Unions sinking the most money into Canadian election
Most think of big corporations and rich individuals as the major financial influencers behind elections, but the actual third party election spending at least form third parties appears to heavily favour labour unions.
Currently, the largest corporate player is Canada Proud, a conservative nonprofit third-party, who has so far this election taken in $250,000 from donors in the last six months.
The Merit Contractors Association has also spent around $45,000 supporting conservative candidates in Alberta and Ontario.
Despite this high amount of spending from Conservative-leaning third-parties, unions have easily dwarfed their competitors in the arena.
Unifor spent $900,000 in the period between June 30 and when the election started, just short of their $1,023,400 political spending limit.
Now that the campaign has started, Unifor has already spent another $366,000, and quickly plans to hit its campaign period limit of $511,700.
Unifor president Jerry Dias said that he does support curbing the influence of money in
“If we’re going to talk about a puritan system where the media and everybody else is hands off and there’s no interference, that’s one thing, but that’s not the system we live in,” Dias said when interviewed.
Unifor is by no means alone in their spending. The United Steelworkers have spent $736,000 promoting NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who is currently prominently featured on the union’s website home page.
The Canadian Labour Congress has put out ads through the group Fairness Works, to the tune of $278,000, promoting
The Minister of Labour has announced that a $15 minimum wage is part of Canada’s future.
During Question Period on Tuesday, Liberal Minister Filomena Tassi told the House that the government “remains committed” to Canada’s workers, and that a $15 minimum wage is a part of the Liberal Party’s “plan for the future.”
The proposed $15 minimum wage may be an idea inspired by the Wynne government of Ontario, who had planned to raise the wage to $15. The wage was raised to $14, and the newly elected Ford government scrapped plans to raise it to the $15 figure. The sudden raise in the wage led to businesses closing shop, reduced hours for workers, layoffs and increased prices.
the New Democrats also made a $15 minimum wage a cornerstone of their platform in 2019. In a September 2nd Labour Day statement, the NDP stated that “Jagmeet and the NDP are committed to raising the federal minimum wage to $15 right away–and growing that to a living wage.”
It’s a change of tone for the party from back in 2016. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that they would not follow in provincial footsteps to raise minimum wages, at one point even rejecting that raising the federal minimum wage was apart of his governmen’ts economic strategy.
Conservative leadership candidate Erin O’Toole has pledged to cancel the Liberal Government’s “media bailout” after Unifor boss Jerry Dias ran an attack ad against him.
In a post on Twitter, O’Toole alerted his audience to the attack ad campaign: “Look who’s running attack ads against me—media union boss Jerry Dias. He’s right to be worried.”
Jerry Dias is a controversial figure who did not disguise his antipathy for Scheer’s Conservatives during the 2019 election; Unifor ran an ad campaign against the Conservatives. Unifor is the union that represents thousands of Canadian journalists. Earlier this month, Dias was arrested for violating a court injunction and failing to remove vehicles that were blocking access during his role in a Regina picket line strike.
More importantly, however, O’Toole went on to pledge that if he became the prime minister of Canada, he would “cancel Trudeau’s media bailout.”
In 2019, the Liberal government vowed to spend nearly $600 million in subsidies to media outlets across Canada over five years. Speaking in defence of these subsidies, Finance Minister Bill Morneau stated that the subsidies would “protect the vital role that independent news media play in our democracy and in our communities.”
The Liberals created an “independent panel” to decide which media outlets would be eligible for government subsidies early. Eight groups, all with conflicts of interst, including Dias’ Unifor, were chosen by the Liberals to divy out the taxpayer money. The other seven groups on the “independent panel” include: News Media Canada, the Association de la presse francophone, the Quebec Community Newspaper Association, the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec, Canadian Association of Journalists and the Fédération nationale des communications.
Speaking to The Post Millennial, Erin O’Toole said, “The whole media bailout package was created because the private sector media—including small town papers and radio—couldn’t compete against the CBC after the Liberals gave them $1 billion for digital and TV.”
“Why are tax dollars paying for CBC to push local news out of the market? They are even competing for the same advertising revenue, which is crazy!” O’Toole went on to add, “The Toronto Star is already attacking me—but I have thick skin and I won’t cave.”
General trade union Unifor’s president Jerry Dias was arrested by Regina Police Monday evening during a workers’ demonstration against Federated Co-op Ltd., a wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing and administrative co-operative in the agricultural industry.
“We’re standing up for workers’ pensions. We’re standing up for workers’ rights. And this is how they treat use here. We’ll stand every day to defend workers,” said western regional director of Unifor Gavin McGarrigle in a short video posted by Unifor’s Twitter account. The footage shows Dias and McGarrigle being dragged away by Regina Police.
In the tweet Unifor describes Federated Co-op Ltd. as “greedy” and called for people to “BoycottCoop”.
“FCL has made it clear for many months that we respect the collective bargaining process and have on a number of occasions presented modifications to our proposals. In response, Unifor 594 has demanded that FCL agree to an ‘irrevocable clause’ guaranteeing no changes – now or ever – to the defined benefits (DB) pension plan before any further talks could take place,” said FCL president of the board Sharon Alford in a statement, saying the strike was caused by Unifor.
“We simply cannot agree to that demand, and as a result, no meaningful bargaining has taken place since Unifor 594 stopped talking on Sept. 26, 2019 (including during the mediation that took place in October). Again, it is worth noting that the CRC did not commence construction of business continuity facilities on-site until the final, Unifor-driven break down of mediation in October,” Alford continued.
“Unifor members have a right to picket; Co-op has a right to conduct business. In an emotionally charged environment, there will be disagreements, but the Regina Police Service continues to communicate very closely with both parties in the dispute,” read a statement sent out by Regina Police Service Monday before the arrest.
Regina Police also advised motorists to stay away from the area where the workers were picketing was causing traffic delays.
Dias is a prominent union president who has previously said “f**k you” to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and attacked Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on behalf of thousands of journalists and other media industry workers when Unifor actively pursued a bailout for the industry from the federal government.
Unifor is a very influential and large union in Canada representing tens of thousands of workers, including in telecommunications, media, transportation (road, air, rail and marine), forestry, energy, mining, fisheries, construction, manufacturing, education, health care, etc.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s late response to Friday’s news of Iran admitting to accidentally shooting down the Ukranian plane that killed 176 was released Sunday evening. The statement condemns “Trump’s actions” without once mentioning Iran shooting down the plane.
“While we remain focused on the needs of those who mourn, we cannot forget our responsibilities to Canadians and to the international calls for peace. Canadians have served bravely and proudly in the Middle East, working to deescalate the violence and build toward that peace,” said part of the statement attributed to Singh and released Sunday.
“Now, with tensions so high in the region and the unpredictability and President Trump’s actions, it will not be easy to get back to that work, but we have a responsibility to make sure that we do. Canada can be a leader in making the horrific tragedy of Flight 752 the end of the latest increase in violence and not the beginning of another misguided and disastrous war.”
Iran initially falsely claimed the plane crashed due to an engine failure, but after the Pentagon and others with intelligence announced the plane was shot down by anti-aircraft missiles, the country’s regime admitted its military accidentally shot down the plane.
The NDP are just the latest to place blame on U.S. President Donald Trump for Iran shooting down the Ukrainian plane that resulted in 57 Canadians being killed. Over the past few days, Canadian journalists have also been suggesting Trump is at fault for Iran shooting down the passenger plane because he increased tensions after giving the greenlight for a drone strike that killed terrorist Qasem Soleimani.
These same critics of Trump also fail to mention the injustices and lack of freedom in Iran’s theocratic dictatorship.