Mr. Speaker, I listened with extreme interest to my colleagues, and certainly to the member of the Bloc who alleges that the Reform Party is an extreme right wing party. That is laughable. These things have to be looked at in degrees. To my colleague from the Bloc, perhaps Karl Marx would be one of those extreme right wing people.
I do not see that there is any conflict here as far as the operation of unions is concerned. What we are talking about are democratic rights. The rank and file members of both the CAW and CUPE wanted an opportunity to vote on their employer's restructuring proposal.
Ultimately, it is in the best interests of Canadian travellers to have an option when they fly. There are beginning to be more competitors on the scene, but for a considerable length of time there have been two major air carriers in Canada, which is a situation that I want to continue. I would like there to be competition between the two airlines. I would not want to have the situation where we would not have a choice and would be compelled to run with one air carrier.
My Bloc colleague talked about too much discretionary power being in the hands of the minister. I agree with him. He is right on.
However my motion does not put extra discretionary power into the hands of the minister. If he had been listening to what I had said during my opening remarks, he would have learned that I object to the way the minister handles or addresses these situations on a piecemeal basis.
We are asking for legislation that would actually put labour and management on an even footing so they would know what the rules are when entering the game. Management could put up a restructuring proposal and if there is nothing to compel the rank and file people from supporting the restructuring proposal they could vote against it.
The way it is now they do not even have the option to reject the offer. The parliamentary secretary says we have to assume that it will be abused by management. We are talking about 700,000 people in industry and services regulated by the federal government. It is not an across the country widespread labour management issue.
We should not assume, as the parliamentary secretary seems to have done, that management will abuse it and every time it wants to roll back wages it will put a restructuring proposal to its membership. Let us for the briefest of moments go along with the parliamentary secretary and say some management people put forward a proposal like that, a proposal that was not a bona fide restructuring proposal. The membership would have the opportunity to vote against it.