OTTAWA, Dec. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Today the House of Commons passed an
important piece of legislation. Bill C-377, a Private Members' Bill
sponsored by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert, will require unions and
other labour organizations in Canada to file annual public reports on
spending, salaries and political activities. If this legislation is
passed by the Senate, it will bring public transparency to the over
$4-billion that unions collect annually in forced contributions from
"The support of the House of Commons for union financial transparency is
warmly welcomed by Merit Canada and all working Canadians. It is
recognition that union leaders are obliged to be accountable for very
generous benefits provided at public expense," said Terrance Oakey,
President of Merit Canada.
A 2011 poll by Nanos Research found that 83% of Canadians and 86% of
union members agree that unions should be required to disclose how they
spend their dues.
Bill C-377 will require unions to report annually their financial
statements, salaries paid to senior union employees, the amount of time
spent on lobbying and political activities and certain information
about expenditures over $5,000. This legislation brings Canada's union
financial disclosure laws in-line with those in Australia, New Zealand,
Germany, France, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
"Transparency and accountability are fundamental to democracy. If
unions want to enjoy the dual benefits of mandatory dues collection and
beneficial tax treatment, then they need to earn it," continued Oakey.
The Bill was amended at Report Stage following a filibuster by NDP MP
Alexandre Boulerice at the Standing Committee on Finance.
"The amendments adopted improve the Bill by addressing legitimate
privacy concerns. We welcome these amendments, accept the support of
the House of Commons, and call on all Parliamentarians to support the
Bill's adoption," stated Oakey.
More information regarding Bill C-377 is available at www.uniontransparency.ca.
About Merit Canada
Merit Canada is the national voice of Canada's eight provincial Open
Shop construction associations. Open Shop companies and workers build
more than 70% of the industrial, commercial/institutional, and
residential construction projects coast to coast to coast. As of June
2011, the Canadian construction sector employed 1.26 million Canadians
with 900,000 working in the "open shop" sector.
SOURCE: Merit Canada