Senate ‘guts’ MP Hiebert’s bill

Amendments raise threshold for financial disclosure to unions with more than 50,000 members

Conservative MP Russ Hiebert is crying foul after the Canadian Senate voted Wednesday to amend his private member’s bill calling for greater transparency and disclosure of union finances through the Income Tax Act.

The Senate has sent the bill back to the House of Commons for reconsideration.

“The… amendments adopted by the Senate today have the effect of gutting (Bill) C-377, as the bill would now only apply to unions with more than 50,000 members,” the South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP said in a news release.

Hiebert said “unjustified” amendments that make the bill apply to only “a handful” of the biggest unions “completely undermines the principle that transparency should apply to all labour organizations, equally.”

Senate opposition leader Senator James Cowan said  in a release  that the amendments, which  raise the disclosure  threshold of union salaries from $10,000 to $444,661, bring the bill in line with disclosure thresholds proposed for a number of Crown corporations.

“One of the key amendments… (brings in) standards of disclosure and transparency that – if they are sufficient for government and the public service – should also be suitable for unions and other organizations,” he said.

He said the Senate committee on Banking Trade and Commerce had heard from 44 witnesses, five provincial governments, labour organizations, academics and professional associations “who overwhelmingly opposed this legislation, particularly on the basis of constitutionality.”

The committee had shared its serious concerns in its report, he said, and senators from both sides chose as a whole to “improve” the bill.

Hiebert said that suggesting C-377 only apply to unions with more than 50,000 members is “arbitrary.”

“It is also unsupported by the evidence that both the Commons and the Senate heard from dozens of witnesses, including labour organizations themselves,” he said.

“I didn’t hear a single witness suggest that unions with fewer than 50,000 members should be able to avoid transparency.”

Hiebert added that returning the bill to the House of Commons does not spell the end of the legislation.

 

“Fortunately this is not the end of the process,” he said. “When the bill returns to the Commons, I trust that MPs will agree that all labour organizations should be treated equally and subject to the same standards for transparency.”

 

 

Just Posted

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

Surrey hospital first in B.C. with machine for endoscopic treatment

Surgeon says equipment is ‘next-level, futuristic-type surgery’

Surrey Board of Trade wants ‘interface’ with expert housing panel

Panel to examine trends in renting and owning toward improving access to affordable housing

‘I fell in love and never left’: Al Harper’s decades-long boxing career honoured at Cloverdale fight night

Port Kells Boxing Club’s Avi Singh and Tyler Chambers win against Kelowna’s Los Gatos Locos

Clayton high school combats period poverty with annual fundraiser, in-school initiatives

Clayton Heights Secondary’s annual fundraiser coincides with United Way’s #PeriodPromise drive

B.C. resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Research needs to catch up with B.C.’s gas drilling industry, experts say

Hydraulic fracturing review ordered by Premier John Horgan

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Trans Mountain court hearing: B.C. says it won’t reject pipelines without cause

Canada says the proposed amendments to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act must be struck down

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

B.C. father fights for his life after flu turns into paralyzing condition

Reisig has lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder and face movements.

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

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vernon ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Most Read

l -->