C-377 Myths and Facts





Unions receive $400 million per year in public subsidies through the tax code.


Unions do not receive any public subsidy – workers and their families receive this money back in income tax deductions, NOT unions. The tax treatment of these workers is exactly the same as that for members of the Law Society, Medical Association or employers who belong to a contractors’ association.

Some provinces regulate union finances and their disclosure, others do not, C‐377 seeks to ensure that all union finances are regulated.


Constitutionally, trade unions are regulated by the Provinces, and some Provinces have opted not to regulate union finances because the transparency and accountability provided by the union by‐laws and constitutions would be redundant and create unnecessary government bureaucracy. The tax treatment of these workers is exactly the same as that for members of the Law Society, Medical Association or employers who belong to a contractors’ association.

Union executives do not disclose their salaries and benefits, nor do unions disclose their books.


Many unions, including BCTD, disclose their executives’ salaries and benefits packages. All members do have access to union books and financial statements including expenditures. The right to access this information is clearly stipulated in the respective union local by‐laws and Constitutions.

Unions are large, public entities, and should be regulated the same way charities, crown corporations, and politicians are.


Unions are not publicly funded like crown corporations, nor do they receive special tax breaks like charities. Unions receive dues from members who elect to join and work in the industry. Members elect their leaders and do not re‐elect those who fail to deal fairly with them – membership has its privileges, Union dues are monies paid for services provided to the member at work.

Unions are not required to provide CRA with audited financial statements.


Unions do not pay direct taxes. They do pay all other levies and sales taxes and they get no capture from those taxes. Union trust funds, societies and other entities that fall into the not‐for‐profit area file the appropriate financial information with CRA yearly.

Unions should disclose financial information to the public under the auspices of the Income Tax Act.


The Income Tax Act does not govern trade unions nor does it regulate them. Unions do not receive special subsidies or public dollars. Only individual union members and their families qualify for tax deductions on the dues they pay. These members are treated the same way that a doctor, lawyer or accountant is in respect to their membership dues.

The costs of Union compliance are negligible.


The costs to the Unions (and all of their trust funds, societies and other organizations) are enormous. The ‘experts’ say it will add 20% to the current costs, and for some the pension funds it will require them to file returns ‘….the size of a large cities phone book.’

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News Release

Bill C-377

 Bill C-377 is a bill introduced as the Income Tax act, to require labour unions to provide more financial information to the government.

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