05/01/2013 05:24 EDT | Updated 07/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Mr. Poilièvre, You Want a Union Registry But Not a Firearm Registry?

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House of Commons, parliament building, lit up for Christmas, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Dear Mr. Poilièvre:

I came across the short statement you made in the House of Commons on April 30, 2013, regarding the press conference held by Liberal Senators and unions in opposition to a Bill that was introduced by your Conservative government, Bill C-377.

Everyone knows how little empathy the government, including yourself, has towards unions. In reality, Bill C-377 is your way of attacking a workers freedom of association. Under the guise of what you hypocritically called "transparency" in your statement yesterday, you will require unions to make public a vast amount of information that may be personal, violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and creating a cumbersome system within the Canadian Revenue Agency that will cost taxpayers a lot of money.

The Conservative Party of Canada is no shining example of transparency. Was it not your government that the Parliamentary Budget Officer took to court for failing to provide him with the information to which he is entitled under the law? Was it not Stephen Harper who, in 2010, received a code of secrecy award from the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec?

Now all of a sudden you are standing up for workers! Yet it is your government that proposed the Employment Insurance reform, which is a full-fledged attack on seasonal workers. It is your government that is encouraging Service Canada investigators to spy on these workers in their cars and in their houses. And it is your government that took away the right to strike from Canada Post and Air Canada workers by adopting special legislation.

As a Senator, I refuse to take advice from someone who is against a firearms registry but is in favour of creating a registry of union data. You stated that you were opposed to the mandatory long-form census because it infringes on privacy, but now you see no problem with requiring anyone who receives a salary, contribution or payment from a union to divulge their personal information.

Mr. Poilièvre, you boast about having been elected and how you find it unacceptable that Senators oppose this bill. However, when one considers the robo-call scandal, which was an attempt to manipulate the results of the 2011 election, or the "in and out" scheme to get around election spending limits -- which the Conservative Party admitted to having been a part of -- you should be grateful that there are parliamentarians in Canada who, not having been elected, can protect our institutions.

Simply put, Mr. Poilièvre, the end does not justify the means.

The Honourable Céline Hervieux-Payette, P.C.


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