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Liberals put halt to controversial finance disclosure rules for unions

Waiver effectively removes any worry unions had that they would have to open their books to show every transaction


 

OTTAWA — The federal government has taken its first step towards repealing a controversial law that would have required unions to disclose finite details of their spending.

The government says it is waiving requirements for unions to track every dollar of spending so it could one day be publicly disclosed by the Canada Revenue Agency.

The rules are contained in a private member’s bill known as Bill C-377, passed in June over objections from unions, provinces and experts who called it unconstitutional and argued it would cost millions for the federal government to enforce.

Under the law, unions would have had to track spending starting December 31, and the first batch of public disclosures would have been due to the Canada Revenue Agency by mid-2017.

The waiver effectively removes any worry unions had that they would have to open their books to show every transaction as well as the salaries of anyone who worked full-time or part-time for a union even if they weren’t a member of the executive.

The Liberals had promised during the election to repeal the bill.


 

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