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Parliament Hill was both an uncommon and unforgettable setting for the opening of the October 10th meeting of the BAC Canadian Congress, where delegates and IU officers toured the restoration of the West Block Building (see page 4 for more details). In addition to the opportunity to speak with BAC Local 7 Canada bricklayers and stonemasons on the jobsite, the locale sparked a timely dialogue among delegates regarding BAC's role in the country's growing masonry conservation market.
When the Congress was later reconvened in a more traditional meeting format by Congress Co-Chair and Local 7 Canada Business Manager Oliver Swan, delegates reported on organizing and work conditions in their respective Locals and heard from several guest speakers. Richard Hermary of Morneau Shepell, the actuary for IPF Canada, reviewed the actuarial results for the Plan and joined Brother Swan in facilitating a discussion on related economic, demographic and legislative issues, including the requirements of the Alberta Employment Pension Plans Act, which will come into force this year. Gary Crystal of SF Partnership briefed the Congress on the status of Bill C-377, which by most reasonable accounts targets unions by requiring that they assume the costly, onerous task of publicly posting their detailed finances. The last time the bill was debated by the Senate, it was amended and sent back to the House of Commons, but MPs never debated the revised bill. When the House was prorogued – ending the session of Parliament Bill C-377 died on the Order Paper. The Senate can now consider the Bill from square one; or it can send it as is with amendments or return it unchanged (original state). The bill is not expected to be reintroduced before spring.
The results of the 2013 Canadian membership survey were presented by BAC Secretary-Treasurer Henry Kramer, who noted these findings: