OUR NEXT MEETING IS THE SEPT GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING - SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2017 AT 11:00AM AT THE UA LOCAL 179 UNION HALL, 402 SOLOMON DR., REGINA

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

UA Local 179 Member News

Bill C-377 Private Members passed Second Reading 
July 10, 2012  

Harper Tories waging unfair information war

The Stephen Harper government has a strange approach to openness.

For years, the government has dragged its heels in reporting about its use of public money. Now it is poised to put stringent reporting requirements on organizations that spend private funds, especially labour unions.

Bill C-377 is a private member’s bill that the government has allowed to pass second reading. It proposes to amend the Income Tax Act by subjecting all labour organizations in Canada to onerous accounting requirements. At significant cost to taxpayers, it would load red tape on the government’s political targets.

Among other things, Bill C-377 obliges unions to make public the salaries and benefits of every officer, employee, and contractor of the organization. What other organizations that spend private money are subject to this intrusive requirement? The bill also requires unions to give item-by-item reports of spending on conferences, training, legal representation, administration, and other activities. If a union breaches the rules, it will be liable to a fine of $1,000 per day.

Most remarkably, Bill C-377 provides that this mandatory reporting by unions “shall be made available to the public by the minister.” Usually, taxpayer information is kept private, partly to prevent its misuse by politicians. Bill C-377 appears designed for precisely the opposite. Indeed, the bill goes even further by requiring that the unions’ information be published on a government website “in a format that allows for word searches to be performed.” This is very strange to see in proposed legislation.

Overall, Bill C-377 seems to be part of a public-relations campaign by the government against privately funded unions. Union members will have to spend their money producing over-the-top accounting reports. Taxpayers will have to pay a lot of accountants to review and audit them.

And if unions can be subjected to these reporting rules, why not other organizations that run afoul of the government? Why not a church, a symphony, a soccer club, a small business?

The government’s priority should be to ensure its accountability to taxpayers for its use of public money. Instead, the government has refused to give information to Parliament, has frustrated access-to-information requests, and has blocked scientists from telling us about their research.

Now, with a majority in Parliament, the government seems intent on using public money to wage information war on privately funded organizations that it dislikes. This twists public accountability into a political weapon.

Gus Van Harten is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where he teaches administrative law. (Troy Media)

Bill C-377:

We are concerned with a private member’s bill that has come before the House of Commons, C-377, which endangers our ability to build projects across the country and create jobs.

C-377 is intended to fix a problem that does not exist.

Instead, it actually duplicates processes that are already in place to provide accountability and transparency for our workers and would create an expanded, expensive and redundant bureaucracy. Our costs of compliance will be extraordinary and beyond that required of any other tax entity.

Myth:

Unions receive $400 million per year in public subsidies through the tax code.

Some provinces regulate union finances and their disclosure, others do not, C-377 seeks to ensure that all union finances are regulated.

Union executives do not disclose their salaries and benefits, nor do unions disclose their books.

The cost of Bill C-377 to unions is insignificant.

Fact:

Unions do not receive any public subsidy — workers and their families receive this money back in income tax deductions, NOT unions. The tax treatment of these workers is exactly the same as that for members of the Law Society, Medical Association or employers who belong to a contractors’ association.

Constitutionally, trade unions are regulated by the Provinces, and some Provinces have opted not to regulate union finances because the transparency and accountability provided by the union by-laws and constitutions would be redundant and create unnecessary government bureaucracy. The tax treatment of these workers is exactly the same as that for members of the Law Society, Medical Association or employers who belong to a contractors’ association.

Many unions, including BCTD, disclose their executives’ salaries and benefits packages. All members do have access to union books and financial statements including expenditures. The right to access this information is clearly stipulated in the respective union local by-laws and Constitutions.

The costs to the Unions (and all of their trust funds, societies and other organizations) are enormous. Experts say it will add 20% to the current costs, and for some the pension funds it will require them to file returns ‘….the size of a large city’s phone book.’

For more information and to contact members of parliament:

www.workersbuildcanada.ca

 

Back

PROCARE EMPLOYEE & FAMILY ASSISTANCE PLAN Counselling and work life support services 24 Hours a Day 1-866-757-6620 www.myfseap.com Family Services Employee Assistance Programs
EAP EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM Confidential Counselling for Members and Family 1-800-268-5211 www.fgiworldmembers.com

  UA Local 179
402 Solomon Drive
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4N 5A8
Tel: 306-569-0624
Fax: 306-781-8052
Toll Free:1-877-893-2179 (in Saskatchewan only)
Call Out Line: 306-569-3641
Email: mail@ualocal79.ca
Powered by Digital North media Home | About the UA | UA Canada | Privacy/Legal | Contact Us 

 

UA Local 179 Member News

Bill C-377 Private Members passed Second Reading 
July 10, 2012  

Harper Tories waging unfair information war

The Stephen Harper government has a strange approach to openness.

For years, the government has dragged its heels in reporting about its use of public money. Now it is poised to put stringent reporting requirements on organizations that spend private funds, especially labour unions.

Bill C-377 is a private member’s bill that the government has allowed to pass second reading. It proposes to amend the Income Tax Act by subjecting all labour organizations in Canada to onerous accounting requirements. At significant cost to taxpayers, it would load red tape on the government’s political targets.

Among other things, Bill C-377 obliges unions to make public the salaries and benefits of every officer, employee, and contractor of the organization. What other organizations that spend private money are subject to this intrusive requirement? The bill also requires unions to give item-by-item reports of spending on conferences, training, legal representation, administration, and other activities. If a union breaches the rules, it will be liable to a fine of $1,000 per day.

Most remarkably, Bill C-377 provides that this mandatory reporting by unions “shall be made available to the public by the minister.” Usually, taxpayer information is kept private, partly to prevent its misuse by politicians. Bill C-377 appears designed for precisely the opposite. Indeed, the bill goes even further by requiring that the unions’ information be published on a government website “in a format that allows for word searches to be performed.” This is very strange to see in proposed legislation.

Overall, Bill C-377 seems to be part of a public-relations campaign by the government against privately funded unions. Union members will have to spend their money producing over-the-top accounting reports. Taxpayers will have to pay a lot of accountants to review and audit them.

And if unions can be subjected to these reporting rules, why not other organizations that run afoul of the government? Why not a church, a symphony, a soccer club, a small business?

The government’s priority should be to ensure its accountability to taxpayers for its use of public money. Instead, the government has refused to give information to Parliament, has frustrated access-to-information requests, and has blocked scientists from telling us about their research.

Now, with a majority in Parliament, the government seems intent on using public money to wage information war on privately funded organizations that it dislikes. This twists public accountability into a political weapon.

Gus Van Harten is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where he teaches administrative law. (Troy Media)

Bill C-377:

We are concerned with a private member’s bill that has come before the House of Commons, C-377, which endangers our ability to build projects across the country and create jobs.

C-377 is intended to fix a problem that does not exist.

Instead, it actually duplicates processes that are already in place to provide accountability and transparency for our workers and would create an expanded, expensive and redundant bureaucracy. Our costs of compliance will be extraordinary and beyond that required of any other tax entity.

Myth:

Unions receive $400 million per year in public subsidies through the tax code.

Some provinces regulate union finances and their disclosure, others do not, C-377 seeks to ensure that all union finances are regulated.

Union executives do not disclose their salaries and benefits, nor do unions disclose their books.

The cost of Bill C-377 to unions is insignificant.

Fact:

Unions do not receive any public subsidy — workers and their families receive this money back in income tax deductions, NOT unions. The tax treatment of these workers is exactly the same as that for members of the Law Society, Medical Association or employers who belong to a contractors’ association.

Constitutionally, trade unions are regulated by the Provinces, and some Provinces have opted not to regulate union finances because the transparency and accountability provided by the union by-laws and constitutions would be redundant and create unnecessary government bureaucracy. The tax treatment of these workers is exactly the same as that for members of the Law Society, Medical Association or employers who belong to a contractors’ association.

Many unions, including BCTD, disclose their executives’ salaries and benefits packages. All members do have access to union books and financial statements including expenditures. The right to access this information is clearly stipulated in the respective union local by-laws and Constitutions.

The costs to the Unions (and all of their trust funds, societies and other organizations) are enormous. Experts say it will add 20% to the current costs, and for some the pension funds it will require them to file returns ‘….the size of a large city’s phone book.’

For more information and to contact members of parliament:

www.workersbuildcanada.ca

 

Back

UA CANADA NEWS