Atamanenko denounces Conservative agenda on Bill C-377

Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior - file photo
Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior
— image credit: file photo

Castlegar, BC – New Democrat MP Alex Atamanenko, earlier this month denounced the passing of Bill C-377, the Conservatives’ concealed attempt to restrict the rights of unions and change the rules governing labour relations, under the guise of increased accountability.

“If transparency of groups that benefit from non-taxable funds was the real reason for this legislation, why is it that unions have been singled out?” asked the BC MP. “Professional associations, non-profit societies and even chambers of commerce receive money that is tax deductible, yet this degree of reporting is not being asked of other organizations that receive the benefits of tax breaks.”

According to Privacy Commissioner of Canada, this bill “oversteps what is needed to achieve its stated objective”. The NDP says it goes against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and will be defeated by the courts because it violates freedom of association and the private lives of those who work for a union.

“Bill C-377 will also be very costly for Canadians and require a lot of bureaucracy,” Atamanenko continued. “The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that it will cost much more than the 2.4 million dollars allocated by the Canada Revenue Agency.”

“Let’s be clear — transparency is not the reason for Bill C-377. Unions already make their financial information available to their members. By making unions’ detailed financial information publicly accessible, the government is giving employers an unfair advantage, undermining labour relations and union rights,” he concluded.

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