Conservatives change the rules and pass Bill C-377

A majority of Conservative Senators have passed Bill C-377, a law that will force unions to provide excessively detailed and intrusive reports to the Canada Revenue Agency.

“Once again the Conservatives have shown their contempt for the democratic process,” said PSAC national president Robyn Benson. “In clear defiance of long-standing Senate rules, Conservative Senators shut down debate in order to pass Bill C-377.”

Flaws in the bill

Senators are well aware of the many flaws of this bill. Experts have testified before two Senate standing committees that it violates both the Constitution and privacy rights. Seven provinces, representing over 80 per cent of Canadians, are on record opposing C-377. The Canadian Bar Association and representatives of the insurance and mutual fund industry have also raised grave concerns with the bill.

The reporting requirements in Bill C-377 go well beyond the financial statements and other information unions already make available to union members. These requirements target unions and do not apply to other associations or non-profit organizations.

Next steps

“PSAC will be working with the Canadian Labour Congress to determine next steps, including a potential legal challenge,” said Benson. “After the next election, a new government will have the opportunity to focus on providing public services to Canadians instead of incurring the unnecessary costs it will take to implement this bill and defend it in court.”

 

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June 30, 2015
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