Mr. Speaker, it is very exciting. It sounds like the red flag is about to be waved. I am ready to strike into a chorus of the Internationale.
I would like to comment on the hon. member's remarks. I have a great deal of respect for the member. I understand his frustration as a man with considerable background in the trade union movement.
I would like to correct a couple of comments he made at the beginning of his remarks. He said, “The Reform Party would like to wipe unions off the face of the earth” and that it was almost fraudulent to claim that we had any support for unions.
I think the hon. member perhaps got a little carried away in hyperbole. He may doubt the degree of commitment of my party to trade unions and collective bargaining, but in all sincerity, I would point out to the member that one of our basic principles as a party and as defined in our policy statement is that the Reform Party supports the right of workers to organize democratically, to bargain collectively and to strike peacefully. We also support the harmonization of labour-management relations and reject the view that labour and management must constitute warring camps.
Personally, many of my own economic views are influenced by the social teachings of the Catholic church. I have been heavily influenced by the encyclical letter Rerum Novarum on the dignity of human labour. I understand and appreciate the right of workers to work together, to bargain collectively and the freedom to associate and the freedom to strike peacefully.
That is why we have had difficulty with the approach of the government on this issue. We would prefer to see final offer binding arbitration to the kind of destructive game we see being played here between the union and the government.
Could the hon. member comment on whether he sees that kind of final offer binding arbitration as a possible constructive alternative to the kind of adversarial relationship that is destructive to the interests of both the workers and, in this case, the farmers whose product is being held up?