MPs clash over Bill C-377 to force public disclosures by labour unions


Locutus
#1
One of the nastiest fights in years in the House of Commons is coming to a head as Members of Parliament prepare for a vote on the Conservatives’ bid to force labour unions to publicly disclose extensive internal information. The contentious legislation, which opponents see as an attempt to use the Canada Revenue Agency for an attack on 4.3 million union members and the government’s political foes, has been brought forward as a private member’s bill by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert.

Legislation from backbenchers is often a lonely quest with little chance of passage into law. But Hiebert has Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his side. The Prime Minister’s office is helping the British Columbia MP rewrite Bill C-377 to modify measures that have touched off an unusual outpouring of concern from Canadians.

While Hiebert has acknowledged the need to improve the bill, the new version that is expected to be rolled out in a few days is unlikely to douse opposition to C-377 or cool the antagonism it has unleashed.

“This is not the innocuous musings of an individual backbench MP,” New Democrat MP Pat Martin said. “This is a well-structured assault on trade union rights.”


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MPs clash over Bill C-377 to force public disclosures by labour unions - thestar.com
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#2
I have no problem with it except that it singles out unions and is obviously politically motivated. I am the treasure of a couple of charitable organizations and we aren't required to do this.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#3
I don't see what the big deal is here... If the expenditures are on the up and up, there will be essentially no difference in the union's dealings

Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

I have no problem with it except that it singles out unions and is obviously politically motivated. I am the treasure of a couple of charitable organizations and we aren't required to do this.

The rules are also beginning to change for charities as well, but in the end, the unions aren't acting in a manner that resembles a charitable org, so why on Earth would they expect to be treated in the same manner
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

The rules are also beginning to change for charities as well, but in the end, the unions aren't acting in a manner that resembles a charitable org, so why on Earth would they expect to be treated in the same manner

They shouldn't be treated like a charity but they should be treated like any other non-profit organization. This law doesn't do that.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+3
#5  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

They shouldn't be treated like a charity but they should be treated like any other non-profit organization. This law doesn't do that.

The move against the charitable orgs has occurred as a result of the creative accounting practices (and political actions) of groups like suzuki foundation, greenpeace and forest ethics... From the union perspective, they too have been caught deploying funds into political campaigns and that, by CRA standards, is a no-no
 
petros
#6
Not many charities have $Billion+ pension funds. If they get really pissed off and decide to divest in Canada **** could seriously hit the fan.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Not many charities have $Billion+ pension funds. If they get really pissed off and decide to divest in Canada **** could seriously hit the fan.

Any investment fund or fund manager is obliged to report - what makes a union fund any different.

On the divestment note: That risk exists at all times, however, if a fund made that decision to leave the jurisdiction because of hurt feelings as opposed to tangible reasons like better investments elsewhere and/or tax treatment; well, I'd be pulling every dollar that I had in that fund as it will likely devalue in no time at all.
 
petros
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Any investment fund or fund manager is obliged to report - what makes a union fund any different.

On the divestment note: That risk exists at all times, however, if a fund made that decision to leave the jurisdiction because of hurt feelings as opposed to tangible reasons like better investments elsewhere and/or tax treatment; well, I'd be pulling every dollar that I had in that fund as it will likely devalue in no time at all.

Govt knows exactly how much cash union pension have. You'd be shocked and stunned at how many "public/private" partnerships" are with unions. Refineries, pipelines, drilling outfits, bridges, powerplants, highways, forestry, manufacturing, medical, clear through to public housing that people think is coming from China or foreign Corps.

Like I say. if they stopped investing in Canada, **** would hit the fan in HUGE way.

Chances are pretty good you are invested in projects or companies that are heavily invested in by unions.

Harper knows he has no choice but kiss union *** or lose out on those Billions and Billions.
 
coldstream
+1
#9
Seems like part of the concerted attack on organized labour that has been going on in the States since Reagan and has gained increasing momentum with the stripping of Public Employee Unions of bargaining rights in Wisconsin and Ohio in the last year.

And of course Harper is such an obedient poodle to the Global Investment Organism that he is trotting along to his masters command. It part of an encroaching corporate tyranny.. with Harper as one its running dogs.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Govt knows exactly how much cash union pension have. You'd be shocked and stunned at how many "public/private" partnerships" are with unions. Refineries, pipelines, drilling outfits, bridges, powerplants, highways, forestry, manufacturing, medical, clear through to public housing that people think is coming from China or foreign Corps.

Like I say. if they stopped investing in Canada, **** would hit the fan in HUGE way.

Chances are pretty good you are invested in projects or companies that are heavily invested in by unions.

Harper knows he has no choice but kiss union *** or lose out on those Billions and Billions.

It really comes down to this: If the unions wish to maintain their non-profit status and the bennies that come with it, they have to stay out of the political arena.

As far as leaving the Canada for investment elsewhere; don't let the door hit you on the way out.... CNOOC, Sinopec, multiple Soverign Wealth Funds, let alone the Investment Banks are all setting up offices in Canada to play in the sand box. The bottom-line is that there are a number of sovereign states looking really hard at Canada; that said, the pension funds are now the little kids in the playground.

Like I mentioned earlier, the union pension funds will invest in projects that give them the best possible ROIs... Anything other than that is nothing but a disservice to their members
 
petros
+1
#11
Why does it bother you that democratic bodies like trade unions have clout? Aren't democracies supposed to be by the people for the people?

Are we now the Soviet Union?

Quote:

Like I mentioned earlier, the union pension funds will invest in projects that give them the best possible ROIs... Anything other than that is nothing but a disservice to their members

it's not about ROI. They invest Canadian pension money into Canada to keep Canadians working and the Canadian economy going.

It makes me giggle to hear you say foreign owned national oil companies would be better when you for one despised our own Govt for wanting to nationalize our oil.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Why does it bother you that democratic bodies like trade unions have clout? Aren't democracies supposed to be by the people for the people?

It doesn't bother me in the least... Apparently, it is the union that has the problem on this.

Fact is; they don't have enough clout to be in the position of making the rules in Canada

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Are we now the Soviet Union?

You'd almost think so with the demand for secrecy by the union funds.... Lemme ask you, the Canadian insurance funds have far more in assets to manage than the pension groups - why aren't they in the position to be able to wag the dog?

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

it's not about ROI. They invest Canadian pension money into Canada to keep Canadians working and the Canadian economy going.

Don't fool yourself, they seek the best ROI possible that has some semblance of security

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

It makes me giggle to hear you say foreign owned national oil companies would be better when you for one despised our own Govt for wanting to nationalize our oil.

Are you saying that union pensions from Canada could pull the trigger on developing Canada's oil resources if they wanted to?

That is hilarious
 
relic
Free Thinker
+1
#13
And where are the laws going to come from to force harper and his minions to provide the transparancy they promised ?
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#14
An omnibus bill
 
Angstrom
Liberal
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Govt knows exactly how much cash union pension have. You'd be shocked and stunned at how many "public/private" partnerships" are with unions. Refineries, pipelines, drilling outfits, bridges, powerplants, highways, forestry, manufacturing, medical, clear through to public housing that people think is coming from China or foreign Corps.

Like I say. if they stopped investing in Canada, **** would hit the fan in HUGE way.

Chances are pretty good you are invested in projects or companies that are heavily invested in by unions.

Harper knows he has no choice but kiss union *** or lose out on those Billions and Billions.


You should say...... those billions and billions of MAFIA money that keeps our economy running lol

Cause that's the truth.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
+2
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Fact is; they don't have enough clout to be in the position of making the rules in Canada

Actually they do, if they ever decided to unify and use it. The reality though is that unionized workers, just like non-unionized workers come in all shapes, sizes and political leanings. If this legislation is nothing more than an attack on unions, I think it is a mistake and may backfire.

As I've said, I think unions should be treated like any other non-profit. I'm not convinced this legislation does that.
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
#17
If unions are being singled out, then all groups should have to disclose all their information
that would include all charitable organizations and the churches for that matter. Wouldn't
that be interesting?
maybe the system should be over hauled and the the monies collected by charities would
have to pay tax on money collected by fund raising companies and the charity would have
to then pay on any money used for administration but not money spent on the actually
assistance programs they carried out.
In addition the churches would come under the same rules and be required to pay taxes on
everything but the actual help they gave out. That would mean the collection plate is income
and the envelopes would be income. the Televangelists would pay and the publications and
pitches would be taxable
the unions would be required as would the business community and even the chamber of commerce.
I would not have a problem with that.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

If unions are being singled out, then all groups should have to disclose all their information
that would include all charitable organizations and the churches for that matter. Wouldn't
that be interesting?

One has to wonder why Churches are not in this legislation. I have a sneaking suspicion why.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#19
My understanding is that it is how the dues are spent, not pension money. Unions should not be able to fund a specific political party since not all of their members will support that party but their dues are being used.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

My understanding is that it is how the dues are spent, not pension money. Unions should not be able to fund a specific political party since not all of their members will support that party but their dues are being used.

Churches fund political causes if not political parties.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

Churches fund political causes if not political parties.

Not legally under CCRA rules.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Not legally under CCRA rules.

Yes legally. It's not only churches, but many "charities" are involved in political movements

A PRO-LIFE CANADA DIRECTORY INDEX

Quote:

Alberta Life Issues Educational Society (ALIES) is a non-profit society and a federally registered charity that operates in the province of Alberta. ALIES gathers, develops and distributes information on a broad range of life issues.

 
Tonington
#23
The Canadian Bar Association has had a look, and they've noted quite the laundry list of problems with the legislation, including compliance costs, constitutional issues, privacy concerns, and impacts on pensions and benefit plans.
http://albertadiary.ca/wp-content/up...012/10/CBA.pdf
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
+1
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

The Canadian Bar Association has had a look, and they've noted quite the laundry list of problems with the legislation, including compliance costs, ...

Money is of no concern to the Conservatives.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

Actually they do, if they ever decided to unify and use it. The reality though is that unionized workers, just like non-unionized workers come in all shapes, sizes and political leanings. If this legislation is nothing more than an attack on unions, I think it is a mistake and may backfire.

Below are #1 and #3 largest private (union) pensions in Canada and their asset base.

Ontario Teachers Pension: $117.1 Billion in Assets
OMERS: $55 billion

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As compared to:

"Great-West Lifeco and its companies had $484 billion in assets under administration at December 31, 2010."
Power Corporation of Canada | Companies of the Group


Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

Churches fund political causes if not political parties.

A charity/church funding a "political cause" is irrelevant, the CRA are directed at charitable orgs funding political parties.

There have been documented cases of unions doing exactly that.
 
Nuggler
+1
#26
Another "private members" bill. Probably directly from the desk of el Primo.

Cain't prove it. Just seems like something the slimy ****er would do.

Gotta control them pesky unions. Cain't have the great unwashed wanting a fair deal.

Hell things was good during the 30's . Could hire twenty men for fifty cents a week.

We gotta get back to the good'l'daze.

"Have another turkey leg, Jim?"

"Nah Steve, thanks, but that last bit of caviar filled me right up"

"Got some cake for the people ?""

"Yep"

"OK, we're good to go."

Wish they'd keep their private members out of my cornflakes
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

A charity/church funding a "political cause" is irrelevant, the CRA are directed at charitable orgs funding political parties.

It's only irrelevant if you choose to ignore it. People don't pay tax on union dues. People don't pay tax on church donations. Both types of organizations are politically active. If it's only "funding political parties" then the government could have simply made it illegal to donate directly to a political party.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

It's only irrelevant if you choose to ignore it.

It's the CRA rules. i would like to say that the union body is ignoring them, but seeing how they continue to pursue these actions despite having full knowledge that it is illegal, I think it's fair to say that they are taking a calculated risk in losing their non-profit status.

Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

People don't pay tax on union dues. People don't pay tax on church donations.

... And?

The churches are not directly financing political parties or candidates on an ongoing basis; at least there is no news items that come to my mind in them being caught


Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

Both types of organizations are politically active.

See above.

This has everything to do with wanting to sit on both sides of the fence... The union body is more than welcome to actively finance political parties - they just can't do it as a non-profit. They are more than welcome to shed the non-profit status and participate just like any private individual or corporation

Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

If it's only "funding political parties" then the government could have simply made it illegal to donate directly to a political party.

The rules are already in place. It seems that you simply want to have special rules that provide all forms of benefits to one group at the expense of an entire society... Again, if this is so important in the union philosophy; shed the non-profit status and donate, finance and influence til your heart's content.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

This has everything to do with wanting to sit on both sides of the fence.

No, I don't think so. If the government really had issues with funding political parties, they could easily stop that without this legislation as there are already laws on the books. What you are suggesting is that the government isn't enforcing existing laws and yet want to make more. If that's really the case then they are just plain stupid.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#30
You sure do work hard in bending over backwards to dodge the easy solution on this issue and demand that society get turned on it's ear to accommodate one individual group.

I can't say it any simpler - shed the non-profit status and you can do whatever the hell you want
 

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