Madam Speaker, I just want to speak very briefly to the bill. I know we cannot ask questions in Private Members' Business so I will make a speech with a question in it.
If the sponsor of the bill, the member for Winnipeg Centre, who I believe will get a few minutes at the end of Private Members' Business to wrap up, could listen to the question, he perhaps could work an answer into his remarks.
I personally will support this legislation. I have had a lot of contact with the rural mail couriers in my riding. It does seem to be quite an anomaly that mail service in a rural area would be treated differently than in an urban area.
Although I agree in principle with the intention of the bill, I am wondering if anywhere in this process there are safeguards or guarantees for the existing contractors who are conducting the service presently. I was on the phone with them this morning and I know they are very supportive of the bill. However, my fear is that what might be happening here is an expansion of the membership of the postal union, and these particular contractors, having fought for the right to be part of the bargaining unit, may very well in the end not be the actual people who end up getting these jobs.
I realize that concern could be addressed in committee, but hopefully the sponsor of the bill would reflect on that a little and perhaps outline some options or processes that we might want to take a look at to make sure it is not necessarily a thinly veiled attempt to push these contractors out; that they will actually be the ones who are in the queue and have access to these more secure jobs.
I again congratulate the member for bringing the bill before the House. I look forward, if he gets a chance, to his speaking to that issue in his rebuttal at the end of the hour.