House of Commons Hansard #142 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Canada Labour Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I understood that we were debating the Canada Labour Code. If the Chair can demonstrate to me how the most recent exchange has been relevant to the Canada Labour Code I would be forever indebted.

Canada Labour Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

We have two minutes left in question and comments.

Canada Labour Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Vegreville, AB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to explain the connection between a democratic process and this piece of legislation, Bill C-66.

If we had a true democracy in the House, if we had recall, the ability to fire MPs, if we had freer votes in the House of Commons which this government promised and has thrown out, if we had referenda to decide issues like capital punishment and abortion then I suggest that the legislation-

Canada Labour Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Hamilton—Wentworth, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to ask a relevant question of the hon. member for Vegreville if he would give me that opportunity.

Canada Labour Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Vegreville, AB

Absolutely, Madam Speaker. Let us have the question and I will give a quick answer.

Canada Labour Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Hamilton—Wentworth, ON

Madam Speaker, the hon. member for Vegreville made reference to the one clause in the bill that pertains to grain shipments. I think we all agree on both sides of this House that is an incredibly progress step to limit the stopping of grain shipments as a result of third party work stoppages.

Because that clause is so important and so progressive and it is going to do so much to encourage the movement of grain, is he going to reject the bill because it does not do everything else he wants, therefore rejecting that clause as a consequence?

Canada Labour Code
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Vegreville, AB

Madam Speaker, while it is true that clause is important to grain farmers and will at least allow grain that makes it to the coast to be loaded, what about the rest of the system? They have done nothing to deal with the rest of the system. We proposed a substantive alternative, final offer selection arbitration, so there will be no stoppages in the system whatsoever.

They have counterbalanced that move which is positive with a negative move which would outlaw the use and prevent the use

through the Canada industrial relations board of replacement workers. This change will do farmers a lot more harm than good. On balance the legislation is going to hurt farmers a lot over the years. That change is positive. The other changes will actually do more harm than that change will do good.

Canada Labour Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Madam Speaker, I would like to continue the debate on the matter before the House, the Canada Labour Code.

One major concern we have is the way the government has behaved since it took office in 1993. It does not always act on the problem or deal with the problem but after the problem becomes a crisis it reacts. It has always been that way. For eight years those members sat in opposition on this side of the House. According to Beauchesne the definition is when a party is the official opposition it is supposed to prepare itself for government.

We had the whole crew of Liberals sitting on this side of the House with the hon. Prime Minister as the leader and the House leader of the current Liberal Party sitting on this side of the House trying to prepare themselves. They did not prepare themselves to legislate and act as leaders of the country. What happened?

We came to Parliament and in 1994 there was a work stoppage. We had to sit over a weekend to deal with it and we co-operated as members of the opposition. We were here to help deal with the issue but the government came with crisis management. That is the point I want to make in the early part of my remarks.

Legislation was passed which brought in a system of arbitration to bring about a solution to the strike and force the workers back to work. That is what happened. They were forced back to work. It was crisis management. That is what we have had from the government since 1993, over and over again.

Now we are looking at Bill C-66. Are we dealing with a potential problem that will happen again in western Canada? Will farmers be able to sell their wheat with confidence to the international market? There is nothing in the bill that ensures or guarantees that in any way.

It says that if the wheat is at the coast, sitting next to the boat, the government has now put in an extra clause saying it will get it into the boat, which helps a bit, but what about the wheat sitting on the prairies and the farmers who are being injured by the lack of capability to deliver their product to the international market? It is not there.

These people across the way are more interested in being government and having power. However, in terms of planning and thinking through the legislation, there is nothing. They protect the vested interests of labour and big business and the Liberals. They continually protect their vested interests. In terms of really dealing with the issue, that is not the way it is.

Canada Labour Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

It is now almost two o'clock. We will proceed to Statements by Members.

Scarborough School Board
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Scarborough School Board on a successful program in the schools of the city of Scarborough.

Weapons related violence in Scarborough schools has dropped 61 per cent on a monthly basis since the board introduced a zero tolerance policy three years ago.

Under the Scarborough safe school policy, expulsion hearings are mandatory for a variety of violent weapons offences. School violence has decreased substantially since the policy was introduced.

Perhaps if amalgamation occurs this program could be implemented and used as a benchmark. The students of Scarborough have benefited greatly by the ability of the board to provide programs and services they need, while maintaining the lowest cost per pupil in metro.

I commend the Scarborough school board on taking this initiative to reduce violence and crimes in our schools. Once again, my congratulations to the board, its chair and the trustees.

Antisemitism
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the report released last Friday by the B'nai Brith showed that the number of antisemitic incidents in Canada had dropped substantially, by26 per cent, between 1995 and 1996.

In Quebec, whose Jewish community is one of the largest in Canada, the drop in the number of such incidents was 40 per cent. Renowned for its tolerance, Quebec has now become the region where the plague of antisemitism is the least widespread, with12 per cent of the incidents for 24 per cent of the population.

In September 1996, I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington. There I saw the extent of the tragedy and suffering endured by the Jewish people during the second world war. I encourage governments to keep up the fight to eradicate antisemitism in our societies.

I also take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Jewish community for its remarkable contribution to the development of Quebec and Canada.

Justice
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, here is just a sample of the justice priorities of this Liberal government.

Make sure that the wheat board directors guilty of criminal offences cannot be punished. Make sure that farmers who sell their wheat for the best price go to jail. Prosecute people for refusing to fill out census forms. Protect senior Liberals by threatening Justice Krever at the blood inquiry. Shut down the Somalia inquiry so we will never know who covered up the murders. Promote alternative sentencing so that a rapist in my riding is let off because at times he showed compassion. Hit race car drivers with huge fines if they speak the name of a tobacco company on TV. Pay millions for lawyers and settlement costs in the hopelessly botched Airbus and Pearson airport deals. Allow known criminals deported from other countries to claim refugee status in Canada.

And the absolute worst justice initiative of this Prime Minister and the government is to allow killers like Clifford Olson a national stage and the right to further torment the families of the victims.

Shame, shame, shame.

Workers' Memorial Day
Statements By Members

March 11th, 1997 / 2 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week behind the CN shops in the riding of Winnipeg Transcona a rail worker was accidentally killed as a result of a derailment.

I know I speak on behalf of all my colleagues in extending our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Dan McNeil and to his fellow workers in the United Transportation Union of Canada.

Mr. McNeil's death should remind us that every day of every week Canadians are working in potentially deadly circumstances and that we should be grateful for their service in such circumstances. The railway is one such industry, mining is another, police and firefighting are other such areas and of course there are many others.

Later this year we will mark a national day of mourning for workers killed on the job, a day that owes its existence to the work of the former NDP MP for Churchill, Rod Murphy. This is as it should be, but certainly we regret that from year to year there are so many new names to add to those we mourn.

Joe A. Sellors
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Brampton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, March 8, I attended celebrations held by the Lorne Scots, Peel, Dufferin & Halton Regiment in honour of Chief Warrant Officer Joe A. Sellors for 50 years of outstanding service.

Joe Sellors began his distinguished service with the Lorne Scots Pipe and Drum Band as a junior piper in October 1946. A combination of talent and hard work saw Joe Sellors to the highest level. With the support of his wife, Alice, and their charismatic family he became pipe major of the band in the early 1950s and in 1975 attained the rank of chief warrant officer.

Joe Sellors has fulfilled his duties with dignity and pride. It is with great pleasure that I extend my best wishes to Joe Sellors, his wife and their children on behalf of all residents of Brampton for 50 years of excellence.

O Canada, he stands on guard for thee.

Federal-Provincial Relations
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the agreement concluded between the Prime Minister and B.C. Premier Clark on March 6 ended some serious conflicts, notably the provincial government's three-month residency requirement on out of province people seeking welfare benefits in B.C. and the adverse differential treatment in federal transfer payments to B.C. to cover costs of integration of immigrants into community life.

The agreement is groundbreaking. First, it recognizes that most problems today need all levels of government, federal, provincial and municipal, to work together for their rational solution. It is not possible to continue outmoded confrontational federalism with separate, watertight compartments of sovereign power, federal or provincial, and no possibility for decision making in partnership.

Second, while the Constitution Act of 1982 may have erected major legal barriers against future amendments, constitutions can change by developing custom convention through intergovernmental accommodations and administrative adjustments based on ordinary common sense and reciprocal give and take.

This is the new, pragmatic co-operative federalism.