June 26, 2013 4:06 pm

Senate Tories help amend union disclosure bill

The Senate chamber on Parliament Hill is seen Tuesday May 28, 2013 in Ottawa.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
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OTTAWA – A group of Conservative senators has helped to significantly alter a bill backed by their own government.

The private members Bill C-377, would force unions to publicly disclose any expenses over $5,000.

It has been criticized as unconstitutional on the grounds it treads on provincial jurisdiction.

Tory Senator Hugh Segal became one of its most vocal critics and proposed an amendment to limit the bill’s scope to only the largest unions and not to branches and locals.

It has passed with the help of 15 other Conservatives.

Another six Tories abstained, leaving less than half the government bench voting to keep the bill intact.

The amended bill then got third reading, final approval. It passed by a vote of 48-35, with several Conservatives voting against it.

The legislation will return to the Commons in the autumn.

© 2013 The Canadian Press

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