Mr. Speaker, prior to question period when I was speaking on Bill C-3, I talked about the concerns some members have regarding the possible discrepancies between federal and provincial employment standards. As I said, this is not so.
Although the standards are not identical under federal and provincial laws, they are comparable. Of course these are minimum standards only. Collective agreements and company policies often exceed these minimums.
Consider the case of the collective agreement that applies to the power workers in Ontario for the most part. Its provisions exceed the labour standards of both the Canada Labour Code and the Ontario Employment Standards Act. By way of example, the Canada Labour Code provides for nine holidays with pay, the Ontario law for eight. The collective agreement at Ontario Hydro exceeds these levels with 10 holidays.
I will give the House another example of labour standards. Let us take the example of hours of work. An employee's hours of work are limited in two ways.
First, payment of overtime at a rate of one and one-half times the regular rate is required after eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week under the Canada Labour Code, and after 44 hours in a week under the Ontario Employment Standards Act. Second, there exists a maximum limit on hours of work, which is 48 hours under the Canada Labour Code, and eight hours in a day and 48 hours under the Ontario law.
At the same time flexibility is essential to a well managed operation, so both federal and Ontario law allows for employees to work in excess of the legislated maximums in the case of an emergency or by a permit. Where a permit has been issued under Ontario law, such work requires the consent of the employees' representatives.
The collective agreement between Ontario Hydro and the Power Workers Union meets or exceeds these standards. I could go on with further examples but hon. members can see that having all provincial labour laws apply to Ontario Hydro's nuclear workers is the best guarantee for stability at Ontario Hydro.
For that reason I ask that all hon. members support the passage of Bill C-3. Thank you for the opportunity to speak on this bill today and I look forward to its early passage.