Many will recall that one of the arguments used by the Harper government for scrapping the Long Gun Registry was the administrative costs associated with the registry and how they were a burden to the Canadian Taxpayer.
A recent private members bill, Bill C-377An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Requirements for Labour Organizations), could wind up being the Conservative’s Long Gun Registry as far as costs to the Canadian taxpayer are concerned.
The Bill would make it mandatory for labour organizations which means unions, union sponsored benefit plans, pension plans, trust funds, etc., to file detailed financial reports with Revenue Canada with all information published on a government website.
This Bill will be very costly for the government to administer, and it will cost taxpayers a lot of money. There are 25,000 union organizations, and internal divisions of union organizations in Canada that will have to file incredibly detailed reports under this Bill. All those reports will have to be processed. Furthermore, there will be a huge cost to government to develop all of the regulations needed to enact the legislation, to develop and prepare all the required forms, instruction booklets, and software programs to file, receive and process the information.
A conservative estimate is that this will generate additional costs in the hundreds of millions of dollars for Canadian taxpayers.
This Bill is unnecessary as union financial statements are already open to union members – they are the people who have the right to this information, not large corporations who could use this detailed information to prevent their employees from exercising their right to join a union.
This Bill is also unnecessary because approximately 95 percent of all unionized workers are governed by provincial labour codes, the vast majority of which require unions to make their financial statements available to their members.
This Bill is not about taxes, so it doesn’t belong in the Income Tax Act. Clearly, this Bill is about interfering in the labour laws and codes of this country, most of which fall under the jurisdiction of the provinces.
Bill C-377 is overt interference in the labour relations process designed to give significant advantages to employers at taxpayers’ expense.
Tell the government not to support Private Member’s Bill C-377 by sending a letter to federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt.