The last bill of the Conservative government passed the Senate and received Royal Assent last week. It was Bill C-377, MP Russ Hiebert’s controversial private member’s Union Transparency bill that will now become law in 2016.
This is without question the most vindictive bill passed by the Harper government. It was ridiculed and blocked from Senate passage two years ago in an effort led by by former Conservative Senator Hugh Segal. It is nothing but a blatant attack on unions to hopefully cause disquiet among their membership. Mind you if Hiebert had just been smart enough to include business in the bill, we might have said “Okay. If it is supposed to keep the union membership better informed, why cannot business also keep their shareholders and creditors better informed?”
As you can imagine, this bill will be removed from the books on the election of either a Liberal or New Democrat government. The National Revenue Agency will obviously have a go slow policy on establishing regulations, on-line forms and instructions until the agency sees the lay of the land after the October 19 election.
But the bill was about all you could expect from a Conservative Party flunky such as Hiebert. In eleven years of being paid to represent his British Columbia riding, this is his biggest accomplishment. It was the first private member’s bill presented to parliament in 2011 and the final bill passed when that parliament rose at the end of June, 2015.
Hiebert even sent out a gleeful news release to all and sundry (including Babel-on-the-Bay) saying how pleased he was that his bill was passed. We are glad that Mr. Hiebert is glad but we sure are not impressed.
Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry
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