Government officials comment on Harper's Bill C-377

| May 29, 2013


MPs and senators weigh-in on Bill C-377 including Conservatives who think that the legislation is too broad, too heavy-handed and will have negative consequences on individual rights and privacy.


Hon. Elaine McCoy, PC (Independent) Senator

“… for a thousand years in our tradition on the anglophone side, we have been slowly evolving until we have a society that is fair to one and all. We have a society that includes everyone. We do not make a difference when no difference exists. This bill violates all of those principles. It violates a 1,000-year-old tradition. It violates the Canadian code of fairness. I think this bill should be forcefully, forcefully rejected, and I trust we will do that when the time comes.”

Hon. Hugh Segal, Conservative Senator

Views of Bill C-377 as un-Canadian and a political attack on unions.

“As a Tory, I believe that society prospers when different views about the public agenda, on the left and the right, are advanced by different groups, individuals and interests. Debate between opposing groups in this chamber, in the other place and in broader society is the essence of democracy. Limiting that debate as to scope and breadth is never in the long-term interest of a free and orderly society…”

 

Brent Rathgeber, Conservative MP

Brent Rathgeber, outspoken Conservative MP for Edmonton—St. Albert, has written on Bill C-377 saying it in a recent blog post entitled Bringing a Flamethrower when a Flyswatter Would Suffice, that “both the scope and the breadth of this proposed legislation is causing me some trouble.” Rathgeber seems to outline a similar analysis to that of some of the trades associations that this legislation is not needed and is a bit over the top. He ends his post with the following:

I have obvious and I believe logical concerns regarding Bill C-377.  Although I unequivocally support the principle that union members have an interest in knowing how the union leadership spends its money, I am less convinced that non-members have a similar interest.  I eagerly await the Finance Committee’s deliberations; if there are no amendments considerably limiting the breadth and the scope of the Bill, I will be unable to support Bill C-377.

 

Tom Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition, NDP MP, Outremont

Mulcair talks to Straight Goods in this video about Bill C-377 calling it a “mess” and a political “stunt” by the Conservatives.

 

Alexandre Boulerice, NDP MP and Labour Critic

Alexandre Boulerice, the New Democratic Party’s Labour Critic and MP for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie outlines in the Financial Post why Bill C-377 is bad hurting the economy in an editorial entitled Targeting unions is hurting the financial markets. Boulerice’s analysis looks at the disclosure of pension fund transactions that would be exposed if the bill was passed:

Beyond imposing obvious difficulties associated with reporting all transactions on billions of dollars in financial assets, the bill likely will lock pension funds out of engaging in private-equity deals. This will drastically reduce the flow of Canadian dollars into such deals, decrease Canadian ownership, and hurt the bottom line of Canadians’ pensions.

 

Kennedy Stewart, NDP MP, Burnaby-Douglas

Stewart outlines why Bill C-377 is an attack on labour in an editorial in COPE Local 378’s Local Voice publication. He outlines that everyone should be concerned with the bill be they in a union or not.

With this legislation, the government is once again breaching the bounds of fundamental fairness by demanding that trade unions release their financial information to the public. Importantly, it is only trade unions that will be required to do so.

Pat Martin, NDP MP, Winnipeg Centre

Martin has suggested that Canadian anti-organized labour organizations have had a direct hand in drafting the language in the bill in Finance Committee hearings.

Terrance Oakey, the president of the organization [Merit], met with 14 Conservative MPs and senior staff members last month, according to records on the federal Lobbying Commissioner’s website.“He has had unprecedented access to the (Prime Minister’s Office),” NDP MP Wayne Marston said during a committee hearing into the proposed legislation. Read it on Global News: Global News | NDP alleges anti-union group is holding the pen on a Tory MP’s bill

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