OTTAWA, Dec. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF)
strongly condemns the Harper Conservative government for pushing Bill
C-377 through the House of Commons without a fair debate and without
hearing the voices of those affected by the legislation.
"The Harper Government has shown contempt for all working Canadians and
their organizations," says CTF President Paul Taillefer. "The obscene
haste in passing of this bill is a travesty of the parliamentary
procedure, not to mention a cause for shame for all Canadians who want
openness, fairness and sincere discussion of issues.
"Since women make up 70% of the teachers in Canada, they will be
significantly impacted by Bill C-377 both as union members and as
taxpayers. Teachers belong to very democratic unions and federations
that have long been champions for transparency -- their budgets are
scrutinized and voted by their membership; they will lose money and
"When the Harper Conservative government was elected, it promised to be
transparent. However, this bill was drafted in secrecy, packaged as a
private member's bill and then marshalled through the House of Commons
with little or no opportunity for debate.
"The Harper government was elected on a promise of fiscal
responsibility. However, this bill was pushed through with complete
disregard for the enormous costs and even less regard for the
parliamentary rules about money bills.
"The Harper government was elected on a promise of honesty. This bill
was pushed through with government MPs claiming that it was supportive
of workers but in reality, it is ideologically based and weakens the
balance of power for workers. One MP, in his speech in the House of
Commons, even referred to labour organization meetings as "communist
"Sadly, the actions of the Harper government are predictable: stifle
debate, minimize or eliminate the voices of those who don't agree, and
abuse legislative powers.
Bill C-377 is a private member's bill introduced by Conservative Member
of Parliament (MP) Russ Hiebert (South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale)
that claims it will make unions more accountable, even though most
unions already provide financial reports to their members frequently.
An alliance of 15 Member organizations and one Affiliate Member
representing nearly 200,000 teachers across the country, the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) is a member of the international body of teachers, Education International EI. Follow CTF on Twitter @CTFPresident, @CanTeachersFed, @EnseigneCanada.
SOURCE: Canadian Teachers' Federation
For further information:
Paul Taillefer, CTF President
Francine Filion, CTF Director of Communications, 613-688-4314 (office) or 613-899-4247 (cell)