The House of Commons narrowed passed anti-labour Bill C-377 this evening by a 147-135 margin. The Bill now goes to the Senate.
The Bill amends the Income Tax Act of Canada to require all labour organizations (including unions, associations, and federations) to file 29 schedules of financial information with the Federal Minister of National Revenue, who is then required to post them online for all Canadians to access, searchable by key word. The Bill imposes financial disclosure requirements on labour organizations and associations (union and non-union) far greater than those required of any other organization in Canada. Not even the government itself is required to provide this level of disclosure. The cost of compliance will be very substantial for every local association, as well as every regional, provincial and national federation of labour associations and unions.
Government auditing costs will also be substantial. The Government estimated it will cost the Government of Canada $2 million to administer in the first two years, and then $800,000 after that — for 1,000 reports. The Parliamentary Budget Officer in his assessment said there would be 18,000 organizations affected.
No other jurisdiction in North America has reporting legislation this punitive.
The Bill passed despite months of aggressive lobbying by the Canadian labour movement and despite strong opposition from the opposition parties and even some Conservative MPs. But the Prime Minister’s Office aggressively promoted this private member’s bill.
CAUT has been working with the Canadian Labour Congress, supported by other organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association. Attention will be turned to trying to stop the bill in the Senate and considering legal options.
More details to follow tomorrow.
Canadian Association of University Teachers / Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université / 2705 promenade Queensview Drive, Ottawa, (Ontario) K2B 8K2
James L. Turk, Executive Director / Directeur Général
tel: (613) 726-5176
fax/téléc: (613) 820-7244
mobile (613) 277-0488