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Statement by Rick Smith on passage of Bill C-377


Today, Bill C-377 passed Third Reading in the Senate after the Conservative government shut down debate. If there was any doubt this anti-labour “Private Member’s Bill” didn't have the full backing of the Harper government that has been put the rest.

The legislation is discriminatory, anti-democratic and unconstitutional. The Broadbent Institute commits today to work to get it repealed.

As former Conservative Senator Hugh Segal said when the bill was first debated in the Upper Chamber in 2013, Bill C-377 is “an expression of statutory contempt for the working men and women in our trade unions and for the trade unions themselves and their right under federal and provincial law to organize.”

Notably, seven provinces opposed to the legislation, which, “in its drafting, if not in its intent, had serious and, in the view of the vast majority of witnesses, fatal flaws as to the constitutional violation of sections 92 and 91 of the British North America Act, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, freedom of speech, expression and association as protected by that very Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Segal said.

The passage of Bill C-377, part of the Harper government’s broader attack on labour rights, speaks to the Conservatives’ fundamental lack of understanding of the role of organized labour in ensuring shared prosperity and a thriving middle class.

That’s why Canadians can count on the Broadbent Institute to work to get it repealed.

Photo: wader. Used under a Creative Commons license.