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Canada to require union financial disclosure

Update August 2013

The proposed legislation has passed the Canadian Senate (Upper House) and has been referred back to the lower house.

16 December 2012

Canadian unions will be required to fully disclose their finances under new laws likely to come into effect in 2013-14.

The legislation C-377 is a private members' bill. It passed the Canadian Lower House on 12 December 2012 and moves to the Senate for final debate in early 2013. The governing Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave its 166 members (of a 308 member parliament) a free vote. Six Conservatives did not vote for the Bill along with the opposition who were opposed to it.

A link to C-377 as passed 12 December is here.

C-377 is an amendment to the Income Tax Act. Assuming it passes into law, which is likely, the law would:
  • Apply to all unions and umbrella labour organizations
  • Require unions to lodge financial returns to the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Require the union returns to be placed on CRA's website for public access.
Public financial disclosure is already required of charities in Canada on the CRA website. Union disclosure will be similar.

Those who favour the legislation:
Those who oppose the legislation

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