Mr. Speaker, the truth is that in this field the federal government provided leadership to the private sector and the provinces.
I repeat, we have paid over a billion dollars since the legislation came into force to implement pay equity. Not only do we believe in pay equity, but we have negotiated agreements with a number of unions. Therefore, in those cases, the unions were in agreement with us. We negotiated agreements to implement pay equity.
However, when demands reach $2 or $2.5 billion, you would expect any good government, especially if the process is flawed, to say the equity principle requires that we serve all taxpayers, not just the ones in the public service, and that is what we have done.
I repeat, we are willing to negotiate with the unions and settle the issue, even before the court makes a decision.