Federal government moves to repeal controversial legislation targeting unions
Published Thursday, January 28, 2016 10:54AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 28, 2016 11:37AM EST
The federal government has introduced legislation to repeal two bills enacted by former prime minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government that angered Canadian unions.
Bill C-377, which came into effect at the end of 2015, requires unions to track all of their spending so that it could be publicly disclosed by the Canada Revenue Agency. Bill C-525 makes it harder to hold union certification votes.
Bill C-377, which requires unions to disclose all transactions over $5,000, and reveal the details of officers or executives who make over $100,000 to the CRA, was especially contentious.
It was passed over the objection of unions, the Canadian Bar Association and the federal privacy commissioner.
Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said Thursday the Liberals will deliver on their promise to repeal both pieces of legislation.
“By repealing Bills C-377 and 525, our government will restore a fair and balanced approach to labour relations,” she told reporters in Ottawa.
The government says the bills were passed without a proper consultation process used for labour relations reform.
“Policies developed through real consultations are essential for a strong economy, prosperity of workers and our employers,” Mihychuk said.
Conservative MP John Barlow said Thursday’s announcement represents a “very sad day for democracy” and accused Mihychuk of wanting to appease union leaders who helped her get elected last fall.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Barlow said there is “no reason” for repealing bills C-377 and C-525 other than “patronage” repayments.
He said the Conservatives enacted the legislation in response to “thousands” of workers across the country who wanted to know how their union dollars were being spent.