An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations)

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

This bill was previously introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session.


Russ Hiebert  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill.


This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Income Tax Act to require that labour organizations provide financial information to the Minister for public disclosure.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.


Dec. 12, 2012 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
Dec. 12, 2012 Passed That Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations), be concurred in at report stage with further amendments.
Dec. 12, 2012 Passed That Bill C-377, in Clause 1, be amended by : (a) replacing lines 1 to 7 on page 2 with the following: “(2) Every labour organization and every labour trust shall, by way of electronic filing (as defined in subsection 150.1(1)) and within six months from the end of each fiscal period, file with the Minister an information return for the year, in prescribed form and containing prescribed information. (3) The information return referred to” (b) replacing lines 26 to 31 on page 2 with the following: “assets — with all transactions and all disbursements, the cumulative value of which in respect of a particular payer or payee for the period is greater than $5,000, shown as separate entries along with the name of the payer and payee and setting out for each of those transactions and disbursements its purpose and description and the specific amount that has been paid or received, or that is to be paid or received, and including” (c) replacing lines 33 to 35 on page 2 with the following: “(ii) a statement of loans exceeding $250 receivable from officers, employees, members or businesses,” (d) replacing line 4 on page 3 with the following: “to officers, directors and trustees, to employees with compensation over $100,000 and to persons in positions of authority who would reasonably be expected to have, in the ordinary course, access to material information about the business, operations, assets or revenue of the labour organization or labour trust, including” (e) replacing lines 11 to 14 on page 3 with the following: “consideration provided, (vii.1) a statement with a reasonable estimate of the percentage of time dedicated by persons referred to in subparagraph (vii) to each of political activities, lobbying activities and other non-labour relations activities, (viii) a statement with the aggregate amount of disbursements to” (f) replacing lines 22 to 25 on page 3 with the following: “provided, “(viii.1) a statement with a reasonable estimate of the percentage of time dedicated by persons referred to in subparagraph (viii) to each of political activities, lobbying activities and other non-labour relations activities, (ix) a statement with the aggregate amount of disbursements on” (g) replacing lines 33 to 40 on page 3 with the following: “(xiii) a statement with the aggregate amount of disbursements on administration, (xiv) a statement with the aggregate amount of disbursements on general overhead, (xv) a statement with the aggregate amount of disbursements on organizing activities, (xvi) statement with the aggregate amount of disbursements on collective bargaining activities,” (h) replacing lines 1 and 2 on page 4 with the following: “(xix) a statement with the aggregate amount of disbursements on legal activities, excluding information protected by solicitor-client privilege, (xix.1) a statement of disbursements (other than disbursements included in a statement referred to in any of subparagraphs (iv), (vii), (viii) and (ix) to (xix)) on all activities other than those that are primarily carried on for members of the labour organization or labour trust, excluding information protected by solicitor-client privilege, and” (i) replacing lines 4 to 13 on page 4 with the following: “( c) a statement for the fiscal period listing the sales of investments and fixed assets to, and the purchases of investments and fixed assets from, non-arm’s length parties, including for each property a description of the property and its cost, book value and sale price; ( d) a statement for the fiscal period listing all other transactions with non-arm’s length parties; and ( e) in the case of a labour organization or” (j) replacing line 29 on page 4 with the following: “contained in the information return” (k) replacing lines 33 to 35 on page 4 with the following: “Internet site in a searchable format. (5) For greater certainty, a disbursement referred to in any of subparagraphs (3)( b)(viii) to (xx) includes a disbursement made through a third party or contractor. (6) Subsection (2) does not apply to ( a) a labour-sponsored venture capital corporation; and ( b) a labour trust the activities and operations of which are limited exclusively to the administration, management or investments of a deferred profit sharing plan, an employee life and health trust, a group sickness or accident insurance plan, a group term life insurance policy, a private health services plan, a registered pension plan or a supplementary unemployment benefit plan. (7) Subsection (3) does not require the reporting of ( a) information, regarding disbursements and transactions of, or the value of investments held by, a labour trust (other than a trust described in paragraph (6)(b)), that is limited exclusively to the direct expenditures or transactions by the labour trust in respect of a plan, trust or policy described in paragraph (6)(b); ( b) the address of a person in respect of whom paragraph (3)(b) applies; or ( c) the name of a payer or payee in respect of a statement referred to in any of subparagraphs (3)(b)(i), (v), (ix), (xiii) to (xvi) and (xix).”
Dec. 12, 2012 Failed That Bill C-377, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 20 on page 1 with the following: “labour organization is a signatory and also includes activities associated with advice, commentary or advocacy provided by an employer organization in respect of labour relations activities, collective bargaining, employment standards, occupational health and safety, the regulation of trades, apprenticeship, the organization of work or any other workplace matter.”
March 14, 2012 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.

April 15th, 2024 / 4:20 p.m.
See context


Chad Collins Liberal Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Thanks, Mr. Chair.

Welcome to the witnesses today.

Ms. Abou-Dib, sometimes governments are elected and they don't have the best interests of workers at heart. We saw that with Bill C-377 in the Harper government, and we've seen that recently in the province of Ontario, where the premier capped wages at 1%, which went to court and was deemed unconstitutional.

You referenced the provinces. I'm not asking you to talk about the politics of this, but one thing I've asked witnesses about is the fact that when this legislation is passed, it will be added to a list that has laws from Quebec and British Columbia, and will probably go a long way to helping the union movement by implementing the same kind of legislation in other provinces where there currently is no protection for workers.

Can you comment on the importance of what this legislation will do to assist the movement in provinces where at present there might be push-back the other way in violation of workers' rights, as we've seen with Ontario's wage cap?

Canadian Sustainable Jobs ActGovernment Orders

April 15th, 2024 / noon
See context

Toronto—Danforth Ontario


Julie Dabrusin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

Madam Speaker, I rise today in my capacity as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. This is the third time I rise in this place to move forward the Canadian sustainable jobs act, Bill C-50, and I am frustrated that it has been such a difficult journey to get us to third reading on this legislation.

It is a bill that is only about a dozen pages long and that has been supported by workers and industry. However, it seems to have touched a nerve with the Conservative opposition, so we have had to overcome a massive amount of obstruction to get to this point. Just last week, we faced a voting marathon that took over 12 hours of voting time as resources were taken up with recorded votes forced by the Conservatives. This bill matters, so Liberals did not hesitate to stand up and vote for each one, but let us be clear that the result of that Conservative charade was wasted time and taxpayer resources.

I was not surprised, because this voting marathon was just one more example of the obstruction that we, and I, have faced in this place and at committee. In December, the natural resources committee, on which I sit, faced over 20,000 amendments put forward by the Conservatives, and this was on a bill that is only about 12 pages long. The amendments were not serious proposals, and in all of my years in this place, I have never seen such awful behaviour at committee.

At these meetings, the Conservative members were loud and disruptive, and their tone was like nothing I have ever seen. It was not just a filibuster. That is a normal tool for opposition members. It was repeated, loud yelling of “point of order”, so that nothing could be said or heard. It was filming a video at every point of suspension in pursuit of a social media click and social media videos, rather than in pursuit of getting the policy right.

All of this was while workers from across the country were telling us over and over again that they wanted to see us move forward with the sustainable jobs act and that they wanted the Conservatives to end their obstruction.

At a conference last week, the Conservative energy critic stated that for her, with respect to this bill, a mutual and evidence-based middle ground is not a thing. So much for developing policy on the evidence and for working with each other to get the best results for our communities.

Why does the Conservative Party look to oppose a bill that would empower workers and a bill that acknowledges a need for workers to be at the table as our country charts a path toward a net-zero future? That is what this bill would do. Let me set out quickly what is contained in the sustainable jobs act. It has five parts.

The first part sets out principles guiding a coherent approach to economic development and climate action, including measures to support workers and help create sustainable jobs, while aligning with international best practices and sending a strong signal to investors that Canada is ready to play a leading role in the emerging world of the clean growth industry.

The second part aims to create a sustainable jobs partnership council to provide independent annual advice to the Government of Canada and to engage with Canadians. This council will ensure that experts, including workers, indigenous leaders and industry representatives, are at the table to guide government action.

The third part sets out a requirement to publish action plans every five years, drawing on input from stakeholders and partners as well as expert advice from the sustainable jobs partnership council.

The fourth part is designed to establish a sustainable jobs secretariat to ensure coordinated action to implement the law across the federal government.

The fifth and final part designates the minister or ministers responsible for implementing the legislation.

Those five things are what have given rise to all of the Conservative furor. This is why they have put up so much time and energy to oppose. That is what it is, legislation that helps workers to seize the opportunities and have a say in how it can be done.

On Thursday, the Minister of Labour asked, if they are not listening to industry or workers, or the environmental community, who are they listening to? That is a good question, because it certainly is not the many who have spoken publicly.

The president of the Business Council of Alberta said, “The Sustainable Jobs Act represents an important opportunity for Canada: to shape our future and create jobs by providing the resources that the world needs—including energy, food, and minerals.”

The International Union of Operating Engineers said, “The Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act is a step toward a future that puts the interests of energy workers at the forefront of a low-carbon economy.”

The president of the Canadian Labour Congress, which represents millions of Canadian workers, said, “The Sustainable Jobs Act signals a crucial milestone in our fight against climate change and the protection of workers' interests. Canada’s unions stand committed to working alongside all stakeholders to ensure effective implementation towards a sustainable and equitable future for all.”

Those statements confirm to me that workers in industry see in the sustainable jobs act an unlocking of opportunities; they see it as a part of our country's commitment to seize global opportunities in sustainable jobs, all the while making sure that workers are at the table as we work together to fight climate change and slow the natural disasters that are impacting our communities through wildfires, floods, droughts, hurricanes and other events.

As we strive to reduce the emissions that fuel the climate crisis, we are equally determined to ensure that our young people have a thriving future in careers that help build a strong, sustainable and prosperous economy.

Both are possible, and they go hand in hand.

All of our communities are feeling these impacts on our clean air, and floods and fires that damage homes, farms and industry. It has been shocking, in this bill's very long journey, to hear the Conservative colleagues from across the way say that they do not believe in climate change. For example, the Conservative MP for Red Deer—Mountain View, during his filibuster of this very bill, claimed that climate change is having no impact on the frequency or severity of wildfires, which is entirely false. The Conservative MP for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, in a newsletter to constituents, simply said that “the global warming gig is up”.

These statements explain why the Conservative Party's plans have been to just let the planet burn. That is not only frightening; it is also out of step with the rest of the world, because the world is looking for clean energy and renewables and to build their businesses in Canada because of our clean electrical grid. These are the opportunities we could seize with the sustainable jobs act.

We have a target to hit net zero, and many subsectors, like cement and electricity, have similar pathways and road maps based on modelling and market trends. All of this means expanding and deploying new technologies using skilled Canadian labour. These range from installing electric arc furnaces for steelmaking, like at Dofasco; finding ways to harness solar and biomass in remote communities, like in Old Crow, Yukon; or using deep-lake cold water from Lake Ontario to cool downtown Toronto's hospitals and buildings through a district energy system operated by Enwave. There are hundreds of examples across this country of innovative projects that are being advanced to create clean power and sustainable jobs.

RBC estimates that in this decade alone, just in the next few years, the global shift to a low-carbon economy will create up to 400,000 new Canadian jobs in fields where enhanced skills will be required.

Last summer, I had the chance to talk with people working on wind turbines in Ontario. One of these workers told me how he had chosen to train to work on wind turbines, because he liked the opportunity to be outdoors while doing the technical work he enjoys. He was making a better living, and he was living better.

I met people at George Brown College who are part of a program to provide certification for electric vehicle mechanics. A large percentage of the people who were studying the certification were new to the field of mechanics. One person commented that the workplace for EVs had cleaner air than a traditional shop. Given that my grandfather worked in an autobody shop as a mechanic, Dabrusin Motors, it hits home how no emissions in his shop would have been a much healthier workplace.

On International Women's Day this year, I had the opportunity to join the Millwright Regional Council, AECON and Ontario Power Generation at the graduation of a group women. They had been part of a special program to encourage women to become millwrights, and upon graduation, they were able to get jobs working on the refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear power plant. It was inspiring to meet these graduates and the people who had come around them to create this special program.

We are talking about good-paying jobs in nuclear energy, a form of energy that has helped Ontario move away from coal-fired electricity and that is bringing cleaner air to our communities across the provinces. Through the sustainable jobs act, we want to make sure that workers help chart the course to make sure that women, such as those in this graduating class, can find good-paying jobs that are a part of our country's future.

In fact, these are the jobs of our planet's future, and investment is flowing to clean technologies. In 2022 alone, over $2 trillion went to clean technologies globally. This bill would help support coordinating the labour force's development needs in these fast-growing industries. As we rapidly look to expanding Canada's advantage in clean technologies to meet our domestic and global needs, we must also expand the skills and training of Canadians to ensure that high-quality jobs are created here.

I will ask members to allow me to provide two examples of how we are creating sustainable jobs in Canada for Canadian workers and communities while supporting our allies around the world. If the world wants more clean energy, and it does, let our talented workforce meet that demand. If the world wants more products made through a low-carbon manufacturing process, let us attract that investment that helps our workers to fill that gap.

The first example is our nuclear financing agreement with Romania. Romania has been a NATO ally of Canada for 20 years now, and it is strategically placed as a leader in Eastern Europe to supply zero-emissions power to its neighbours with Canadian CANDU reactors at Cernavoda's power station.

Nuclear power and technology is a vital part of Canada's legacy as a tier 1 nuclear nation. We are providing $3 billion in financing to Romania to develop two new CANDU reactors. That is a good deal. It is one that will be paid back with interest, which will flow entirely to Canadian companies. It will create good jobs across Ontario, help Romania to phase out coal several years ahead of schedule and displace Putin's energy blackmail with a steady supply of reliable, zero-emissions power. That is a win for climate action, a win for our allies, for our economy, for workers and for Canada.

The second example is about hydrogen. A few weeks ago, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources led a delegation to Hamburg, Germany, where Canada became the first country in the world to cement a hydrogen window with the Germans, making the first deal of its kind between any two countries. Part of the reason Vice-Chancellor Habeck had such confidence in Canada is the enormous clean power potential presented by our Atlantic offshore.

As the Minister of Labour mentioned last Thursday, offshore wind power and the hydrogen that it can create represent the largest economic opportunities for the region in a generation. They present us with the potential to economically revitalize entire coastal communities across both provinces. That is an example of strategic investment and partnership being used to create thousands of sustainable jobs for Canadian workers on the path to net zero here and around the world.

If I go back to my frustrations, it has been deeply frustrating. The Conservative members of the natural resources committee have repeatedly talked down the offshore opportunities and stated opposition to Bill C-49, the bill that would allow these offshore wind projects to proceed and create that green hydrogen that is sought after by our allies. These are good opportunities to create good-paying jobs.

We are standing up with provinces to make sure Canadian workers can seize these new opportunities. Workers are at the centre of the sustainable jobs act, and as I have pointed out, unions have strongly supported this bill. When workers organize, they do not just ask more of their employers. They expect more from government too, and that is a good thing. We are advancing replacement worker legislation and investments in union-led training centres because we believe in unions.

Just this weekend, I talked with a unionized worker in my community who was telling me about the importance of his union and his strong support for our replacement worker legislation. He wants a government that supports unionized workers and collective bargaining, and I could assure him that our Liberal government does support those things.

That stands in sharp contrast to the previous Conservative government, in which the Leader of the Opposition was a cabinet minister. As a cabinet minister in the Harper government, the Leader of the Opposition championed two of the most anti-union and anti-worker bills the House has ever seen: Bill C-525 and Bill C-377.

Bill C-377 was an unconstitutional bill to silence unions by burying them in onerous reporting requirements, including forcing them to show their strike funds to employers, which would weaken the prospect of deals at the bargaining table. Bill C-525 was similarly an attack on workplace democracy, making it very difficult for workers to form unions and easier for the then Conservative government to arbitrarily decertify unions.

In 2017, our government repealed both of these bills, and since then, we have continued to stand up for unions. Despite all of the Conservative games, we have been pushing forward, and we will continue to fight for workers. This is precisely what our sustainable jobs plan and act would deliver.

I will conclude by highlighting the widespread support that exists for this legislation.

First, Equiterre had this to say about the bill: “It is an essential step toward more cohesive climate action and there's absolutely no reason to delay the adoption of this bill. Building a sustainable workforce starts now—not in 2050.”

The executive director of the Pembina Institute stated the following:

Passing the Sustainable Jobs Act and getting the new Sustainable Jobs Partnership Council working will deliver the message, loud and clear: Canada is a great place to invest, with workers who are second to none and ready to get the job done.

A youth-led organization called re-generation said it supports the plan and the bill because:

This Act will help ensure that green jobs are available for anyone who wants one. It will establish a partnership council to directly involve workers and communities in the transition, and allocate critical funding to green skills development and training.

Finally, the vice-president of IBEW International said that, through this legislation, the Government of Canada is demonstrating its “commitment to protecting good-paying, highly skilled jobs.”

Countries around the world know that we have two choices ahead of us. We can advance plans for the future that would allow us to seize economic opportunities while fighting climate change, or we can simply stick our heads in the sand and hope for the best.

I sincerely hope that every member in the House agrees to choose the first path because, as countries around the world race to seize economic opportunities ahead of us, we must also quickly pass Bill C-50. We need to keep working to ensure we have a sustainable future and sustainable jobs for future generations.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

April 11th, 2024 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

North Vancouver B.C.


Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Energy and Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, today we are in the House fighting for workers and communities in Canada, so we can create sustainable jobs moving forward. We will grow the economy and we will fight climate change. Standing in the way of workers is the Conservative leader, a proud supporter of notorious anti-worker legislation, including Bill C-377 and Bill C-525. His plan for Canada is to cut investments, to let our economy fall behind and to let the planet burn.

Our plan will ensure we are building an economy in which Canadian workers and Canadian communities will win, and we will vote as many times as it takes to get it done.

April 11th, 2024 / 9:05 a.m.
See context

President, Confédération des syndicats nationaux

Caroline Senneville

Bill C‑377 and Bill C‑525 were both anti-union bills, in our view. They were aimed at making unionization more difficult and, once unions were formed, at reducing their scope of action. In our opinion, this violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which, I repeat, guarantees the right of association.

As I said at the outset, Bill C‑58 will indeed transform the world of work and its vision in Canada. That is not insignificant.

In Quebec, the statistics are looked at every year. We saw that after the adoption of anti-scab legislation in 1977, the number of strikes didn't increase. What has decreased is violence and the number of ambulances on picket lines.

April 11th, 2024 / 9:05 a.m.
See context


Wayne Long Liberal Saint John—Rothesay, NB

Thank you, Chair, and good morning.

Good morning to my colleagues.

Thank you to our witnesses this morning.

I think if there's ever been an example of a party that doesn't want to talk about legislation, Canadians can see that today. The Conservative Party wants to talk about everything but this legislation. I am not going to talk about how a turkey cost $100 two years ago and I bought one for $35 two weeks ago. I am not going to talk about that.

Ms. Senneville, my question for you is this: Bill C-377 and Bill C-525 were two stunning pieces of legislation that the Conservative Party brought forth when it was in government that were absolutely detrimental and devastating to unions.

I would like you to talk to us, for the record, about Bill C-377 and Bill C-525 and tell us what they did to unions. I want you to also comment on Bill C-58 and how important it is. I want you to dispel the myth that unions want to strike.

April 9th, 2024 / 12:45 p.m.
See context


Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.

I'm going to be splitting my time with Mr. Baker since we might only have one round.

I want to thank all of the witnesses for their excellent presentations.

I only have time to ask questions of maybe one, and they will be directed to you, Mr. Strickland.

In my riding of Davenport, I have a lot of members of unions, particularly construction unions. Ever since I was elected just over eight years ago, I've been very focused on them, very focused on their issues.

I will say to you that I'm very proud of our government. Over the last eight years, we've made huge improvements in worker rights and in more supports for unions. We very much started out with actually repealing two pieces of what I would consider very anti-union, anti-worker legislation when we first came in: Bill C-525 and Bill C-377.

I want to thank you for your leadership, Mr. Strickland. You have really pushed us to do quite a few things. I want to thank you also.... You were very laudatory today about the labour requirements around ITCs, as well as the funding that we have and the importance that we have in the fall economic statement around apprenticeships. Both are game-changers.

What I want to talk to you about is this: There are also measures in here around breaking down barriers to the internal labour mobility in our country and also around prioritizing construction workers for permanent residency. I would love it if you could comment on both of those. We have already introduced a new labour mobility tax deduction. Again, it's something that you very much championed, but now we're moving to the next phase to remove more barriers to internal labour mobility.

The second part is that we are actually, in our express entry immigration system, prioritizing construction workers. Can you talk about how important both of these elements are to our moving forward on the construction that we need, particularly in housing, across this country?

April 8th, 2024 / 3:50 p.m.
See context


Terry Sheehan Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Thank you.

Bill C-58 could be said to eclipse Bill C-377 and Bill C-525—pun intended. I really appreciate that.

Ryan, you mentioned the different transportation networks that you wanted to talk about. I'm also on the trade committee. At the trade committee, the longshore people mentioned that they kept using replacement workers and whatnot, and it was really hard to get the employer at the table. This was their testimony. Quite frankly, they felt it prolonged what happened out west, and it shouldn't have.

Would you not agree that the best deals are done at the table, and that we ought to get people at the table consistently? This longshoreman—it was “man” at the time—said they would have to present, and the union would present to the opposite, and they couldn't make decisions because they weren't the employer either. They were representatives. They'd have to go back. It was delaying things forever.

Do you have any comments about that?

April 8th, 2024 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

President, Canadian Labour Congress

Bea Bruske

When workers decide to go on strike, it's after a lot of frustration that comes to the fore. I will point out that in many situations where scabs are used, scabs are hired, and paid more than the very workers who are out on strike. That was certainly the case in my home province of Manitoba where there was a liquor control commission strike last year. The employees were making near minimum wage as new hires, whereas scabs were hired at $20 an hour. That is a further frustration that leads to a lot of anger on the picket line.

You mentioned two very egregious pieces of legislation, Bill C-525 and Bill C-377. Bill C-377 was really designed to ensure that unions were tied up in knots with all kinds of regulations, and reporting their union finances to outside agencies.

Union leaders are democratically elected. Union members have the right to see their financial statements at any given point in time. Union members are elected to boards as trustees. They have regular access to their union statements. They know how their union is spending their money and defending their interests. That was specific in tying unions up with a whole bunch of time, paperwork and energy surrounding the ability to not be able to perform, and not be able to represent their members as well as possible.

Bill C-525 was really designed to limit the amount of unionization within the federal public sector. We know that when you carry a union card in your back pocket, you have a greater chance to be part of Canada's middle class. We want all workers to have the ability to sit at a bargaining table, if they so choose, and be represented by a union to bargain a fair deal.

April 8th, 2024 / 3:50 p.m.
See context


Terry Sheehan Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

That creates a challenge, then. You have replacement workers being brought in. You have workers trying to support their families and themselves while making significantly less, so you can see why some folks wouldn't support using replacement workers when it's challenging workers. I really appreciate you clarifying that for us.

I want to bring up one other thing. The previous government brought in two pieces of legislation which quite frankly the union movement of all stripes said were the most anti-union pieces of legislation that it had seen in forever. They were Bill C-377 and Bill C-525, I believe.

Could you please explain to the committee what they were, and why were they punitive?

March 21st, 2024 / 10:05 a.m.
See context


Wayne Long Liberal Saint John—Rothesay, NB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Good morning to my colleagues.

Minister O'Regan, thank you for coming.

I have to say that I am virtual, but I am just amazed and dumbfounded when I listen to the Conservative MPs today with this new-found concern for Canadian unions and the working class. It's just amazing. It's a 180° turnaround. They brought forth Bill C-377 and Bill C-525, which were arguably two of the biggest union-busting bills that we've seen in our history, and we reversed them.

Minister, I want to congratulate you for Bill C-58. It's progressive. It's going to move our country forward. It's historic legislation that's going to help Canadian workers get powerful paycheques.

As we've seen in the House and here in this committee—again, disappointingly so—the Conservative MPs do not want to talk about Bill C-58.

We know what the Leader of the Opposition is about, and what he did was support anti-labour bills. We know that he also supports American-style right-to-work legislation.

Minister, I want you to share with me why you think the Conservative MPs today do not want to talk about Bill C-58.

Thank you.

LabourOral Questions

February 28th, 2024 / 2:55 p.m.
See context

Papineau Québec


Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville for his continued advocacy for Canadian workers. Indeed, the best deals are made at the bargaining table.

However, when Canadian workers see Conservative politicians like the members for Battlefords—Lloydminster, Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan and Louis-Saint-Laurent parrot corporate talking points, they know that the Conservative Party of anti-union bills, Bill C-377 and Bill C-525, is still alive and kicking.

Canadians will not be fooled by the Conservative leader caving to pressure after a steady 19-year political career opposing unions.

February 5th, 2024 / 4:15 p.m.
See context


Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Thank you, Mr. Long.

I know Bill C-377 and Bill C-525 caused a lot of damage in the relationship between the federal government and working men and women across the country. They were undermining unions and making it difficult for them to form and forcing them to show their cards financially at a pivotal time at a negotiating table. Anyway, we ripped them up.

I look to Mr. Aitchison, because when we were working on 10 paid days of sick leave, we got unanimous consent. I think things have changed demonstrably in this country. I think we have a significant labour shortage and I think all parties recognize this, but we have gone the extra mile for workers because we sit down and we listen to them. We listen to what they have to say. We have a union-led advisory table, for instance, that is coming up consistently with good ideas, and they are the ones who know their membership.

A lot of the membership have significant concerns right now about artificial intelligence and about automation, but one thing they have asked for since before Canada even became a country was a ban on replacement workers, for anti-scab legislation, and we're going to deliver on that. I have sat down at very difficult negotiations with employers and with unions trying to sort out the best way to do it. We feel we've landed on it and we will be making the case to the House. I'm looking forward to support from all members, hopefully, as we had before.

February 5th, 2024 / 4:15 p.m.
See context


Wayne Long Liberal Saint John—Rothesay, NB

Thank you.

Good afternoon, colleagues. Thank you, Ministers, for coming.

My beautiful riding of Saint John—Rothesay is a strong union riding, very proud of its union heritage, whether they are Saint John firefighters local 771, the Saint John police force union, CUPE local 18 for outside workers or ILA longshoremen's union local 273. The list goes on and on.

One of the first things I heard in 2015, not really knowing that much, was about Bill C-377 and BillC-525. It was like, “If you guys get in, you have to repeal Bill 377 and Bill 525.” I did some research. It was the Conservatives. They were basically union-busting bills that made it very difficult for unions to certify, and every union that I came across was against them.

I know that the Conservatives at times like to paint themselves as friends of unions. I would say that it's the exact oppositive. Unions built the middle class, with five-day work weeks, eight-hour days and safe work environments.

We've done a lot of great things for unions. As you said, Minister, we've banned replacement workers.

I am going to put a motion on notice to study how unions deliver powerful paycheques, better benefits and safer workplaces for all Canadians. I'll be moving that motion very soon and I hope to have support from everybody around this table.

Minister, if you can, I'd like you to share your efforts with respect to being Minister of Labour in delivering for Canadian workers and for unions.

Thank you.

January 29th, 2024 / 11:50 a.m.
See context


Irek Kusmierczyk Liberal Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

I really do appreciate hearing all the comments from my colleagues around the table. I very much welcome this discussion and debate. I think it's an important one.

I've been reading a book by Cass Sunstein, who was inside the first Obama administration. The name of the book is Simpler. I would recommend that all members pick it up because of what it's about. How do we make government and the economy simpler? How do we streamline things? How do we make them more effective? How do we make them more efficient? It's really interesting, because I think that is absolutely the goal of Liberal members of this government, as it was a priority in the Obama administration, a democratic government in the United States as well.

It's important to recognize that this is a priority, really, for all governments, so I welcome this discussion. I welcome this debate. I think it's an important debate to have. However, this motion, as it is currently crafted, is lazy and dim, and the only purpose it serves is as a slogan to gather clips. That's all it is. Let's just put all our cards on the table. Let's call a spade a spade and let's say what this motion is about. This is an important issue, but this motion is just poor. It doesn't meet the standard of what should be a very important conversation.

Our government is committed to cutting red tape. Let me give you one example of that. The most important issue right now facing our country is the housing shortage, the shortage of affordable housing, and the very purpose of our housing accelerator fund is to partner with municipalities directly to cut red tape and to make different types of housing legal again. A perfect example of that is working with our municipalities to provide funding to encourage municipalities that want to get more housing built to eliminate some of the red tape at the local level—specifically, rules that made it illegal to build four units “as of right” across cities. Twenty-eight municipalities have signed up to our housing accelerator fund plan. Twenty-eight communities have adopted four units “as of right” across their cities. They're cutting red tape, with our support, to help build more housing. Those twenty-eight communities have committed to building 400,000 new housing units in the next few years.

This is what a federal government that is collaborative and that understands partnerships looks like. It's working directly with municipalities to cut red tape to get more affordable housing built faster in our communities. It's odd that the Conservatives, who are so interested in cutting red tape and so interested in building more houses, voted against the housing accelerator fund and voted against Bill C-56. When we introduced a bill to cut GST from the construction of rental housing, they voted against it. You have a government that's committed to doing the right thing, to making sure we get houses built and to making sure we work with our provincial and municipal counterparts to get more houses built, in part by cutting red tape. That's what we're doing. Conservatives are against.

Let me give you another recent example: renewable energy and the Atlantic accords. Bill C-49 would extend the Atlantic accords to build offshore wind farms in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. There's already a project being built. It's a billion-dollar project. There are billions of dollars waiting to be invested in offshore wind farms and clean energy in the Atlantic provinces right now.

We introduced Bill C‑49 to streamline that process to make it easier for investment in clean technology and wind farms across the Atlantic provinces. We're talking about billions of dollars to create tens of thousands of jobs in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. One of the foundations of that bill is to cut red tape and streamline the process.

By the way, the provinces all supported it. The premiers of those provinces signed on. Who voted against those accords? Who voted against streamlining the process to build offshore wind farms in the Atlantic? It was the Conservatives. They are the ones who are bringing forward a dim, lazy motion to cut red tape at this committee.

It's appalling. Enough with the politics. Let's talk a bit more about this preamble and some of the things contained in the colourful preamble that was introduced here today.

Let's talk about the economy. In the last year, Canada was the number one destination for foreign direct investment in the entire world, per capita. What does that mean? It means that more international companies invested more money in our country than in any other country in the world, per capita.

Businesses see Canada as the place to put their money because they know that it's a good investment. They know that this is where you have the best workforce in the world. This is where you have the best investment climate in the world.

Let's talk facts. That's Canada. It's the number one destination for foreign direct investment. That is businesses voting with their feet and with their money to come here. There's Stellantis in Windsor, which we know the Conservatives don't support. There's Volkswagen in St. Thomas. We know the Conservatives don't support it, even though their own member represents that entire community. There's Northvolt in Montreal. They don't support that. They don't support investments in clean technology.

There are 1.1 million more workers working in this country now than before the pandemic. That is a federal government working hand in hand with business to grow and strengthen our economy. That's a partnership. We have the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio of any major developed country. We have a AAA rating from the credit agency. We were able to attract this investment. We were able to create jobs. We're on a sound fiscal footing as well.

Wages have been higher than inflation in the last year. In my community, we've seen unions negotiate historic deals with the Big Three, which are putting more money in the pockets of Canadians and workers. We're seeing workers earning more money today than in the past.

Let's talk about unions and red tape for a second. The Conservatives wanted to drown unions in red tape. They forget that. They introduced Bill C-377. My colleague across the way from the NDP remembers that. When they were in government, they wanted to drown unions in red tape with all sorts of different accounting paperwork that unions would have been forced to submit. It would have crippled them. It would have undermined unions' work by drowning them in red tape. These are the very same unions that have fought for higher wages and better work conditions for Canadians over the last number of months.

You talk about the economy. We are a trading nation. We export. Most of our GDP is created because we have companies that export goods to the United States and around the world. In my hometown, 80% to 90% of what we manufacture is for export. In Windsor—Essex, 90% of what we grow is for export.

This government has signed more trade deals than pretty much anyone. We have trade deals with just about every country on this planet. We wanted to sign a free trade agreement with Ukraine, which Ukraine herself asked for, that would not only support Ukraine in her time of need but support farmers in Canada and support Canadian businesses looking to do business in Ukraine to help in the future reconstruction of Ukraine. The Conservatives voted against that free trade agreement for the very same game of politics they're playing here today: slogans, politics, videos—yay.

Try governing. Try working with us to govern this country. That's what we're asking for: real policies, real ideas, real programs, real partnerships—none of these lazy, dim slogans.

The other thing I would say, on the issue of foreign doctors and nurses, is that the training of doctors and nurses takes place at the provincial level. The training of foreign international health care workers takes place at the provincial level. We know that. We understand that. We also understand that we have a role to play in that as well. That's why, literally four weeks ago, we announced, for example, that we are spending an additional $86 million to help 15 provincial organizations and associations speed up the credentialing of internationally trained health care workers. The credentialing of 6,600 health care workers will be sped up.

I want to quote what the minister texted just a few weeks ago. This is the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities—she herself a nurse—on the issue of foreign credential recognition. Here is what she tweeted out literally two days ago: “@PierrePoilievre, take it from me, a nurse: actions speak louder than words. You voted against the work we’re doing that’s speeding up foreign credential recognition. Your slogans won’t fool nurses, we know the only thing happening to healthcare under Conservatives is cuts.” Ouch.

It's the same thing, guys. We know your shtick. It's just slogans—empty slogans. There is nothing behind them, and there's nothing behind this motion. It's just slogans.

I'm begging you. Do the work that Canadians sent us to Parliament Hill to do. Work with us. Get serious. Cut the videos. Cut the slogans. Cut the politics. Do the damn work. Get things done.

With that, Mr. Chair, I thank you for this opportunity to talk about what I think is an important issue. There are many different aspects to this issue, but let's be serious about it. Let's toss this motion in the garbage bin where it belongs. Let's talk about this issue seriously and approach it from the many different avenues it deserves.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Canada Labour CodeGovernment Orders

December 14th, 2023 / 4 p.m.
See context


Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, I understand why he is uncomfortable with my speech right now. I am talking about a history of the Conservative government intervening and forcing workers back to work when we are talking about a bill, Bill C-58, which is designed to protect those collective bargaining rights. That is the context of my speech. I understand if he is uncomfortable taking a little walk down memory lane as we talk about Bill C-58.

We can also talk about 2012, when again the Conservative government intervened in a railway strike, demonstrating again it has no problem using a legislative sledgehammer against unions and workers. I hope on Bill C-58 its members stand up one day to vote in favour of this bill.

It was not just the government, because in the previous Harper government we had two private members' bill, Bill C-525 and Bill C-377