Canada is a step closer to greater democracy in federally regulated workplaces

Wetaskiwin Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins was thrilled to see that the Employees’ Voting Rights Act will be coming back

Ottawa, ON –Wetaskiwin Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins was thrilled to see that the Employees’ Voting Rights Act will be coming back to the House of Commons after passing committee stage.

“Democracy is fundamental to Canadians and the Employees’ Voting Rights Act provides Canadian workers in the federal jurisdiction with the right to a secret ballot vote,” said Calkins. “It is shameful that the NDP and the Liberal party did not listen to the witnesses and support the Government’s reasonable amendments to my Bill.”

On June 5th 2013, the Employees’ Voting Rights Act was tabled in the House of Commons. The Bill proposes to replace the antiquated method of union card check with a secret ballot vote. This will ensure that the voice of workers is heard in a clear manner, free of intimidation from either the union or the employer.

“I brought this legislation forward after hearing from constituents who came forward to my office to express concerns about the lack of accountability in many unions,” said Calkins. “From the start of this process, I was anticipating amendments. I am pleased to endorse the common-sense amendments brought forward by my Conservative colleagues and I strongly encourage all Parliamentarians, and particularly those from the NDP, to stand with workers’ choice and vote in favour of the Employees’ Voting Rights Act at the Report Stage.”

Since 2003, polls have consistently shown 83% to 89% of Canadians support the principle of a secret ballot vote when asked if they want to form or disband a union.

“It’s time my opposition colleagues show their support for workers and stand with them and support the concept of a secret ballot vote in the workplace,” said MP Calkins. “At the end of the day, we are protecting one of the cornerstones of society, democracy. That is what being Canadian is all about.”