total lack of justification make this Bill a public policy that must be rejected”, said Senator Claudette Tardif, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

“The Prime Minister is prepared to divide the country for purely ideological reasons. His actions are completely against the interests of Canada,” concluded Senator Hervieux-Payette.

2013-04-30T00:00:00

 

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