Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's question, which already contains elements of answer. It is actually quite legitimate to ask why the federal government did not foresee the present situation.
Maybe we should ask the question differently. Maybe the government foresaw the strike and still wanted to impose a settlement, which will not solve the problems in any case. I think the answer is already contained in the question. Had the government understood the importance of the issue, it would have been careful to bargain seriously with those workers.
Besides, it is true that the government finds itself in the present situation because the Public Service Staff Relations Act does not provide anything for essential services. The government finds itself in a situation similar to the one it found itself in during the private sector strike, when the Canada Labour Code did not contain the provisions it now does.
But the government only has itself to blame, because it sets the legislative agenda and could have anticipated the situation we are in today. The government could listen to the Public Service Alliance, which would prefer to be under the Canada Labour Code rather than the Public Service Staff Relations Act.