Mr. Speaker, it certainly is a pleasure to follow my colleague in discussing the bill before the House today.
When we look at all the different forms of legislation there is a lot of good things in them. If we look at the bill, it is essentially the same as Bill C-66 which died in the Senate after there was so much furore in the Senate over some of the issues that were brought forth.
If we look at the administration of the code, the Canada Labour Relations Board becomes the Canada Industrial Relations Board. It is a nice, simple change in name. I do not know how much it costs in the bureaucracy to do that. Somebody dreamt that one up. It is sort of harmless although it probably cost a lot of money.
The terms of the chair and the vice-chair are reduced from 10 years to 5 years. We can accept that. Any government appointments that are reduced in numbers are certainly better than those that are increased in numbers.
There will be a maximum of six permanent members, three representing employers and three representing employees. That sounds fine. Then it says “and as many part time members as the cabinet deems necessary”. That surely scares me because we see defeated Liberal members like Anna Terrana getting appointed to the Immigration Appeal Board.
The many people who were defeated in the last election and the many people who do favours might get appointed as part time members to this board. It is a nice way for them to make a few extra bucks.
Another thing I noticed in the bill, besides amending part I of the Canada Labour Code it revamps or renames the Canada Labour Relations Board and relinquishes Statistics Canada from the current method of reflecting union data. Anything that reduces Statistics Canada cannot be all bad either. As I said, there are some good things and some bad things in every bill, but this one certainly has some bad ones that stand out very clearly.
The representation successor rights section says that the CIRB can certify a union without support from the majority of employees. This provision exists in a number of provincial codes used recently in Ontario to certify a union at Wal-Mart, despite the fact the majority of the employees voted against it.
That type of legislation is more than scary. I come from a province that is very heavily unionized. A lot of the unions work very hard and do a good job. I had a restaurant at one time that was unionized. It operated very successfully. However, when I look at a majority not being able to get what it wants, it scares me. When I look at a majority overruling the minority, it scares me.
Certainly the House would not be the same if we voted the same way the bill will allow votes to take place. We are all elected with a majority, one more than the guy next to us. That is what counts and is what we should look at in the legislation.
What really scares me in the bill is that the CIRB can order an employer to release to a union representative a list of names and addresses of employees who work off site. This clause has been tightened up but there is no provision for obtaining the employee's consent. This clause absolutely astounds me.
Canadians watching the debate today will hear members on this side talking. They will wonder why nobody on the other side of the House, nobody on the socialist side is talking.
To allow a name to go out to anyone without the person's consent is beyond comprehension.
My colleague who spoke before me made a great representation on what happened in British Columbia with recall legislation. We heard stories from reporters that a lot of people were leery about signing it because their names would be made public. When we vote our names are not made public. To vote in privacy is a privilege and a right we all have. Yet the legislation will allow someone to take a list of names and addresses, go to their homes and tell them what to do. It is unbelievable that any government would bring in this kind of legislation.
I cannot help but relate the bill to other issues. As the immigration critic for my party I asked the minister many questions. I asked her about a triad leader in British Columbia, a major gang leader in the world who came into Canada illegally.
The government eventually proved that. It hired a consultant to go to Los Angeles to find out how he got into the country. It admitted that he got here and should not have got here. After the government spent all that money to find out why that triad leader got into Canada illegally, I asked the minister a question in the House. I said “When are you going to get rid of him? He has a big house in Vancouver. His family is living there. He got into Canada illegally. He is a criminal”. The minister said to me “I cannot answer that question because of the Privacy Act”.
This man was in our country illegally. He was a crook. There was a drive-by shooting at his house. However the minister could not tell the people of Canada why he was here because of the Privacy Act.
Under the bill an employer will be compelled to release to union representatives a list of names and addresses of employees. Where is their privacy? We give privacy to one of the biggest crooks in the world, who is not even a Canadian citizen, yet citizens of the country do not have enough privacy to keep their names and addresses from a union leader. We should be ashamed this clause is even in the bill.
I asked the same minister a question a few weeks ago about a couple of Haitians in Montreal who gang raped a young girl. I said “What about deporting those people?” The minister said “I cannot answer that question because of the Privacy Act”.
These two men gang raped a woman and we cannot get information about them because of the Privacy Act. Yet in this bill—and I will continue to repeat it—the CIRB can order an employer to release to the union representative a list of names and addresses of employees who work off site.
What kind of rights do those Canadian citizens have? What kind of rights do landed immigrants have? Their names can be given out to anyone, whether it is a union representative or a political party. The next thing we will do is demand that everything be made public. Our names will be published no matter what we do. We will all go nuts, but the mail will get through.
In my constituency my postmaster said “If you want to get rid of junk mail, just put a sign on your mailbox and you will not receive it any more”. That is my right. If I do not want junk mail I do not have to receive it. In this case someone can walk into the employer's office and say “Give me the list of your employees. I am thinking of unionizing your shop”. That is against the Privacy Act.
I do not understand why government members are not speaking. We have asked the question and it will be asked again many times during this debate. How can we allow anyone to walk into a company and ask it to release the names and addresses of its employees without affecting the Privacy Act? We use the Privacy Act to protect crooks and thieves.
There is a newspaper article which I would like to quote regarding a warrant that went out in Canada. The article is by Tom Godfrey of the Toronto Sun . It states:
The RCMP have broadened their hunt for a violent immigrant who was granted Canadian citizenship even though he was jailed for killing a man in Texas.
Fitzroy Ellsworth Dixon, 31, a landed immigrant from Jamaica, has been sought on a Canada-wide warrant since last December, said Sgt. Paul McIsaac. Police stepped up the search yesterday, releasing a mug-shot of the fugitive.
McIsaac said Dixon was convicted in Texas in 1992 for drug trafficking and involuntary manslaughter and jailed for five years.
“Apparently, he shot and killed a man in a fight over drugs”, McIsaac said.
McIsaac said Dixon was released from a U.S. federal prison in May 1994 and ordered deported to Jamaica. Dixon, instead of waiting in the U.S. to be deported, returned to Canada and applied for citizenship, apparently failing to mention his criminal record or that he had been out of the country for several years, McIsaac said.
Dixon was granted citizenship in February 1996, and the police didn't find out about his criminal past until he was arrested in Toronto for robbery in December. He was convicted but released on probation.
I asked questions about Mr. Dixon, and because of the Privacy Act we were not able to talk about him.
The people listening out there might be afraid because there was a warrant issued for this man. I am very happy to say he was arrested in the city of Toronto yesterday. Hopefully the minister will deport him. However, when we ask questions about him, it is the Privacy Act. We cannot talk about Mr. Dixon, the murderer, the drug man, because of the Privacy Act.
Yet what does this bill say? The CIRB can order an employer to release to a union representative a list of names and addresses of employees who work off site. It should be an outrage that anyone would even think of putting this kind of legislation before the House of Commons.
We all know every day that we debate in the House the freedoms of people, the right to privacy in Canada. Nobody should be allowed to have my name and address or wherever I work. It is not their right. It is my right to my privacy when I go to my home. If I want to publish my name and address I do that.
Even as a member of Parliament we can use our constituency office as an address. We do not have to use our home address. A lot of members do but it is their right and freedom to do so. In this situation they are taking away the rights of all Canadians with this legislation.
In conclusion, I know there will be amendments so I will speak later.