C-38: Repealing the Fair Wages Act

by Aaron Wherry

Pat Martin is concerned about clause 441 of the budget bill.

One of the measures is so sneaky, says NDP MP Pat Martin, nobody seemed to notice the line buried deep in the 452-page Bill C-38 that simply states, “The Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act is repealed,” giving no explanation. With those 10 words, Ottawa intends to wipe out a 1985 law compelling contractors bidding on federal contracts to pay “fair wages” and overtime.

“I would have missed it and I’m from that industry. It was number 68 of 70 bills that they changed,” said Martin, a former journeyman carpenter and construction worker. Martin notes that unlike most measures in the budget bill, there was no prior discussion of the measure or even a signal such a change was contemplated. ”It’s a solution without a problem. The only conclusion I can come up with is that it’s a war on labour and the left. It’s what the Americans did with the right-to-work states and the end result is $8 or $9 an hour is now the average wage in places like North Carolina.”

The act is not referenced by name in the budget plan tabled by the Finance Minister in March. In an interview with As It Happens this week, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt was asked about repealing the legislation and dismissed the act as “unnecessary red tape.” Merit Canada has praised the move.

Mr. Martin addressed the change at length in the House here.




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C-38: Repealing the Fair Wages Act

  1. And just like that…poof….it’s gone.

  2. That the Cons are anti-union is no surprise, nor is the “war on unions” stance. They have always subscribed to the Reagan – right idea that making the rich richer is good for all – and besides nothing motivates the rest of us like the spectre of starvation chasing us.

  3. The Harp is just ‘job creating’ for those ‘special’ immigrants… at below minimum wage.

  4. Destroy the CPC. Its utter destruction is necessary for Canada to remain safe.

  5. If you know anything about Merit Canada, they are Pro Open Shop, Anti Union organization. Fits well with the Union Busting Mandate of this Conservative Government, selling Canada out for the greed of Corporate profits!

    • and the problem with open shop is??????? why should government jobs/contracts be awarded only to those with a union card in their hip pocket?

      • A lot of non-union workers have proven to do work cheaper than a Union shop, the drawbacks are numerous, lack of training, lack of quality. I am not saying that only Union shops can give a quality job but in my experience when a job has been given to a non-union contractor in some cases the Union contractors have been called in after to correct the problems.

  6. I guess Stephen Harper supports unfair wages.

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