When was the last time a Conservative senator described legislation supported by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as "an expression of statutory contempt" towards Canada's 4-million union members?
Unions weren't alone in the criticisms of this bill. Five provincial governments, the Canadian Bar Association, constitutional experts, the life insurance and mutual fund industries and the federal Privacy Commissioner all are on record as opposing the bill for good reason. It singles out unions for discriminatory treatment, invades the privacy of individuals, violates provincial jurisdiction, and is likely unconstitutional.
The legislative strategy behind Bill C-377 mirrors that behind Bill C-525, a Private Member's Bill introduced by Conservative MP Blaine Calkins, a backbencher from Alberta.
This bill would make it easier to decertify unions in the federally-regulated sector and almost impossible for workers to certify a union to represent them in the workplace.
Bill C-525 sets the bar so high for workers to join a union that even the bill's sponsor Blaine Calkins, who won 81.5 per cent of the vote in the last election, couldn't get elected if he had to run under the same voting rules he wants for workers. In fact not a single Conservative MP would have been elected in the last election if they had to run under the rules proposed by their caucus colleague. That's unfair and hypocritical.
Jim Sinclair, President of the British Columbia Federation of Labour