NEWS
06/26/2015 11:24 EDT | Updated 06/26/2016 01:12 EDT

Senate Speakers says Tories can't shut debate on controversial anti-union bill

OTTAWA - Conservatives in the Senate are looking to use their majority to overrule their own Speaker and force a final vote on a controversial labour bill.Claude Carignan, the government leader in the Senate, is asking the upper chamber to shoot down a ruling by Speaker Leo Housakos that would prevent the government from shutting down debate on Bill C-377.The bill would require unions and labour organizations to publicly disclose the details of their spending, including how much they spend on political activities.Housakos says that allowing the government to shut down debate on private member's bills like C-377 would violate the basic principles of how the Senate operates.Seconds after Housakos delivered his ruling, Carignan announced he wanted to appeal to the Senate as a whole, which can overrule a Speaker's decision.The Opposition Liberals had worried the Conservatives would use their majority in the Senate to force a final vote on C-377 and pass it despite opposition, including from seven provinces who feel the bill is unconstitutional.