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Canada’s unions welcome plans to start closing tax loopholes

Monday, September 11, 2017

Canada’s unions are welcoming the federal government’s plan to close tax loopholes for very high-income earners, saying it’s an important first step toward bringing more fairness to Canada’s tax system.

“Today’s tax rules make it possible for someone earning $300,000 to save more on their taxes than the average Canadian worker makes in a year, and that is fundamentally unfair,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.

Current tax rules allow wealthy Canadians, especially self-employed professionals, many of whom are lawyers, doctors, dentists and accountants, to pay less in personal income taxes by setting up CCPCs – Canadian-controlled private corporations. The federal government wants to address three ways CCPCs are used to avoid higher tax rates:

  • Income “sprinkling”: High-wage earners who own CCPCs can split – or “sprinkle” – their income among lower-income family members, paying them salaries or dividends (even though they often don’t actually work for the company) to take advantage of their lower tax rates. This is not something other working families can do.
  • Exploiting capital gains: High-income earners who own CCPCs can pay themselves in capital gains – only 50 percent of which are taxed at the personal tax rate – instead of dividends, which face higher taxes.
  • “Passive” investing: CCPCs offer the wealthiest Canadians another tax advantage others don’t have access to: more capital for their investment portfolio. Many CCPC owners are parking income in their business so it’s taxed at the lower business rate, leaving them more capital to invest in “passive” investments like mutual funds. But lower tax rates for businesses are meant to encourage reinvestment and job creation, not to help the wealthiest Canadians make more out of their retirement portfolios.

“This kind of tax avoidance is costing the federal government as much as $500 million a year,” said Yussuff. “Taxes pay for the vital services that we all rely on, from physical security and food safety, to health care and education and disaster relief, and Canadians expect everyone to pay their fair share.”

Further reforms are needed

These measures are an important first step, said Yussuff, but he hopes more are in the works to make Canada’s tax system truly fair.

“We need to ensure that the the top one percent and corporations pay their fair share too, which means a more aggressive clamp-down on tax havens and corporate tax dodging,” he said.

That would include:

  • Eliminating regressive and ineffective tax loopholes by cancelling stock option deductions, fully including capital gains in taxable income, and cancelling the flow-through shares deduction.
  • Taxing foreign e-commerce companies to level the playing field for Canadian providers.
  • Increasing taxes on banks and finance, which have received windfall profits from corporate income tax cuts over the last decade and a half.
  • Introducing wealth taxes and making income taxes more progressive.
September 19th, 2017|

28 April 2017 – National Day of Mourning

April 28 Day of Mourning: Remember Westray and press for justice for all workers killed or injured on the job.

Apr 25, 2017

This year marks 33 years since CUPE’s National Health and Safety Committee first proposed the idea of a National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

April 28 was proclaimed by then-National President Jeff Rose at a health and safety conference in early 1985. In the same year, the Canadian Labour Congress and affiliated unions adopted the day across Canada. In many communities, local labour councils bring different unions together in ceremonies to honour workers who have been killed and injured – and to vow to stay vigilant.

On each Day of Mourning, CUPE honours the members who died on the job. Over the past year, CUPE lost the following members:

  • Nicole Leblanc, Local 25, ON
  • Saturnino Sonson, Local 30, AB
  • Ben Melong, Local 30, AB
  • Daphne Sandoval, Local 966, ON
  • Wayne Harland, Local 500, MB
  • Diane Chicoine, Local 416, ON

This year, workers across the country are marking the 25th anniversary of the terrible mining disaster in Westray, Nova Scotia, that killed 26 coal miners. Despite years of police investigations and a public inquiry, no one was ultimately held responsible for the miners’ deaths. This did not sit well with Canadians, however. Westray victims’ families, along with other workers and their unions, pressed for justice. In 2004, the federal government responded by introducing changes to Canada’s criminal code that hold employers responsible for negligence that leads to serious injury or death.

Sadly, in the thirteen years since these changes were made, over 10,700 people have died at work. Shockingly, only seven charges have been laid and only four convictions have been made. Just one person has gone to jail since the “Westray Law” was introduced in 2004.

This April 28, CUPE joins the Canadian Labour Congress in calling on the federal government to mark the 25th anniversary of the Westray disaster by enforcing the law of the land.

The federal government needs an action plan – urgently. The best way for the federal government to honour killed or injured workers is to work with the provinces and territories to:

  • Train and direct Crown prosecutors to apply the Westray provisions of the Criminal Code.
  • Train and direct the police and the RCMP to consider the possibility of criminal negligence whenever a worker is killed or seriously injured on the job.
  • Appoint dedicated prosecutors for workplace health and safety fatalities.
  • Ensure coordination among regulators, police and Crown attorneys so that health and safety regulators reach out to police when Westray charges may be warranted.

Workers and their families deserve an action plan that includes all this and more. Until then, CUPE and others will continue to press for justice.

Check with your local to find out where your region’s Day of Mourning service will be held.

Find out more at: and sign the petition calling on the federal government to act.

April 28th, 2017|

Happy International Women’s Day!

For women and for our union, not one step back

Mar 1, 2017

group of women's legs from the knee down with the slogan "not one step back"

March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD).

Across the country, CUPE members are participating in community events celebrating women’s activism and reaffirming our commitment to gender justice. And this year, CUPE members and women around the world have a very clear message: Not one step back.

Recent events in Canada, in the U.S. and around the world demand that we remain vigilant and continue to resist all forms of oppression. We are witnessing an increase in hate crimes, and we know that women marginalized by racism, colonialism, ableism and homo/transphobia are disproportionately affected.

The Trudeau Liberal government presents itself as feminist, but it drags its heels on the actual issues that women care about, including pay equity, the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and others. The Trudeau government’s actions on health care and child care fall far short of what’s needed. And while the expansion of the Canada Pension Plan is a big win, the omission of caregiver and disability “dropouts”from the calculation is a form of pay discrimination that mostly hurts women.

Take action: Not one step back

CUPE has joined a campaign by the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) and over 100 other organizations calling on the federal government to Step Up for Women’s Equality. CUPE encourages members to write their MP, tell friends about the campaign and join on social media, using #StepUp4WomenCA.

CUPE’s new poster for IWD features the militancy and leadership of marginalized women. The poster shows women from different communities united and advancing together in the fight for gender justice and declares, “not one step back.”

  • Download your poster today! You can use these at union, workplace and community events.
  • Take a photo of yourself with the CUPE IWD poster and use social media to say what you want the federal government to do.

Check out these additional resources:

On International Women’s Day, we declare “not one step back.” And we commit to regaining ground on justice for all women.

This was the spirit on January 21 when over four million people marched for women’s rights in the U.S., with hundreds of thousands more marching around the world.

We vow to keep marching. Not one step back.

Content from CUPE National

March 8th, 2017|

**Attention Active CUPE 543.1 Members – Ratification Vote on 27 February 2017***

At 12:55PM on 23 February, 2017, the Bargaining Committee for CUPE 543.1 reached a tentative agreement with the Corporation of the City of Windsor. The agreed to package is subject to ratification votes by active CUPE 543.1 members and the City of Windsor Council.

Please see the attached flyer for the ratification details for CUPE 543.1, including details on ID requirements:


February 23rd, 2017|

Green Shield Co-Pay for CUPE 543.1 Members (City of Windsor)

To all CUPE 543 City of Windsor Members and City of Windsor Retirees:


The Local has been made aware that members getting their prescriptions filled over the last few days have been charged an incorrect co-pay amount (over and above the current co-pay fee). The Employer has been apprised of this and is now working with Green Shield to rectify the situation.

It has not been determined when or how reimbursement will occur. For all members and retirees who are affected by this error, please retain a copy of your receipt until you have been reimbursed.

We will post new information as it becomes available.

3 FEB 2017



Green Shield will be compiling a list of affected individuals and reimbursing members directly. Please contact the Local if you do not receive a refund.

7 Feb 2017

February 3rd, 2017|

Outsourcing Caretakers Results in an Ann’l Loss of $1.25M Yearly to Windsor

January 14th, 2017|

Polling Results of Windsor Residents re Outsourcing caretaker jobs at Huron Lodge


January 13th, 2017|

Outsourcing Caretakers Threatens Level of Care…


Open PDF Copy

Open Windsor Star Link

Resident Video Link

January 10th, 2017|

***IMPORTANT UPDATE – CUPE 543 Bargaining*** Updated 09 February 2017





Bargaining Update for CUPE 543.1

(City of Windsor) Members


A conciliator from the Ministry of Labour has been assigned to help facilitate talks between CUPE 543.1 and the City of Windsor.

Talks will take place on 22 and 23 February 2017.


09 Feb 2017


To all of our Members who work for the City of Windsor.

To date, the Negotiating Committee has met with the Employer on seven occasions to bargain our next Collective Agreement. Our last bargaining date for the year occurred on 05 December 2016.

While a number of items remain outstanding, there has been some progress made at the table. Both sides have committed to get back to bargaining again in the New Year. Our next bargaining date is 09 January 2017.

Your Union is committed to bargaining a fair Collective Agreement for you, our members.

CUPE 543 would like to wish all of our members and those whom our members serve a safe, happy, and enjoyable holiday season. We will provide you with further bargaining updates in the New Year, as we are able.

In solidarity,

Mark Vander Voort



as of 15 December 2016


December 15th, 2016|

City of Windsor Caretaker Colleen Watson-Ruckle Shares Her Story With the Windsor Star


September 20th, 2016|