Harper's Rule Breaking Rush to Crush Unions
'Suicidal excess': A Tory says his party will pay for ramming anti-labour Act through Senate.
"There's nothing democratic about what's going on here. It's like watching the Roman Empire collapse." -- BC Liberal Senator Larry Campbell on Conservative senators imposing Bill C-377Is there anything more undemocratic than Canada's most tainted organization -- the Conservative-controlled Senate -- breaking its rules and then overturning its own Conservative Speaker's ruling, all to hurriedly impose anti-union legislation before the federal election?
That's what happened last week with Bill C-377, an odious private members' bill shepherded from beginning to end by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's own office, passed by Parliament's Conservative majority and sent to the Senate for approval.
When Liberal, independent and even Conservative senators tried to delay passage of the legislation through extended debate, the Conservative Senate majority moved a motion to end debate.
And after Senate Speaker Leo Housakos -- a Conservative appointed by Harper only last month -- said their motion was "inconsistent with the basic principles of our rules and practices," they simply challenged Housakos' ruling and voted it down.
The rules of the Senate don't apply if inconvenient to Harper's political goals. ...............
So why are the Harper Conservatives so fixated on C-377?
And why do seven provinces, every union and labour organization in Canada, the National Hockey League Players' Association, the Canadian Bar Association, police associations and many others all strongly object to the legislation?
Bill C-377 is clearly intended to tie unions up with costly bureaucratic administrative costs, though Conservatives say it is about "transparency."
Every union expenditure over $5,000 must be publicly reported and posted online -- something no other group faces -- not organizations for lawyers, doctors, architects, engineers or indeed any professional association.
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