Russ Hiebert, LabourWatch, Nanos Research, and the Making of Bill C-377
On Oct. 8, University of Regina faculty members Sean Tucker and Andrew Stevens delivered a public lecture about the development of Bill C-377. If implemented, the legislation would require trade unions to publicly disclose detailed financial information about their activities as well as information about the proportion of time union leaders engage in political and lobbying activities.
Here is their lecture on Bill C-377 at the University of Regina. A copy of the presentation slides are available here for download.
NOTE: Clarifications and corrections to audio recording / lecture can be downloaded here.
Private member’s Bill C-377 “An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations)” has generated significant controversy since it was introduced in late-2011. The proposed Act will require trade unions to publicly disclose detailed financial information about their activities as well as information about the proportion of time union leaders engage in political and lobbying activities. This presentation explains the generation of public and political support for C-377 by examining the connection between an influential 2011 LabourWatch-sponsored Nanos Research poll that reported 83% of Canadians supported public disclosure of union financial information, the Conservative government’s anti-union agenda, and the political economy of polling agencies in Canada. We draw on data from Hansard transcripts, individual interviews with key informants, freedom of information requests, personal correspondence between the authors and the parties involved in the LabourWatch-Nanos Research poll, and newspaper reports. We find that the actions of groups and individuals associated with creating, disseminating, and reviewing the LabourWatch-Nanos Research poll show contempt for the principle of transparency.
Check out the event listing on the University of Regina webpage.