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

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

‘Chest Air’ show in Surrey for storyteller/author Ivan Coyote, prior to city’s Pride festival

‘I want to stop the gerbil wheel a little bit,’ says award-winning artist, who has moved back to Yukon

South Asian Mental Health Alliance receives $112K to train 100 ‘youth ambassadors’

The first batch of 25 youth will begin training in Surrey next week

Delta police donate recovered bikes back to the community

18 bikes were donated to R.E.C. for Kids, a non-profit that provides sports equipment to kids in need

VIDEO: Life-threatening injuries in South Surrey motorcycle crash

Air ambulance dispatched following incident at 148 Street and 30 Avenue Monday

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Most Read

l -->