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ST. JOHN’S – The president of CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador has a message for Conservative MP’s and senators from this province.

Wayne Lucas says, “Bill C-377, the union finances bill, will bring an enormous cost to taxpayers, who should be asking themselves what the real purpose behind this bill is.

Implementation of this Bill will cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and set up a wasteful bureaucracy.  CUPE members already have full public disclosure of their union’s finances, which they receive at every national convention,” explains Lucas.

The federal privacy commissioner says the bill is likely unconstitutional and should be withdrawn.  The Canadian Bar Association, representing the country’s legal community, suggests several aspects of it are illegal and violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” he says.

The bill was passed in the House of Commons but still has to get past the Senate.

It singles out unions and would force every labour organization in Canada to file detailed financial information annually on their spending, including everything from what they pay out to private contractors for janitorial services to snow removal.

Says Lucas, “I would encourage all 105 Senators and especially the ones from Newfoundland and Labrador to stop this bill in its tracks and seek a legal opinion on its constitutionality.”

Lucas says he is deeply disappointed with Peter Penashue, the lone Conservative MP from this province who is towing the Harper government’s line on C-377. An amendment to include business organizations, whose members enjoy the same tax treatment that union members do, was voted down by the Conservative members of parliament.

For more information:

Wayne Lucas   
CUPE NL President 
(709) 727-2509 (Cell) 

John McCracken
CUPE Atlantic Communications Representative
(902) 880-8057 (Cell)