Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned that he believes all members in this House are in favour of justice. I would concur that all members indeed should be in favour of justice. It is for this very reason that I have difficulty supporting Bill C-37. There is a very serious injustice being discussed here.
We are discussing a bill which would in effect give to judges raises of approximately 8.4%. With no disrespect to any judges or any group of people which the government might consider giving a raise to, I find it difficult to consider giving a raise to people when the government has failed and continues to fail to settle the pay equity concerns of over 200,000 current and former employees of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
There are numerous people to whom the government owes money, yet the government fails to come to grips with this. It is the result of a law that was introduced by the same Liberals 20 years ago. We have a complaint that has been outstanding for about 14 years and today we are debating a bill that would give others a raise.
People in my constituency question me daily regarding what we are doing about their pay equity. They want to know when the government will pay them what they are due. And then I am expected to support the government giving an increase to another group when it fails to look after people to whom money is already owed. I see that as a very serious injustice, one which I think should be addressed. Until that kind of justice prevails, it will be very hard to support a bill which gives a raise to any group of people.