Hudak's PC Party sells private member's bills to corporate bidders

political action blog ufcw canadaToronto – September 9, 2013 – Tim Hudak's Ontario PC Party has demonstrated once again that its more concerned about the bottom line of large corporations than democracy, the public interest and the collective bargaining rights of Ontarians.

EllisDon is one of the biggest construction firms in Canada, and maybe even North America. For decades, it's been the Ontario's government's go-to firm for some of the province's biggest public structures, and, in keeping with that history, EllisDon contracts have been covered by a union agreement for more than five decades, which, the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled in 2012 still governs the company's job sites.

But Tim Hudak and his Ultra-Conservative party, well known for their attacks on workers and their unions, recently introduced a private member's bill called the Fairness and Competitiveness in Ontario’s Construction Industry Act.

If passed, the unlikely named bill will specifically release EllisDon from its union shop agreement.

A growing number of Ontarians are realizing that Tim Hudak's reckless, ideological agenda is disastrous for the province, and now we hear – from one of Hudak’s own MPPs – that Hudak is putting the PC's private member's bills up for sale to corporate bidders.    

In an email obtained by a Toronto newspaper, Conservative MPP Randy Hillier (no fan of unions either) says he and his Conservative caucus colleagues were told by senior party officials that pushing this legislation to help EllisDon could lead to increased financial donations.

So it should come as no surprise that after a Conservative MPP introduced the bill on May 16, 2013, EllisDon gave three separate donations to Hudak’s conservatives totalling $14,815 a couple of weeks later on May 29, 2013.

Even ultra-conservative Hillier admits: “advancing legislation that explicitly abrogates a voluntary collective agreement at the behest of one employer provides our opposition with a proof-point to their allegations that we are only fighting unions to make big business richer”

Hillier also noted “I am genuinely concerned that we may be potentially violating Section 41 of the Legislative Assembly Act”. Section 41 forbids MPPs from benefiting directly or indirectly from legislation

While we've always known that Hudak and his ultra-conservatives are bent on destroying the collective bargaining rights of workers, we also now know that Hudak and the PCs are willing to sell private member's bills for donations to their election campaigns – even if it's potentially against the law.