Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I fully understand the question. The translation was a little questionable.
Our party's position is that it is fundamentally wrong. We are always opposed to back to work legislation. We are fundamentally opposed to taking away the rights of workers to withhold their services. I believe the comments of my leader have been consistent with that party policy.
One of the issues my leader, representing the riding of Halifax, was most concerned with was the regional pay issue. Some public servants are paid differently based on where they live.
It seems fundamentally wrong that skilled trades people doing exactly the same job but in two different parts of the country are paid differently. Members of parliament are not paid differently based on where they come from. Neither are members of the RCMP nor most civil servants.
It is only that group, the 14,500 blue collar workers, that suffers this inconsistency. It can be as much as $3 an hour from one coast to the other. We are not talking high wages to begin with but we are talking about a spread of $3 or $4 an hour for the same job. It is a pay equity issue, not dealing with gender this time but with geography. It is fundamentally wrong.
How sloppily crafted was this back to work legislation? Looking at the zones, the government left out Nunavut. How could we forget about Nunavut? It is in the papers. April 1 is the big day. The legislation must have been thrown together at midnight in a coal mine or something with no lights on because there are glaring omissions.
One of the omissions is in the translation. In the definition of common law spouse, the English language version talks about a relationship existing for a continuous period with the employee. It contemplates same sex. In the French translation it says that the common law situation shall be a relationship between a man and a woman who have lived together for a certain length of time.
The government forgot to update its own bill which we are being asked to pass. On the basis of that omission alone, we should vote down this legislation because it is not consistent with the government's own policy to recognize same sex relationships when it comes to benefits.