South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale Conservative MP Russ Hiebert said he hopes the Senate will give appropriate consideration to his private members bill requiring labour unions to publish detailed financial information.

MP welcomes bill’s second chance

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to prorogue Parliament will send legislation back to the Senate without amendments

Russ Hiebert, Conservative MP for South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale, says he’s pleased by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue – or suspend – Parliament until October.

For Hiebert, prorogation means the clock will be turned back to last December on his controversial private member’s bill, C-377, which would require labour unions to publish detailed financial information.

Harper has said prorogation is in anticipation of a throne speech putting forward a new agenda for the government at the midpoint of its mandate.

Following heated debate, the Senate sent C-377 back to the Commons in June, with extensive amendments reducing the scope and impact of the bill that Hiebert claimed, at the time, had “gutted” it.

Under prorogation, according to the Library of Parliament, the bill will revert to the way it was when it passed third reading in the House on Dec. 12 – essentially nullifying the Senators’ amendments and the deliberations leading to them.

The unamended bill will subsequently be resubmitted to the Senate, Hiebert noted in a statement issued Tuesday.

“As such, I am hopeful my colleagues in the Senate will give C-377 appropriate and timely consideration,” he said, adding that the restored bill will “once again reflect the wishes of the elected lower house of Parliament.”

Wednesday, Peace Arch News asked Hiebert if that means he expects the bill will receive a smoother ride the second time around.

“I’m always hopeful,” Hiebert said, adding that he’s making no predictions about how quickly the Senate will deal with the bill when it returns to the chamber.

“This does give me an opportunity to communicate with the small number of members of my caucus who had concerns about the bill. I’ll do my best to persuade them that the bill should pass as it stands.”

Hiebert acknowledged going back to square one with the Senate also raises the possibility the bill could face further Senate Banking Committee hearings before being debated by senators.

“That decision would have to rest with them,” he said. “My hope is that, because we have already had three weeks of testimony, that could be taken into consideration. But it’s completely in the hands of the senators.”

A total of 16 Tory senators joined their Liberal counterparts in approving the amendments to Hiebert’s bill in June.

Hiebert has argued that since unions receive tax deductions through union dues, their finances should be made public, and that the transparency he’s asking for is no greater than that currently required for charities.

Opponents, however, claim the legislation – as it stands – will cost unions millions of dollars, adding that the bill also ventures into dangerous  areas of unconstitutionality and invasion of privacy.

Conservative Senator Hugh Segal was among those who spoke out against the bill in June, saying it was poorly drafted and likely to be challenged.

“Whatever may have been its laudable transparency goals, (it is) really – through drafting sins of omission and commission – an expression of statutory contempt for the working men and women in our trade unions and for the trade unions themselves and their right under federal and provincial law to organize,” Segal said.

Conservative Senator Diane Bellemare, a former economics professor at the University of Quebec, was also critical of the legislation.

“Even with the proposed amendments, this bill remains an unbalanced bill that has no similarity to other transparency bills in France, the United Kingdom and Australia,” she said.

 

 

Just Posted

Vigil in Surrey tonight to honour victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

The candlelight vigil is one of many events planned locally in the wake of the massacre

Delta mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

White Rock dog poop conspiracy picks up steam

Opponent says theory is a ‘load of crap’

Surrey MLA slams NDP poverty reduction strategy plan

Liberal MLA Marvin Hunt says the NDP’s poverty reduction plan is ‘underwhelming’

Father thanks Surrey Mountie for shooting hoops with kids, ‘changing perspectives’

‘We’re just like everyone else,’ says Surrey officer who stopped to play basketball with kids

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Latest phone scam tricks Vancouver seniors out of $3.1 million

Police caution the public about using a landline phone

Bodies of two missing teens recovered in reservoir along Kootenay river

Volkswagen Beetle drove off the road down a steep embankment and into the Pend d’Oreille River Sunday

40 records broken across B.C. as hot streak continues

Abbotsford hottest spot in Canada on Tuesday

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vancouver driver ticketed twice within 6 minutes for same offence

The man was written up by two different officers for using an electronic device

B.C. teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

B.C. man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says Parksville official

Budget cuts at Kwantlen Polytechnic will mean larger classes

President of Kwantlen faculty association says spending on administration salaries is going up

Most Read

l -->