DATE: August 07, 2012
CLAC agrees that transparency is good; however, Terrance Oakey’s article in the Calgary Herald (It’s time for unions to be more transparent) wrongly suggests Bill C-377 puts unions on the same reporting level as charities and not-for-profit corporations.
This bill goes far beyond that and is blatantly intrusive and in violation of basic personal privacy rules.
Oakey, president of Merit Canada, would like unions to disclose online names, addresses, and salaries of employees, vendors, and others who provide services for the union. Sorry, but not everything should be publically available for political voyeurs and mischief-makers.
In spite of Oakey’s assertions, this bill is far more onerous than any legislation anywhere.
It is ironic that Merit Canada, whose members receive generous tax write offs for their association fees, have no reporting requirements to anyone but their own members—the same as unions. And while they run a nationwide campaign for transparency, including expensive TV and print advertising, they happily keep their funding a secret.
Most people, when asked “do you want more transparency?” would say yes. However, once their personal information is publicly available on the internet as part of this “transparency,” I suspect the answer would change radically. But that is what Bill C-377 proposes to do.
The truth is Bill C-377 is vindictive and a blatant retaliation against unions that support third party political campaigns. CLAC is also opposed to that. So let’s deal with the real issue—the need for transparency in political and lobbying contributions.
Call one of our knowledgeable regional reps today to start the process of transforming your workplace into one marked by progressive labour relations.