Truro, NS – The President of CUPE Nova Scotia, Danny Cavanagh said he is deeply disappointed that the federal Conservatives trampled the democratic process by forcing through an unconstitutional anti-union bill, Bill C-377 through the Senate.

Cavanagh said, “We will be working with our National Union, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, and our provincial government, who have opposed this bill, to fight this unprecedented attack on workers’ fundamental right to freedom of association. 

“Together we must do what we can to defeat this unjust law,” Cavanagh said. “We just can’t believe that after all the senate scandal, all the scandal for the Conservatives of late and despite the opposition of many senators, the Conservatives overruled their own speaker to violate Senate procedures and force a vote on Bill C-377.” It has been estimated that the cost alone for compiling and publishing union information will cost taxpayers $14,896,683 over four years, according to the Deputy Commissioner of Revenue.

Cavanagh said that Nova Scotia is one of seven provinces, who together represent about 80 per cent of the country’s population, which has opposed the bill. Nova Scotia Labour Minister Kelly Regan spoke against the bill at Senate committee hearing, stating that it contravenes provincial jurisdiction. “We have been told of late that the Senate’s job was to be there to represent the provinces, and now we have conservative senators from Nova Scotia siding with Stephen Harper,” Cavanagh said. “NS 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.”

“One thing is for sure,” Cavanagh said. “We must defeat this hypocritical government at the ballot box in October.

Cavanagh said CUPE Nova Scotia is a democratic organization with members who democratically elect their leaders and approve the union’s finances and spending priorities through debate and votes at every annual convention. Bill C-377 has been widely denounced by individuals and groups of all political stripes, including the NHL Players Association, Conservative and Liberal senators, constitutional experts, Canada’s privacy commissioner, the Canadian Bar Association, the insurance and mutual fund industry, the governments of Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Quebec, PEI, and New Brunswick with a long list of others who also oppose the bill.