Saturday, January 30, 2016

Barlow: Liberals choose union patronage over transparency and accountability

Member of Parliament for Foothills John Barlow
January 29th, 2016

High River, AB - Official Opposition critic and Member of Parliament for Foothills John Barlow, called the Liberal plan to repeal legislation intended to ensure the transparency and accountability of union leaders shameful and irresponsible. He demanded that the Minister of Employment and Social Development explain to Canadian union workers why they do not have the right to know how their mandatory dues are being spent.

The Liberal minister's announcement was made in the midst of massive job losses in Canada's resource sector. Without any real rationale the Minister claimed that the existing legislation that was implemented by the Harper Government was "redundant" and "unfair to the labour movement".

"With the jobs crisis in the energy sector right now it is baffling to see the Minister of Employment's top priority is to repeal bills that impose transparency and accountability on unions," said Barlow. He also added that "It appears paying back union leadership for its contributions during the election campaign is more important to the Liberal government than hard-working Canadians who have lost their jobs."

The Liberal Party campaigned on accountability and transparency and it is obvious they have no intention of keeping their election promises. One of their first actions is to repeal two bills built on a foundation of accountability and transparency. Canadians deserve better.


Yesterday, the Liberal Government announced they intend to repeal Bill C-377 and Bill C-525.

At the federal level, the previous Conservative government introduced extensive reforms to ensure Canadians have trust in their political institutions. The Accountability Act reformed the financing of political parties to reduce opportunities to influence politicians with contributions, banning union and corporate donations and levelling the playing field among individual contributors.

Bill C-377 created transparency and accountability for unions. It requires labour organizations to file a public information return with the Canada Revenue Agency on an annual basis. The disclosure requirements include financial statements, including a statement of assets and liabilities and a statement of income and expenditures, and other prescribed financial information, including amounts paid for political and lobbying activities, and the salaries paid to executives and staff.

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