May 22nd, 2013

NDP moves to protect independence of key Crown Corporations

The NDP is decrying the Conservatives’ attempt to give political officials direct control over employment decisions at the Bank of Canada, the CPP Investment Board, and the CBC with their latest omnibus bill, Bill C-60.

“This is a barefaced attempt by the Conservatives to control the Bank of Canada, the CBC and other Crown corporations by threatening wage and benefit cuts or termination for employees who don’t toe the government line,” said NDP Finance critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale–High Park). “The Conservatives are putting the Bank of Canada’s independence at risk.”

NDP MPs are tabling motions to examine Bill C-60’s impact on journalistic independence at the CBC, research and monetary policy at the Bank of Canada, and trading activities at the CPP Investment Board. While Crown corporations are intended to operate without direct political control, Bill C-60 would permit the Treasury Board to interfere in bargaining with unionized employees or impose employment conditions on non-unionized employees.

“It is utterly inappropriate for the Conservatives to attempt to control the CBC. The implications for journalists’ freedom to publish stories critical of the government are obvious,” said NDP Heritage critic Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher). “If the Conservatives are truly interested in improving accountability, perhaps they should start with the Senate or the PMO.”