Political Section Navigation 

Political Action

Private's member bill C377

Proposed Talking points for C-377:

We are Canada’s Building and Construction Trades, a skilled workforce of 500,000 men and women from coast to coast. 

We work all over the country, in all Provinces and Territories, rural and urban areas, and in remote areas like the far North, and in newly developing but critical projects like the oil sands. 

Our members come from all sectors in the construction trades: high-skilled, high-paying careers like pipefitters, operating engineers, carpenters, welders, plasterers, cement workers, boilermakers, and metal workers. We build Canada, and we maintain its industrial plants and stocks of building. Without us, nothing works! 

Canada’s Building and Construction Trades are providing solutions to meet the challenge of a changing, energy-conscious world. With pride, performance, and professionalism, our highly skilled work force delivers unmatched value for contractors and companies. We’re not the Post Office, we work with our employer partners in building a world class workforce, safety and innovations system that no one else really knows about! 

We provide life-long career and advancement opportunities for those with the discipline and determination to have a direct impact on the future of our world. Building Trades Unions invest$250 million annually in training our own members to meet the needs of our industry and contractor partners and we support an infrastructure of $650 million worth of training capacity. We (and our employer partners) are the largest private trainers in Canada. 

We support the Government of Canada and the Prime Minister’s efforts to push for such projects as the Northern Gateway and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline – these large construction projects are opportunities not only for our current workers to contribute to Canada’s energy future, but also for young people to take interest and become part of the skilled trades. Simply put, we need these opportunities to train the next generation of builders and maintainers who will make the country prosperous and safe. 

We support the Government’s reforms of the regulatory approval process for large projects like the Northern Gateway. The current process is broken, and undermines valuable economic opportunities that create well-paying Canadian jobs. A vigourous and expeditious regulatory approvals process is the right decision for Canada and our economy. 

The jobs being created from these projects are not just the jobs on immediate construction; they are the permanent operations and maintenance jobs that last the lifetime of the project. These are jobs for 50 years. 

Canada’s Building Trades support the development of these projects – whether these projects are union built or not. These projects are necessary for Canada’s economy to grow and we are happy to freely compete against non-union contractors to win these contracts. 

We are concerned with a private member’s bill that has come before the House of Commons, C-377, which endangers our ability to build projects across the country and create jobs. 

C-377 is intended to fix a problem that does not exist. Instead, it actually duplicates processes that are already in place to provide accountability and transparency for our workers and would create an expanded, expensive and redundant bureaucracy. Our costs of compliance will be extraordinary and beyond that required of any other tax entity. 

We are accountable, transparent and democratic. Workers elect their leadership and pay their salaries through their dues – the leadership works for them and report our expenditures to them monthly. If they are dissatisfied with the leadership (and its accountability) they can and do elect new leadership who will provide them with desired service. There are also procedures in the Union’s Constitution and in the Laws of the Provinces to compel the disclosure of information. 

Workers have the opportunity to see the financial books and accounts and hold the leadership accountable at regular meetings throughout the year at the local level. Pension & Welfare Trusts are obliged to share this information by Provincial law. Many 

The salaries of our executives are already disclosed to our members (and those workers are the ones with the right to know), and workers have the opportunity to hold us to account for how we spend their money throughout the year. 

We are private sector unions. Unlike charities and political parties, we receive NO public subsidies or public monies. 

Our workers and their families enjoy tax deductibility on the dues they pay to the Union. We are not publicly subsidized; we are funded entirely through dues from workers. We are just like the Law Society, the Engineer’s Association or the Medial Association in how we are funded and governed. 

Canada’s Building Trades Unions contribute 250 million dollars per year to the training of our members, so that they are a work-ready labour force to efficiently meet the needs of our industry and contractor partners. With our employer partners we maintain a training infrastructure of over $650 million and are the largest private trainers in Canada by a very long margin. 

We invite Members of Parliament of all parties to attend our local meetings in their ridings to meet us and see the value that we provide to our workers, as well as see the transparent and accountable relationship between our members and our leadership. 

C-377 imposes more government bureaucracy and red tape on us that would prevent us from doing what we want to be doing – creating jobs. Our costs of compliance will be huge and to what end?? 

The increased accounting costs of C-377 will take money that should go to improve benefits packages, wages and new business opportunities and instead diverts it to accountants and lawyers. The individual members we represent will be forced to pay more in union dues simply to pay for accounting services to feed a government bureaucratic policy that has no basis in logic, law or public service. In short, pensioners will get a little less in the pension, the working family will get less in dental and drug costs, not as many apprentices will get started and Union dues will increase substantially (and so will the cost of the money allowed for deduction from income – if the experts are correct that the cost of compliance is 20% more to the Union that means that the deductions will cost the GOC another $100 million). 

C-377 will force us to take time and resources away from our key goal: creating jobs. We also have to curtail our other important goals; building the workforce force of tomorrow, delivering quality benefits and servicing our members at work. Instead, we will be forced to spend that time and those resources dealing with bureaucrats, accountants and lawyers. This is time and money which should be spent partnering with government and industry to create jobs for working Canadians. 

We hope to find ways to work together to address your concerns with us, and continue to be partners in creating jobs and prosperity for all Canadians. 

The following link will be a better presenattion of how the debates are going in the House of Commons:


The US Ironworkers are facing identical issues like us; the same issue of major infrastructure projects are being subcontracted to China. The point that we all have to make to the politicians is that taxpayers dollars should stay in the province and help with local economic recovery.
The best way to do this and help save our jobs is to contact our local MLA's and MP's and bring this issue up to their attention. After all, that time when they will ask for your vote is not that far in the future, therefore make yourself heard. We uploaded links with contact information for all our local representatives. Please read bellow in the Political Action section.

Please view the video presented on the following link: