CLC submission regarding Bill C-377 “An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act”

April 25, 2015


The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is the national voice of 3.3 million workers in Canada. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils whose members work in virtually all sectors of the Canadian economy, in all occupations, and in all parts of Canada.

In the opinion of the CLC, Bill C-377 infringes Canadians’ freedom of association and is contrary to Section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The bill intrudes into provincial jurisdiction with respect to the regulation of labour relations and unions and is ultra vires. Bill C-377 contravenes federal and provincial privacy legislation, and singles out and discriminates against unions compared to other organizations similarly treated in the Income Tax Act.  Finally, it will impose significant, unnecessary and unwarranted costs on the government and labour organizations.

In the words of Senator Hugh Segal, 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.”   There is no demonstrable rationale for Bill C-377, and arguments used to justify the bill are feeble at best.  In fact, there is only one underlying reason for this bill: to single out, interfere with, and weaken unions. The Congress believes C-377 is an unwarranted, unconstitutional, venal and indefensible bill that is inherently flawed and must be withdrawn.

Download the entire submission.