Seven provinces oppose Bill C-377, saying it violates the constitution by intruding into provincial jurisdiction. Other experts agree the bill is unconstitutional for these and other reasons, and will not survive a challenge in the courts. CUPE will work with the Canadian Labour Congress to challenge this unwarranted bill in the courts.
With ongoing roadblocks being thrown up by concerned senators, the Conservatives overruled their own speaker and shut down debate on Bill C-377. The bill passed the night before Canada Day, by a vote of 35 to 22.
Bill C-377 attempts to force unions – and no other similar organizations – to disclose all their financial information to employers and the general public.
It’s the latest step in Stephen Harper’s push to ram this bill through, in a thinly-veiled vendetta against unions.
The bill is unnecessary, unfair, imposes expensive and intrusive requirements on businesses and unions, and is untruthful about its real objective: silencing the voices of workers, and limiting the vital role unions play in a democratic society.
The labour movement is not alone in opposing this fundamentally flawed bill. It has been opposed by everyone from the NHL Players Association to Conservative and Liberal senators, constitutional experts, Canada’s privacy commissioner, the Canadian Bar Association, the insurance and mutual fund industry, seven provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia), and a long and diverse list of others in the business, financial, professional, legal, labour, and academic communities, private and public, federal and provincial.
Senator James Cowan and other opposition senators stood up to Conservative attempts to rig the rules and end debate on C-377, helping expose just how low the Conservatives will go to pass this bill before an election.
Our best opportunity to overturn this legislation, and prevent more anti-worker legislation, is in the coming federal election. C-377 is one more reason to defeat Stephen Harper and the Conservatives and elect an NDP government that will fight for working Canadians.