Mr. Speaker, with respect to the first group of motions for Bill C-30, the Reform Party is guided by the following principles and policies found in our official policy document, the blue Book.
The blue book policy on the RCMP states:
The Reform Party supports the traditional role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as a police force representative of and responsive to the populations it serves in Canada's regions.
The blue book policy on official languages states:
The Reform Party supports official bilingualism in key federal institutions, such as Parliament and the Supreme Court, and critical federal services where need is sufficient to warrant provision of minority services on a cost effective basis. The Reform Party supports the removal of bilingual bonuses to civil servants as federal cost reduction measures.
Bill C-30 contains provisions identical to Bill C-58, which died on the Order Paper as a result of the government's decision to prorogue Parliament this year.
Bill C-30 removes RCMP officers from the definition of employee and therefore as members of the public service under the Public Service Staff Relations Act, essentially separate employer status. Only civilian members of the RCMP are to be governed by the Public Service Staff Relations Act. The staff relations for police officers of the RCMP are to be governed by the RCMP Act.
Bill C-30 was originally introduced as housekeeping in nature; however, it became evident that the effect of the legislation would have serious implications for the rights of RCMP members. There exists concern that Bill C-30 in its present form would completely eliminate the application of the Canada Labour Code to RCMP members. At present RCMP members have the protection of part II of the code concerning health and safety.
In order for the Reform Party to support Bill C-30, it would require a substantive amendment which would ensure the continued statutory protection of RCMP officers under the Canada Labour Code. In my assessment, none of the amendments put forward by the hon. member for Bellechasse would satisfy this requirement. Therefore, the Reform Party will not support Motion No. 1 which would amend Bill C-30 by deleting clause 1. The Reform Party will not support Motion No. 2 which would amend Bill C-30 by deleting clause 2. The Reform Party will not support Motion No. 3 which would amend Bill C-30 by deleting clause 3.