Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise this morning in support of Bill C-420. I want to thank the member for his work on the bill he has introduced today in the House.
This is an opportunity for me to set the record straight on something he just said. The member for La Pointe-de-l'Île painted all federalist parties with the same brush, but the NDP is a very strong ally with respect to Quebec's claims in Ottawa. This has been our trademark for many years, since well before the 2011 orange wave. This was a focus and priority for our leader, Jack Layton.
We continue to recognize the Quebec nation. The NDP has what we call the Sherbrooke declaration, and I encourage my Bloc Québécois colleagues to read it. The Sherbrooke declaration presents our vision of Quebec within Canada as a partner with rights. The declaration also recognizes Quebec's distinctiveness. I simply wanted to correct my colleague on this.
I remind members that not only do I support Bill C-420, but many of my colleagues in the 42nd Parliament have also introduced similar measures. It goes without saying that I support this bill from my Bloc Québécois colleague and, in particular, the part that deals with anti-scab legislation.
My colleague from Jonquière introduced a similar bill, an identical one in fact. She wrote the part of Bill C-420 that refers to scabs. She very eloquently promoted this initiative to prevent the use of scabs in our country. She also wanted to provide unions with tools to defend themselves in dealing with employers who replace striking workers and violate the right to bargaining and the right to strike. The Bloc Québécois knows it can count on the support of the NDP on that point.
My colleague from Jonquière did not propose this initiative for nothing. She gave it her all. She involved many others in her work, including unions. Unfortunately, the government dismissed out of hand the idea of adopting anti-scab legislation. That is not surprising, when we consider that soon afterward, the Liberals passed special legislation forcing Canada Post workers back to work. That is no coincidence.
The Liberals never side with workers, even when they have the opportunity to do so. Instead, they side with employers, as we have seen. These are two examples that show that the Liberal government may talk a good game, but when it comes time to act, it always sides with employers. Whether they are voting against anti-scab legislation or passing back-to-work legislation to prevent strikes and collective bargaining, the Liberals always side with the employer.
The second part of the bill seeks to offer pregnant women rights similar to those enjoyed by women in Quebec who do not work for federally regulated businesses, namely the right to preventive withdrawal when they are pregnant or nursing. When their work is considered hazardous to the health of their unborn or nursing baby, women should have the right to preventive withdrawal. It goes without saying that we support such an initiative.
My colleagues from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and Abitibi—Témiscamingue both introduced similar initiatives, which shows that we agree on this point. Not only do I support this bill, but my NDP colleagues introduced similar initiatives.
Many employers in Quebec fall under federal jurisdiction, including banks, airports, airlines and ports.
There are many other examples, particularly in the telecommunications sector, which employs many Quebeckers. This therefore affects a lot of people. We sometimes tend to think that only a small number of people are involved. However, when we count them all up, we realize that many of our fellow citizens would fall under this law, which would improve on the rights they currently enjoy.
The other aspect of this bill governing businesses under federal jurisdiction is the application of the right to work in French in Quebec. Naturally, this is an initiative that we support. I will give an example to remind our Bloc Québécois colleagues that we support them. Our NDP colleague, the member for Trois-Rivières, introduced a similar bill to give francophones the right to work in their language in Quebec in federally regulated businesses. Unfortunately, this bill was rejected by the government in 2012, even though our colleague also fought hard for it.
Those are a few examples of the NDP's support for Quebeckers, the protection of the French language and the protection of workers' rights. This shows that we can rally behind the Bloc Québécois bill.
This bill is a step in the right direction, and we hope the other parties in the House will support it. NDP members who have introduced similar initiatives know what it is like to run up against fierce opposition from both Conservative and Liberal governments. Those two parties joined forces against NDP members every time we introduced those initiatives.
I hope the Bloc Québécois's initiative will win the Conservative and Liberal support we never got. I wish the Bloc the best of luck because it will need that support to get this bill passed.
We know how the House of Commons works, how voting works. I hope the Bloc Québécois will find many Liberal and Conservative supporters. My point is that not all federal parties are the same. As a federal party, the NDP is special and unique in that it not only recognizes Quebec, but gives it the rights, powers and abilities it needs to develop its skills, its identity and its distinct character within Canada.
This is a good opportunity for me to support this bill and the workers who deserve our support now more than ever. In fact, workers all too often continue to find themselves under attack by their employers. Their rights are violated every day in the workplace. All too often, the workers whose rights are being violated by their employer have to deal with a government that does not listen to them. When it comes time to defend these workers, successive governments have sided with employers, large corporations and multinationals, who all have the ear of the Prime Minister when they knock on his door.
This was the case on a recent file that I will not name. When a multinational knocks on the Prime Minister's door, the response is quick, and tough measures are quickly put in place to help. Inappropriate pressure is even used to get things done for these corporations and multinationals. That is what is happening in the office of the current Liberal Prime Minister, who is very quick to respond to requests from multinationals and large corporations. When employees of companies like Sears or GM need help from their government, they are told to wait and that the government will get around to them at some point. Meanwhile, when the heads of large corporations knock at the door, they get immediate assistance.
I congratulate my Bloc Québécois colleague. We will gladly support him, as we did in the past with our own initiatives regarding workers' rights and the French language in Quebec.