A very important drama is playing out in the Senate this week and it’s not the Mike Duffy trial that the media is so obsessed with. It is actually playing out in a Senate chamber where the Finance Committee is listening to submissions by various parties on Bill C 377.
This partisan and deeply flawed piece of legislation, which will force unions to make public their expenses over $5,000 (among other requirements), is now before the Senate for the second time in its original, unamended form. When first brought to the Senate, members of all parties acknowledged that the bill has serious flaws and runs the risk of running afoul of the Privacy Act, breaching lawyer-client privilege, and even facing constitutional challenge. The bill was significantly amended by senators on both sides of the aisle in a non-partisan fashion and sent back to the Commons. Now it’s back in the Senate, exactly the same as it was when first presented.