The adoption of Bill C-377 by the House of Commons on December 12 shows how far the Harper government is willing to go to silence dissent and opposition, no matter what are the consequences for Canadians.
“In their eagerness to try to limit the capacity of the labour movement to conduct political action on behalf of Canadian workers, the Conservatives took advantage of their majority in the House to fast-track the approval of a useless and fundamentally flawed bill,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.
Ignoring the fact that unions are already accountable to their members and blinded by their desire to attack the unions, the Conservatives knowingly passed a bill that has many dangerous side effects.
Amongst other things, C-377 is a violation of privacy rights and a big waste of money. The Canadian Bar Association and the Privacy Commissioner have said that this bill will invade personal privacy. And it is estimated it will cost as much as $20 million to implement. The bill also violates the constitution since unions are governed by provincial legislation.
The Harper government wants Canadians to believe that Bill C-377 is about accountability but it is not. The bill singles out labour organizations and does not apply to other dues-deducting professional organizations.
“Unfortunately for the Conservatives, political action is part of our union mandate and we will continue to raise our voice in the political arena when ever warranted, no matter if Stephen Harper likes it or not,” said Moist.
Not only will CUPE continue to fight the regressive policies of the Harper government, but it will continue to work with the CLC in exploring all avenues to prevent this bill from becoming law.
Canadian Union of Public Employees