I think it would be appropriate, Mr. Chairman, since this will be our first vote on the bill, to give a little bit of background on these clauses, their insertion generally into this Bill C-10, and the process we're going through today.
Having just accepted graciously the suggestion that we group those clauses that don't form the object of any amendment right now, it's worth bearing in mind that Bill C-10 is the continuity of the fiscal and financial update that was brought in on November 27 by the Conservative government. It should be borne in mind that at the time there was a strong parliamentary reaction by all three opposition parties for three reasons. One, the update withdrew women's rights by taking away the ability to effectively contest issues involving equal pay for work of equal value. Two, it removed the party financing that had been put in place in the wake of the Liberal sponsorship scandal, which was, as we all know, the biggest political corruption scandal in the history of Canadian politics. Three, it took away union rights and the ability to bargain collectively and effectively. So those three subjects brought the opposition parties together and we were ready to defeat the government.
What's interesting to note as a prologue to our discussion here today is that of those three key issues, only one was solved. The budget no longer takes away the Liberals' party financing. I say the Liberals because the Liberals depend more on public financing proportionally than any of the other parties. The two other issues, women's rights and union rights, are still being taken away by this bill. What is fascinating to watch—and we're about to make proof of that—is that the Liberals are going to vote for it every step of the way. Now that they've gotten what they wanted for their own purposes, they're abandoning women, they're abandoning the environment, and they're abandoning social and union rights.