House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that he is correct. It is a lockout which was precipitated by a series of rolling strikes.

I might offer this piece of advice to the opposition. In the case of the government, it does not matter how the work stoppage happens. What matters is we act for all Canadians and we make--

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. Questions and comments. The hon. member for Bourassa.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have really reached a low point if the Minister of Labour said today that it does not really matter how things will turn out. Our government is siding with the employers.

I have been on the government side in the past, and when there was a two-week general strike, we differentiated between a lockout and a general strike. We certainly had a bill to ensure that the arbitrator could be respectful to both parties in arriving at a negotiated solution.

We have a minister who has just completely denied collective rights and workers' rights.

Is the minister prepared to make amendments to ensure that we do not begin a marathon session? There is a lack of respect for two groups today. There is a lack of respect for workers, and for Quebeckers and French Canadians, because the NDP wants to start a marathon session when we should rather be celebrating, since we have agreed in this House that Quebec is a nation.

What does she have to say about that?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is important to remind the hon. member that there are in fact 45,000 members of the union and in reality there are 33 million Canadians.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:40 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, while I was making my speech before the vote, I had a message from one of my constituents which I would like to read.

It says: "Great job on your speech...We were watching it live. My business is affected by this. I hope the situation is resolved soon!"

What message should I give to those constituents?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the message to give to Canadians in general in businesses and charities is that we are here to ensure the return of postal services and we are here to ensure the continuation of postal services.

Indeed, we will sit here as long as we need to sit here to ensure that postal services continue.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, while the minister was speaking, I received a message from one of my constituents, who said that his pension fund was in jeopardy. He was asking the Minister of Labour to protect workers.

He also asked why the Conservative government and the Prime Minister hate the working men and women so much. Why does the bill hurt only the workers and not Canada Post?

That is what Canadian workers are saying.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I guess none of us should be surprised that unions have a hotline to the NDP.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the comments made by the minister in her speech, prior to the heavy-handed lockout that Canada Post came forward with, she said it was prompted by the rotating strikes as if they were an illegal tactic. They are absolutely legitimate. Does the minister disagree that they are a legitimate tactic?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated clearly, we do not blame one party or the other. The blame is that the two parties at the table were unable to reach a deal after being in the collective bargaining process for eight months.

Quite simply, Canadians want to know what the government is going to do. The government is going to make sure that the service starts again, that they are back to work, and people can resume their lives.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the legislation calls for wage increases of 1.75% this year, 1.5% next year and 2% in each of the subsequent two years. I wonder if the Minister of Labour could tell the House why these particular numbers were chosen and whether or not they are based on what the government has negotiated with the federal public service.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member, colleague and neighbour for the question. Indeed, the increases in wages for postal workers are wages that have been negotiated in another free collective bargaining process with PSAC, the largest public sector union in the federal government, and they are fair.

As I have said many times, these are amounts that every Canadian would love to have as a guaranteed wage increase for the next few years.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I also received today an email from one of my constituents who is a letter carrier.

Here is what he said:

Mr. [MP's name], thank you for defending postal workers. Many people do not know what we are fighting for. We are not for fighting for wages, but for safe working conditions. Please ask the Conservatives what they intend to do about all the workplace accidents that will occur once we go back to work and our working conditions have still not been addressed.

I would like to know what the Minister of Labour intends to do about worker safety.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act
Government Orders

8:45 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the top priority of this government is the health and safety of all Canadians. We take that very seriously. That is why in the legislation we have included this in the guiding principles for the arbitrator to ensure that the principles of the health and safety of the workers on the job are looked at.