Tug of War between the House and the Senate continues over Bill C-4

Tug of War between the House and the Senate continues over Bill C-4

Ottawa, ON – On May 5th, the House of Commons considered the Senate amended Bill C-4. This       Bill was introduced in the House to repeal the shameful Conservative government Bills C-377 and C-525.

When this Bill went to the Senate for deliberation and approval, the unelected Senators found it necessary to flex some muscle and proceeded to negatively amend the House Bill by including some of the ill-conceived previous Conservative Government legislation. As amended by the Senate and presented back to the House of Commons, it renders the original Bill C-4 somewhat useless.

In response to this Senate amendment, the Honorable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, issued the following statement regarding the Government’s tabling of a motion to reject the Senate’s amendments to Bill C-4:

“Our government was elected on a commitment to restore a fair and balanced approach to labour relations. Healthy labour relations help workers and their families, as well as businesses, thrive; it’s key to a strong middle class.

Introducing Bill C-4, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act, was one of our first acts as a government, and is part of our plan to ensure Canada’s labour laws best serve those Canadians working hard to build a future and employers who help to support our economy.

The Bill restores fairness, balance, and stability to Canada’s tri-partite federal labour relations system by repealing two previous bills, Bill C-377 and Bill C-525.

Our government will not be accepting the Senate’s amendments. We remain fully committed to the passage of Bill C-4, as passed by the House of Commons, and the fulfillment of our commitment to Canadians.”

The House of Commons will now most likely re-amend the Bill to its original form and send it back to the Senate. Regular convention is that Senators will then in turn just pass the Bill as presented to the Senate.

However, the talk in town is that the Senate may just throw the proverbial “monkey wrench” in and again negatively amend Bill C-4 bringing Canadians back to square one and, for now, leaving another Conservative skid mark on our Federal labour laws.

Lou Pagrach

Political Action Grand Lodge Representative