The following is Brother Betker’s email conversations with his MP over the Private Members Bill C-377. This is a Private Members Bill that requires all Labour Organizations to disclose their finaces to the public.

From: Brad Betker
Sent: August-27-12 7:31 PM
Subject: Re[2]: A tax hike on workers?

I couldn’t disagree with you more.  Members of Unions have full right to know where their dues are going at which they can simply ask their Union executive to provide such details, but in no way does the public have any right or need to know! I belong to a relatively small local and the bill “Russ Hiebert” (in quotations as it is obvious this was not his agenda) tabled will be a grave cost to our local, either by the fines imposed for not being able to report on time or by the added cost to hire accountants as our volunteer executive will never be able to find the time to produce such documents on time.

I would like your guarantee this information will not be used as an attempt to bust up Unions to make the 1 percentile even richer. Union organizations benefit all working Canadians not just those who are members.

Please explain to me the benefits to the majority of Canadians this bill will provide?

This is merely an attempt to kick the working class once again and make corporate Canada even richer. Working people in Canada are definitely taking notice that they are under attack from their own federal government taking away our right to strike for fair wages and quality of life, raising the retirement age (I must have missed where MP pensions were reduced), assisting corporations in lowering the pensions of workers, removing environmental protection to benefit big oil companies, pulling funding from research areas like the ELA (even though the research that comes from these places are critical in saving Lake Winnipeg, which last time I checked, was in your riding). Your government could fund the ELA by simply putting an end to the useless mailings you send out.

Unions receiving substantial public benefits? Are you referring to the benefits your government provided to the following;

Canada Post – Harper legislates wages less for unionized workers than what Canada Post was offering the workers

Air Canada – Harper government sticks its nose in a private corporations dealings

CP Rail – Harper government states they will legislate back to work prior to any strike. This gave CP management no reason to bargain in good faith.

Catepillar – Locks out workers and demanding they agree to a 50% wage decrease, a company that is posting record billions of dollar profits. Zero support for the workers from the Harper government.

And lastly, massive job cuts to the public service employees of the federal government.

Have you been to a National Park lately and seen the condition of these campgrounds? These should be a priority as they are filled with tourists from around the world; instead, your government slashes the workforce.

Whats next?  Will your government legislate the NHLPA back to work?

I could not be more disgusted with the direction this country is headed and can’t wait for 2015 when we have the chance to reclaim democracy.

Date: 08/27/12 12:27
Subject: RE: A tax hike on workers?

Dear Mr. Betker,

Thank you for your letter regarding Bill C-377, a Private Members Bill introduced by my colleague Russ Hiebert, MP, requiring Public Financial Disclosure for Labour Organizations.

Labour organizations play a valuable role in Canadian society, promoting workplace health and safety, and good compensation for Canadian workers.  Our Conservative Government supports the valuable role labour organizations perform by providing several hundred million dollars in benefits through the tax system, annually.

The premise behind Bill C-377 is that the public has a right to know how the substantial benefits from membership dues to labour organizations are being used. Public disclosure will create greater support for the valuable work that labour organizations do as the public learns how funding is being used.

Requiring public disclosure by organizations receiving substantial public benefits is not a new concept. In fact, Canadian charities have been publicly reporting their spending for the last 35 years. And, as with charities, any cost to government or unions of these new reporting requirements will be kept quite minimal through the use of a standardized system of electronic filing and posting.

Public disclosure is strongly supported by the Canadian public, including union members themselves. A recent Nanos survey indicated that 83% of Canadians and 86% of union members support public financial disclosure by labour unions.

This bill has passed second reading and is now at committee stage. More information about Bill C-377 is available on the website –

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me on this issue.


James Bezan
Member of Parliament
Selkirk-Interlake, Manitoba
Chair, Standing Committee on National Defence

From: Brad Betker
Sent: August-27-12 7:31 PM
Subject: A tax hike on workers?

Dear Mr. Bezan,

Would you vote for a tax hike on workers?

If you vote for Private Member’s Bill C-377, you’ll be doing just that: voting for a 20% tax hike on the workers who build Canada – workers like me.

Bill C-377 would cost me and my fellow workers 20% on lawyers and accountants to deal with the miles and miles of red tape hidden inside of Bill C-377.

Call it what you want, but if you vote for a Bill that costs us workers 20% – that’s a 20% tax hike on workers.

Please say NO to a tax hike on workers. Say NO to Bill C-377.

Yours Sincerely,

Brad Betker
IBEW Rep Winnipeg