Harper's Bill C-377 and Why You Should Care

| April 06, 2015


Bill C-377 was a federal piece of legislation brought forward by the Harper Conservatives that was supposed to be about union financial disclosure. However, after careful analysis we came to understand that it is a highly partisan and political attack on the right of free association in Canada.


Bill C-377 is a federal piece of legislation that is supposed to be about union financial disclosure. However, after careful analysis we are coming to understand that it is a highly partisan and political attack on the right of free association in Canada.

The Parliamentary Budget Office and the Canada Revenue Agency have both released costing analysis showing that the government will have to spend millions of dollars a year on the implementation of the reporting system.

Timeline

On December 12, 2013 the bill passed the house with a few amendments.

At the end of June, the Senate adopted amendments to the bill (proposed by Conservative Senator Segal) and sent it back to the House of Commons for further debate. These amendments undo some of the worst parts of the Bill C-377, but it still retains some parts that unions consider unconstitutional. However, there are a lot of things that can happen now, including prorogation, that might undo the Senate amendments.

The Senate gutted the bill in late June and sent it back to the house.

On October 17, 2013, the bill was re-introduced by the House in its original form.

On April 2, 2015, C-377 was raised from the grave again and will be debated in the Senate in its original 2013 form.

The bill was retracted by the federal Liberal government after they won a majority in the election.

What was Bill C-377?

Here is a brief outline of 12 problems with Bill C-377.

There is a huge amount of information out there outlining what Bill C-377, a federal private members bill An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (Labour Organizations), is and why everyone should care if it passes. So, Citizens’ Press has tried our best to outline most of it here by category (use the built-in search if you are looking for something specific).

What the Canadian Labour Congress Says

The CLC has this to say about the bill: Bill C-377 – An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (Labour Organizations) was introduced as a Private Members Bill (PMB) on December 5, 2011 in the House of Commons. The Bill requires that the Income Tax Act be changed to make it mandatory for all labour organizations to make detailed annual financial filings covering salaries, revenues, and expenses. The information would be posted, on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website, for anyone to read.

Here is the CLC’s submission to the the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (HCSCF) on Bill C-377.

The CLC has said that the potential costs to taxpayers of this Private Members Bill put forward by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert will be tens of millions of dollars.

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