“Despite what radical Conservatives would have you believe, this bill is nothing more than political retaliation." - Ken Georgetti, CLC President.
Ottawa (07 June 2013) – The President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) says that a government bill claiming to promote financial transparency is actually meant to bully and harass unions and their members, and he is calling upon the Senate of Canada to defeat it.
Political bullying at the centre of Conservative bill
Ken Georgetti appeared as a witness before the Senate banking committee, which is studying Bill C-377. “Despite what radical Conservatives would have you believe, this bill is nothing more than political retaliation,” Georgetti said. “It does not address an existing problem or cure any actual mischief. At its core, this bill is political bullying.”
Bill C-377 would force every labour organization in Canada to file detailed financial information about individuals and companies, to then be posted publicly on a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.
Bill is ripe with problems: constitutionality, privacy, jurisdictional concerns
Georgetti reminded Senators about the testimony of witnesses who have appeared before the committee. “You've heard from eminent constitutional experts who have testified Bill C-377 falls outside Parliament's jurisdiction,” Georgetti said. “It causes Canada's privacy commissioner concern, and offends the intent of federal and provincial privacy laws.”
Conservatives singles out unions for punitive and costly treatment
Georgetti added that Bill C-377 singles out unions to provide detailed information on expenditures but does not apply that obligation to other organizations. “Out of a wide range of non-profit and professional organizations that democratically and appropriately govern their own affairs – from doctors to lawyers to engineers to accountants – Bill C-377 exclusively singles out unions for punitive and costly treatment. And it does so only for crass political gain for the Conservative Party and its allies.”
The CLC President called upon Senators to defeat the bill. “The Senate has a great opportunity,” he said. “You can reject an unprincipled and discriminatory attack on workers and their democratically run unions and you can demonstrate that the role of the Senate is actually essential in our country.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE