'It took a big stick and stuck it directly in PMO’s eye' - Macleans.ca
 

‘It took a big stick and stuck it directly in PMO’s eye’

Brent Rathgeber considers C-377


 

Having opposed C-377 when he was still a Conservative MP, Brent Rathgeber considers the Senate’s decision to amend the bill.

Although I unequivocally support the principle that union members are entitled to know how their club spends the dues they provide it, it has never been made clear to me why non-members are entitled to this information.  The “tax deductibility of dues” argument doesn’t cut it for me.  Tax deducted dollars are not “public dollars.” If they were, this concept would have to apply to professional organizations, industry associations and certainly political parties, which are all funded on contributions deducted from the taxes payable by the party making the contribution.

What is even more troubling to me is that the Conservative Government, elected in 2006 on a platform of transparency and accountability, supports disclosure of union employee salaries at a benchmark of $100,000 but was opposed to my Private Member’s Bill (C-461) which would have required specific salary disclosure for federal public servants at a benchmark of $188,000.  Readers of this blog will undoubtedly recall that my former caucus colleagues on the Access and Ethics Committee were instructed to eviscerate C-461 and raise the specific salary disclosure bar to $444,000.  How Langevin Block can support union salary disclosure at $100,000 but oppose civil servant salary disclosure at almost double that amount remains a mystery.  How can one possibly argue that the tax deductibility of dues creates a greater public interest in salary disclosure than the obvious public interest in the salaries of federal public servants paid with genuine public dollars?


 

‘It took a big stick and stuck it directly in PMO’s eye’

  1. Boom.

    Well stated by Mr. Rathgeber.

  2. Just one big happy family.

  3. This is the kind of Conservative that Canada needs. Not a fawning sycophant in a cult of personality but a mind capable of reasoned debate. What happened to others like Mr. Rathgeber?

    • They’re buried in concrete under Lansdowne Park.

      • Maybe they’ll dig them up during the renovations in 2015.

  4. I can explain this for the Hon. Mr. Rathgeber:

    The Harper government long ago substituted self-interested partisan pandering for good public policy.

    No thanks necessary, Mr. Rathgeber. Any time.

  5. ‘Although I unequivocally support the principle that union members are entitled to know how their club spends the dues they provide it, it has never been made clear to me why non-members are entitled to this information.’

    PSSSSST… BRENT! It’s because the government doesn’t like unions. The people that contribute to the CPC don’t like unions… keep it under your hat!

  6. Credit where credit is due, that argument was pretty sensible.

  7. — “MPs are bit players in a top-down parliamentary system and role players on their own top-down partisan team.” The Bulldog, August, 1998.

    Mr. Rathgeber indicates with his comments above just how wrong Harper was.

  8. The conundrums of Canadian politics…I would likely never vote for Mr. Rathgeber because I fundamentally disagree with his stance on many other issues, but on this one I agree with and support him, not just because it relates to unions but because of the underlying principles he articulates. And his resignation from the Conservative caucus points to the proper role of MPs as representatives of a wide diversity of opinions among the Canadian polity, which it is their job to mediate and arrive at reasonable solutions. The party line is not god, nor is the PMO or the Prime Minister.