Bill C-377 no threat

Editorial comment suggests closer financial scrutiny is warranted across the board

The Senate of Canada voted Wednesday, June 26 to amend Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations). The amended bill has now been sent back to the House of Commons for further debate and discussion.

Really, what’s left to discuss?

The aim of the legislation isn’t draconian, Walmart-esque action against unions nor is it something designed to rollback hard-fought worker rights.

All sectors of society are facing increasing demands for greater transparency of dollars spent. It should be no different with unions.

Why should the salaries and expenses of those in positions of power in a union be shielded from scrutiny? It has long been known (see: Quebec) that if someone is going to lie, cheat and steal, they will find a way. Like locks, rules only stop the honest people.

Recently, a member of the Vancouver media took on venerable Canadian icon Rick Hansen and the finances of the charitable foundation bearing his name. If our heroes are subject to such accountability, then so too should unions be.

If legislators are careful with the legitimate security concerns and privacy issues of some unions (ie: police), fears of a “nanny-state” developing from such measures are far-fetched.

Other concerns surrounding the bill, as it stands now, are that it’s perhaps unconstitutional and infringes on provincial jurisdiction. Bring those challenges to court.

Democracy is always messy but the more open society gets with money, the better.

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