Ontario PCs’ proposal would prevent pro-lifers’ union dues from supporting abortion
TORONTO, Ontario – A new proposal by Tim Hudak’s Ontario Progressive Conservatives would put a stop to unions like the Canadian Auto Workers using pro-life members’ dues to fund pro-abortion activism, says a Canadian pundit.
In the Tories’ new white paper, released in June, they call for “worker choice reforms” that would allow employees to opt out of unions. As it is, membership is generally a condition of employment and the dues are collected by the employer rather than the union leader.
“No clauses in any provincial legislation, regulation or collective agreement should require a worker to become a member of a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment,” say the Tories.
The party raises concern that many unions use the dues to fund non-work-related political campaigns that many members disagree with, mentioning, for example, CUPE’s campaign against bottled water and its boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
But Chris Vander Doelen, a columnist for the Windsor Star, says it would also be a solution to the recent debate over the Canadian Auto Workers Union’s new campaign to promote abortion.
The controversy started in June with the union organizing rallies across the country against the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform’s New Abortion Caravan, which travelled from Vancouver to Ottawa displaying graphic images of aborted children. In April, CAW national president Ken Lewenza issued an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper calling for even greater access to abortion.
“The white paper is about changing restrictive and obsolete labour laws which the Tories believe are holding Ontario back from creating new jobs for its 600,000 unemployed. But it occurred to me while reading it that it would solve the CAW’s abortion debate, too,” writes Vander Doelen.
“Unions have no moral right and should have no legal right to impose their political or anti-religious views on their members — especially without asking democratically, as has been the case with the CAW’s decision to start proselytizing about abortion without first asking permission from the rank and file,” he continued.
Vander Doelen goes further and suggests the Tories extend their argument to public funding of abortion as well.
“Maybe the bitterness could be taken out of the wider abortion debate simply by taking the service out of universal health coverage,” he says. “Make people pay for abortions themselves, from private clinics; that would absolve the faithful from having to feel they have to fight the government endlessly over having to help pay for abortions through their taxes.”
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