Bill C-377, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Requirements for Labour Organizations), is before you again for debate and vote. This is the same Bill you already defeated and sent back to the House of Commons last spring. As you know, the proroguing of the House resulted in the return of the legislation in its original form. I am writing to you to urge you to vote, once again, to defeat this undemocratic, unconstitutional and unnecessary Bill.
I have deep concerns, like the experts and witnesses you heard from when this Bill was first studied at the Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee.
This Bill interferes with Canadians’ freedom of association and the freedom of speech within the right to association, as many have pointed out, including the Canadian Bar Association. As such, the Bill violates Canada’s Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Indeed, it is clear that the Bill will interfere with unions’ ability to operate. I suggest that this Bill is an unjust, politically motivated attack on unions. Considering the content of the Bill and the fact that most provinces and the federal government already have legislation that require unions to make financial reports available to union members, it is clear this legislation is illegitimate and unnecessary.
What’s more, at a time when there is significant concern about government expenditures, the cost of establishing and administering the systems required by the legislation would be a gross misuse of public dollars.
I ask you to reflect on your role in the Senate and take that “sober second look” at this Bill and vote against it, as you previously did, however, should it advance through the Senate I hope it will go to full committee hearings to allow for thorough debate.