When the Federal Tories took “progressive” out of their title after merging with the Reform Party, it was inevitable that the radical right wing ideology of the Reformers would come into conflict with the more pragmatic former Progressive Conservatives.
This week the Conservative majority in the Senate effectively blocked a bill from the Conservative majority in the Commons demonstrating that at least 16 Conservative Senators had no appetite for the kind of anti-democratic rough play that has been characteristic of the Harper government. Another six abstained from the vote.
Amendments by the Upper House have stalled a piece of anti-union legislation brought under the cover of a private members’ bill. Bill C-377 was introduced by MP Russ Hiebert to force public disclosure of all union payments of $5,000 or more to outside groups or individuals. It also proposed that any union salaries over $100,000 be subject to disclosure along the same lines as the Ontario Sunshine list.
Unions run on dues collected from members, they don’t rely on taxpayer funding. While union members have access to financial information and participate in the decision-making around how that money is spent, there is no particular reason why those who don’t contribute should have access to that information.
At OPSEU the union budget is debated openly every year at Convention. The details are hardly a secret when close to 2,000 people are present for the discussion.